From a reader:
Dear Mr Lebrecht, I thought I would relay to you an unfortunate Bayreuth festival story which has happened to my friends and me. It would seem that the Bayreuth festival is refusing to resell tickets – which are now electronic – for fear of fraud.
I surprisingly ended up with 3 pairs of tickets for the festival this year, on my second year of trying. The rules state you have to buy all tickets given within 1 month of them being granted, so I bought them all. You can nominate and resell legally, so I gave a pair to my parents, am keeping a pair for myself + partner, and sold two off to my good friend S. and his wife. The week before Holländer II (3Aug) S. was taken ill with throat cancer, and I’ve tried to resell those tickets since 28 July.
Bayreuth have said they can only resell tickets which haven’t been nominated, and have doggedly refused to resell my/our tickets, in spite of me sending medical documents etc, which presumably means the opera had empty seats while (presumably) there’s still a demand for them. How absurd? The waiting time is years, and yet the festival are refusing to enforce the ”returns” market, which actually makes many festivals and classical venues more vibrant.
I can’t say I’m looking forward to my first visit in 2 weeks, as I feel angry about this episode – the tickets were €240 each.