Live £8,000,000,000
June 13, 2005 4:01 PM   Subscribe

Now that over 2,000,000 people have texted in for tickets to July's Live 8 concert, some of the lucky 150,000 people who've won tickets have already posted them on eBay... with massive success. Why? Are the bidders trying to scupper sellers attempts to profit from a charity gig? Or is because eBay have promised to make a donation "at least equivalent to the fees [they] collect from the sale of Live 8 tickets", which includes a percentage of every item sold? If so... wow.
posted by armoured-ant (29 comments total)
Some of those bids are millions of dollars.....are they serious??!
posted by FieldingGoodney at 4:08 PM on June 13, 2005

Heh, those prices merely reflect how big a joke this entire charade actually is.

Pink Floyd reunites!!!
... and it will only cost us $40billion!!!
posted by mischief at 4:19 PM on June 13, 2005

This auction is for one entry into a draw for tickets. I've never seen someone do this before - pretty smart, although I think it would be way too easy to give the tickets to himself and run away with the raffle money.
posted by jeffmik at 4:19 PM on June 13, 2005

It doesn't really seem to be a good way to get money out of eBay, since they are just contributing the fees that they collect. If a seller actually gets someone to pay £10,000,000, then eBay will donate the £150,000, but only after the seller pays the £150,000 to eBay. So it seems to me that the only good explanation is that bidders are trying to mess with the sellers.
posted by Turd Ferguson at 4:21 PM on June 13, 2005

We should give the tickets to torture victims in the American gulag at Gitmo. Fair recompense.
posted by Slagman at 4:27 PM on June 13, 2005

When I sell something on eBay and the auction ends, my account is immediately debitted the amount of the Final Value Fee. eBay bill me for the auction, so would that amount qualify as money made, or just money owed?
posted by armoured-ant at 4:33 PM on June 13, 2005

For sale: Tix to Philly Live 8. Email is in my profile, act now!
posted by fixedgear at 5:05 PM on June 13, 2005

That British Pounds, not dollars. Holy Cow! First Howard Dean and now this. The internets rock.
posted by warbaby at 5:43 PM on June 13, 2005

10 million pounds, huh?

You'd think he could go the postage, even outside the UK.
£1.50 - Royal Mail 1st Class Recorded (Within United Kingdom)
posted by cedar at 5:51 PM on June 13, 2005

Nice message and all, but man, every one of those line-ups is just a heaping bucket full of suck. Does anybody really want to pay to be grated on by Will Smith's smug smarmyness?

We should give the tickets to torture victims in the American gulag at Gitmo.

Haven't they been tortured enough?
posted by baphomet at 5:56 PM on June 13, 2005

I second baphomet that they could have actually worked on putting together decent shows instead of taking any degenerate preformer in need of spicing up thier career. I will be leaving town for the Philly show.

For those of you attending, make sure you spend all of your money while you're here. Also, make sure to fill up your giant fucking SUV's before you leave to drive home. Nothing stops hunger in the world like buying t-shirts, eating in restaurants, staying in hotels, & buying gasoline. Think of all the poor people you're helping right there.

As far as selling the tickets on eBay; at least someone will get something positive out of the whole mess. Apparently, this isn't a fundraiser or anything. They're just trying to appeal to the G8 countries to do some good for the poor. IMHO, everyone might as well stay home if that's your objective, because no ammount of modern rock & roll, hip hop, pop, or whatever is going to persuade the US gov to give up much of thier time or money.... oh wait, you have oil?
posted by password at 7:05 PM on June 13, 2005

Oops, forgot to spell check.
posted by password at 7:07 PM on June 13, 2005

From their website:

* Annie Lennox
* Bob Geldof
* Coldplay
* Cure, The
* Dido
* Elton John, Sir
* Joss Stone
* Keane
* Killers, The
* Madonna
* Mariah Carey
* Ms. Dynamite
* Muse
* Paul McCartney, Sir
* Pink Floyd
* Razorlight
* Robbie Williams
* Scissor Sisters
* Snoop Dogg
* Snow Patrol
* Stereophonics
* Sting
* U2
* Velvet Revolver

posted by interrobang at 7:13 PM on June 13, 2005

Keane? Hell, if DFC is gonna rock the house I want those tickets.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:50 PM on June 13, 2005

Oh come on, no-one is seriously going to pay £10,000+ for tickets - I'd say that anything up to £1K or so could be genuine bids, but above that it'll be "white-hat" shill bidders upset about sellers trying to profit, and driving up the price so that the sellers have colossal eBay fees to pay (which eBay have already agreed to donate to charity).
posted by anagrama at 3:47 AM on June 14, 2005

I so no reason for ALL the profits of this sham to go to genocidal African dictators. Let some normal crooks make some cash as well!
posted by acetonic at 4:19 AM on June 14, 2005

I'd say that anything up to £1K or so could be genuine bids, but above that it'll be "white-hat" shill bidders upset about sellers trying to profit, and driving up the price so that the sellers have colossal eBay fees to pay (which eBay have already agreed to donate to charity).

Uh, yeah. All except the part where the whitehats actually have to pay £10k for the tickets. Correct me if I'm wrong, but sellers only have to pay the fees if their item gets bought, right? If someone actually gives them £10k for it, then how, exactly, have they been burned?
posted by Deathalicious at 6:40 AM on June 14, 2005

how, exactly, have they been burned?

