News & Current Affairs

July 3, 2009

Jackson tickets via internet draw

Filed under: Entertainment News, Latest — Tags: , , , , , , , , — expressyoureself @ 6:37 pm

Jackson tickets via internet draw

Fan outside Staples Center 3.7.09

The Staples Center was where Michael Jackson’s rehearsals were held

Tickets for a public memorial service for Michael Jackson in Los Angeles on Tuesday will be available via the internet, organisers have revealed.

Details were announced by AEG Live, the star’s promoter, which owns the Staples Center where the service will be held.

Eleven thousand free tickets are to be issued for the service. Only US residents can apply.

‘It’s about the fans’

Another 6,500 tickets will be issued for a simulcast of the service at the nearby Nokia theatre. It means a total of 17,500 fans will be able to see the events free.

Officials said 8,750 pairs of tickets would be allotted to the successful entrants after 1800 Saturday (0100 GMT Sunday) and notifications would go out later on Sunday.

If you do not have a ticket… not only will you not be allowed at these venues, you will not be allowed in this area
LA police chief Earl Paysinger

Those selected will be able to get their tickets via Ticketmaster on Monday, officials said.

No other details of the service itself were revealed.

Officials appealed to other fans to watch the memorial service from their own homes, amid fears that thousands of people without tickets could flood the area.

“If you do not have a ticket, if you are not credentialed, not only will you not be allowed at these venues, you will not be allowed in this area,” said Los Angeles police chief Earl Paysinger.

Michael Jackson had been rehearsing for his London concerts at the Staples Center.

In a press conference, family representative Ken Sunshine said they wanted to accommodate as many fans as possible.

“It is all about the fans,” he said.

Officials said that no funeral procession would take place and the memorial service would not be shown on screens outside the venues.

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August 14, 2008

Europeans angry at Ryanair move

Europeans angry at Ryanair move

Ryanair planes

Ryanair says the move will benefit passengers in the long-term

Spain’s transport ministry has opened an investigation into Ryanair’s move to cancel thousands of bookings made via third party internet travel agents.

Ryanair says the sales, which represent about a thousand bookings a day, are illegal.

But the decision, in the height of the summer travel season, has been criticized by consumer groups.

Italy’s transport minister called it “another deplorable and incomprehensible move”.

Altero Matteoli said the decision not to honor Ryanair tickets booked by third party websites “damages its own clients,” in comments published in Italy’s daily newspaper La Repubblica.

The no-frills airline announced the move not to accept tickets bought anywhere other than on its website or via its telephone booking line last week.

‘Breaching copyright’

The news comes as the budget carrier posted a fall of 85% in net profits in the three months to the end of June.

A Ryanair spokesman said all tickets purchased from third parties after 11 August would be invalid and customers would be informed by email and refunded.

“We’re canceling these tickets because they are in breach of our terms and conditions. The third party is breaching our copyright,” Daniel De Carvalho.

The company said that up to 1,000 of the 200,000 bookings made each day on Ryanair flights were carried out via external websites, which it brands “screenscrapers”.

He said that customers were sometimes being charged a 200% surcharge on top of the value of the flight when not purchasing the ticket directly.

According to La Repubblica, a European Commission spokesperson said that if the company was found to be canceling tickets already sold it would intervene.

Reports suggest that tickets bought via sites such as V-tours, of Germany, Spain-based E-Dreams, Ireland’s Bravofly as well as some European versions of holiday booking website Opodo could be affected.

Italian consumer associations Adusbef and Federconsumatori have said the move “is in violation of the consumer code and passengers’ rights”.

E-Dreams has announced that it will take action against the firm for “irresponsibility and negligence”, Agence France Presse reports.

But Ryanair defended its choice.

“It’s a consumer-friendly decision,” Mr De Carvalho said. “We fight for our mission which is to deliver the lowest fares. We believe this measure, in the mid- to long-term, will benefit our passengers.”

August 12, 2008

Empty Olympic seats cause concern

Empty Olympic seats cause concern

By Michael Bristow
BBC News, Beijing

Empty seats dot the stadium as spectators await the start of the rowing competitions under heavy rain at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing on Sunday

In a number of events, clumps of empty seats have been visible

Courtesy BBC

Chinese officials have admitted that they are concerned about the lack of spectators at some Olympic events.

They have hired volunteers, dressed in yellow shirts, to fill up empty venues and improve the atmosphere inside.

But Wang Wei, a senior official with the Beijing organising committee (Bocog), said other Olympics had experienced similar problems.

The comments came after spectators and journalists noticed that certain venues were far from full, even though all events are sold out.

Weather?

Speaking at a daily press briefing, Mr Wang said: “We are also concerned about this not full stadium [issue].”

There were heaps of empties, it’s sickening
Judo spectator

He said a number of factors had contributed to this, including the hot and humid weather in Beijing, as well as the rain.

Mr Wang said some spectators were also only turning up for specific events, even though they had tickets for a whole session.

“For competitions like beach volleyball and basketball, [spectators] have one ticket for the whole afternoon, morning, evening,” he explained.

“They may choose to go to one of them, but not all them.”

Mr Wang, executive vice-president of Bocog, said local authorities were hiring volunteers to fill empty seats.

Volunteers enjoy the spectacular opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on Friday

In some cases, volunteers have been drafted to fill the gaps

“If they find that there are not enough people, or if they find that there are too many empty seats, they organize some cheerleaders,” he said.

These cheer for both sides to “create a good atmosphere”, he added.

Although some events are full – such as Sunday’s clash between the men’s basketball teams from China and the United States – others have been less well attended.

Corporate sponsors

These include sessions of judo, badminton and water polo.

“There were heaps of empties. It’s sickening,” said one spectator who went to the judo expecting to see a full house.

There were even a number of empty seats at the opening ceremony on Friday.

One reason for less-than-full venues could be that seats allocated to corporate sponsors are not being used.

Many of these tickets are handed out the night before events take place, sometimes too late for those who get them to attend, according to someone with access to these tickets.

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