The ROYAL Albert Hall is at the centre of a ticket touting controversy surrounding the sale of seats by members and trustees who can pocket thousands of pounds a year from key events.
A legal loophole means holders of debenture-style seats at the historic London venue can profit by reselling tickets for major performances at a highly inflated price.
The Hall is a registered charity, and its trustees have now been cautioned by the Charity Commission.
A Commission spokesman said they had offered “advice” to the trustees, adding: “Whilst we were already aware of issues regarding the seats owned by the Hall’s members, we have not opened an investigation into the charity.
“We have provided the trustees with advice and guidance on the public benefit requirement and we have an ongoing dialogue with the charity’s trustees about this matter.”
More than 1,000 seats in the grade I listed building are held on 999-year leases after they were sold in 1871 – the year the west London concert hall was opened.
Holders can reportedly sell back unwanted tickets through an official return scheme.
However some have apparently cashed in online, asking for as much as £20,000 for a box at the last night of the Proms.
The venue, which routinely draws massive crowds for shows such as Cirque du Soleil as well as popular music performances, states on its website that reselling a ticket “makes it void” and warns the ticket holder may be refused entry.
It cautions: “Only tickets purchased by the Box Office or approved agents are valid for admission.”