Their item hasn't sold and the only recourse they have is to leave negative feedback for "buyers" who, for the most part seem to have very low/zero feedback ratings already.

So not so much burned. Warmed, perhaps.

To me it looks like people registering accounts just to make sure these sellers can't make a profit off of free tickets.
posted by Mr Bismarck at 7:06 AM on June 14, 2005

The sellers will still be liable for the Final Value Fees whether or not the buyers pay (which they presumably won't). They can appeal against it to eBay, but eBay's resolution service is notoriously slow.
The main aim of the 'white-hatters', as Mr Bismarck said, is to prevent people profiting from free tickets. The potential for increasing eBay's donation is a happy bonus.
posted by anagrama at 7:14 AM on June 14, 2005

Aswell as providing copy to lazy journalists: "Crazy eBay bidders pay £500,000 for Live8 tickets!"
posted by anagrama at 7:16 AM on June 14, 2005

Apparently Geldof doesn't like it, thinks ebay should take them down rather than making a donation and encourages people to make false bids. Suggests sellers are making money on 'the back of the poorest people on the planet', though I don'r really see this myself as the charity will still get the price they asked for on the tickets. If they priced them wrong that's Geldof's own bloody fault.
posted by biffa at 7:24 AM on June 14, 2005

I agree with Anagrama that those bids are fake. Why would someone pay £10m when there is a pair of tickets going for £1500 using Buy It Now (and even those haven't sold yet).
posted by gfrobe at 11:18 AM on June 14, 2005

But the Philly concert is still free and doesn't require tickets, right??
posted by exhilaration at 11:23 AM on June 14, 2005

Ebay just announced they decided to remove them all. (Same bbc story biffa posted, updated).

On the Ebay forums there's someone bragging about having already sold his.
posted by funambulist at 11:40 AM on June 14, 2005

exhiliaration -

So it was last I heard. I'm planning on heading there.
posted by graymouser at 12:06 PM on June 14, 2005

While the bid and fake auctions are clearly shills, I'm left wondering, "Am I the only one who is confused about what the big deal is?" Isn't the whole point of this (besides propping up the careers of some has-beens) to get people to part with their money so that a fraction of the profits may be donated to charity?

Let's take this scenario: There are no tickets left, so someone walks up to the venue and buys a ticket from a scalper outside the gate. Has the scalper taken money that would have otherwise gone to "the poorest people on earth"? Have they, in any way, affected the amount, if any, that the producers will be donating to charity? Isn't that pretty much the same thing that Ebay's doing?

Or if someone were to fly a blimp over the stadium and broadcast the whole thing on television, making money from advertising during the set breaks, the only way they'd be affecting the proceeds of the event is if some people were to think, well, it's being broadcast, so there's no need to go. That's not going to happen, it's already sold out. So the only difference is that more people get to see it live, and more money is generated by the event, which could putatively be donate to "the poorest people on earth". What if people smuggled in videocameras and sold bootleg tapes of the event. If the concert sells out, the official videotapes, provided there are any, will probably sell out too, so, again, more money comes from the pool that would be spent on groceries and gas and whatever and more money goes into the pool from which a certain percentage will be donated to charity.

So I don't care about this whole thing, I just wanted to make the (somewhat abstract) point that people who are emotionally motivated tend to make knee-jerk reactions which end up hurting the very cause they think they're helping if they don't mix a little logic and analysis into their feelings every now and then.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:59 PM on June 14, 2005

Isn't the whole point of this (besides propping up the careers of some has-beens) to get people to part with their money so that a fraction of the profits may be donated to charity?

No. One of the main points of Live 8 is to bring attention to the G8 summit and to put pressure on its leaders with regards debt relief, fair trade and increased aid to the poorest countries in the world, a large proportion of which are African.

The profits generated by Live8's text lottery (each entry to the Live 8 ticket lottery cost about $2.75) will go towards the costs of staging the events.

Frankly, though I find Geldorf immensley irritating and more than a little patronising, I do think he has done an incredible job in bringing discussion of world poverty from page eight of the broadsheet newspapers to front pages of the tabloids.

To give it a little context, all I can remember about the last G8 summit (in Genoa) was the riot that led to a protestor being shot (and killed) by a policeman during the meetings. I have no memory of what the most powerful people on the planet were actually discussing.
posted by davehat at 3:25 AM on June 15, 2005

Thanks, davehat, for explaining that. Now I'm even further confused as to why people care if tickets are being scalped or not. I was thinking that the protestors actually have no clue what they're mad about. Now I think they're just pissed that scalpers won tickets and they didn't, and, as you do these days, had to come up with something other than "It's not fair!" to be mad about.

Let's hope we all remember more from this summit than that people were mad at EBay for some-reason-I-forget-what.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:48 AM on June 15, 2005

Looking at the list of mostly Anglo-elite aged rock stars I'd like a backstage pass to get at the snack trays I bet there's good eatin. What's the difference between Bob Geldof and Bono anyway? About 20 pounds (stone)? Coldplay + U2 + PinkFloyd all put in a blender and made smarteran armchair rock critic a-hole. Not to be too negative...its for a good cause ... ITS ALL GOOD (tm). God bless us all.
posted by celerystick at 7:34 PM on June 15, 2005

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