Scottish music scene rocked by ticket

agency collapse

I z

Concerts such as U2's spectacular at Murrayfield will be unaffected by TOCTA's liquidation

The collapse of a major Scottish ticket agency has cast a cloud over the nation's summer of music.

Words: Stephen Naysmith and staff writers

SCOTLAND’S LIVE MUSIC promoters are assessing the implications of the sudden collapse of The Official Concert Ticket Agency (TOCTA), which went into voluntary liquidation earlier this week.

TOCTA is one of Scotland's largest ticket agencies handling tickets for many of the nation‘s large concerts. The extent of TOCTA’s debts have still to be revealed but sources within the live music industry estimate they could run into six figures.

Other ticket agencies have been besieged by calls from people who have bought concert tickets from TOCTA and are anxious to find out if they are still valid. A spokesman for Glasgow’s Ticketcentre, which is not connected with TOCTA, said: ‘We've been deluged With calls by people who haven’t been able to get a reply from TOCTA. We are passing all calls on to the liquidator.’

Head of Glasgow City Council’s consumer and trading division, Alan Adams said: ‘If you already have your ticket then you shouldn’t experience any problems. Those who have bought tickets on credit cards, providing the total purchase came to over £100, should be protected by their credit card company. Those who bought tickets by other methods but have yet to receive them will have to seek redress from the liquidators.’

However, Regular Music, who are promoting concerts by Wet Wet Wet, U2 and Primal Scream among others, issued a statement on Tuesday 10 June stating: ’Regular Music would like to reassure all their customers that, despite the voluntary liquidation of The OffiCial Concert Ticket Agency, all Regular Music’s shows will go ahead and all existing tickets are, as always, valid'

Managing director of Regular Music, Barry Wright added: ’It is a matter of whether people Wlll lose confidence in buying tickets. I see it as our lot) as promoters to keep the confidence of the market.‘

Promoters are likely to lose money over the affair, although Mark Mackie of Regular Music was unable to put a definite

we’re relativer optimistic,‘ he said

TOCTA’S collapse comes at the start of an exceptionally busy summer of music lll Scotland Full details of the financial problems were not available at the time of going to press. A spokesman from DF Concerts which promotes July’s T in the Park, as well as many other concerts, said: ’We are currently waiting for information from TOCTA’s accountants and lawyers '

Tickets for most concerts can still he hOught from the followmg companies.

Credit card bookings Way Ahead 0141 339 8383 Ticketcentre Oldl 287 SSH Tower Records, Glasgow. Ripping Records, Edinburgh

Personal callers


Undercover bid to catch teen-tipplers

POLICE ARE TO co-operate with the owners of licensed premises using tactics imported from the US to tackle under-age drinking.

The ’cops in shops’ scheme is a shift from attempts to target off-licences and pubs which are lax about the laws. Instead, undercover officers will pose as customers to apprehend would-be buyers.

The Scottish Office and Scottish police forces have teamed up with the drinks industry’s watchdog, The Portman Group, to launch the strategy, the Teenwise Alcohol Project (TAP).

TAP aims to draw on willingness by communities to tackle the problem. Youngsters who drink habitually will be referred to support agencies in an attempt to change their behaviour.

Strathclyde Police, whilst supportive of the project, chose not to

participate because they believe they are already addressing the issue of under-age drinking, via the Spotlight Initiative. But those forces involved Central, Grampian, Lothian and Borders, Northern and Tayside are in no doubt of the scheme’s importance.

'It is estimated that 80 per cent of assaults between six and ten at night are drink-induced,’ says PC Gary Vines, the Juvenile Liaison Officer at West

I Lothian Police. figure on the Sums involved 'We're still working it out but

Vines does not believe that media hype over ’Alcopops' is justified: ’lt’s Alcopops today, but before that it was Buckfast, and before that it was cider. Teenage drinking is a problem that’s always been with us.’

Scotland’s Health Minister Sam Galbraith stressed the need for local [)alllClpallOfl: 'The ultimate success of any initiative such as this depends on local endeavour and goodwill. We cannot pretend that by launching a few local campaigns up and down the country, the problem of under-age drinking will be eradicated overnight.’ (Barry Graham)

And finally . . . Self injects a little glamour with Motheriivell nuptials

IT SEEMS THAT all Labour need do to rescue the NHS from years of neglect is to provide the nation's medics with a clothing allowance. Invited to speak to Edinburgh University students, wacky US doctor and clown Patch Adams claimed that giving patients a laugh can cure all ills. Bold Patch simply dons a skirt and false nose and waves a plastic fish around - before you know it that new hip you've been queuing a year for is no longer required.

JUST WHEN CHRISTOPHER REEVE must have thought all was lost after the riding accident which left him paralysed, a role which could well have been written for him has dropped in his lap. A US TV remake of the Hitchcock classic Rear

Window, in which James Stewart i witnesses and investigates a l murder from his wheelchair, has plonked Reeve in the hotseat. Talk I about landing on your feet. '

POOR OLD PAUL GASCOIGNE. Hated by those of a non-Bluenose persuasion, figure of contempt for women‘s groups, disliked by Brian Laudrup (allegedly), the jaunty Geordie is no longer flavour of the month with the nation's kids. Research conducted by counsellor Steve Chalke entitled How To i Succeed As A Parent saw him top I the chart of Britain‘s Worst Dad in a i poll of 675 teenagers. Still, at least i Gazza can sleep cosin at night, in l the knowledge that all the top l clubs in England are fighting each 1 other off for his services. You know, I the likes of Sunderland, ' Middlesborough and Sheffield Utd.

Will Self: married in Motherwell

SO, PAULO Dl CANIO has finally fled the roost. Not the Celtic playmaker, but a pigeon of the same name. Dumfries owner Stephen Farrow lost his pal when the feathered fellow flew off course during a race in Yorkshire and has yet to return to his loft in Scotland. Farrow cooed: ‘Paulo is a very temperamental bird and I am praying I get him back.’ A rum doo for all concerned.

MOTHERWELL CIVIC CENTRE was the glamorous location for the nuptials of Deborah Orr and literary dandy Mr Will Self. The lanky writer hit the headlines in April after consuming a less than advisable quantity of narcotics in the lavvy on John Major’s campaign jet. Until his wedding, that episode was probably the high point of his career. (Brian Donaldson)

13—26 Jun I997 TIIEUSTS