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    Mencap preview 1: Construction work at Exeter Coldplay concert is almost complete

    mencap4logo.jpgConstruction work at Exeter Castle has nearly been completed in preparation for the much-anticipated Coldplay gig. There are now just two days until the stripped-back performance.


    The marquee is up, the stage is being built and everything is going to plan, according to Guy Wadsworth of Exeter Castle Partnership, which owns the site. During the concert, flats on the site will be used as dressing rooms for Coldplay and support acts Lily Allen and La Roux. Mr Wadsworth said: “The preparations are all being finalised down here. It is all happening and there have been no hitches. Everything will be ready in time. We are all really looking forward to the concert.”


    In case you didn't already know, the Vivacrew account will once again be tweeting live updates and photos from the intimate performance in Exeter this Saturday. The latest discussion on this is at the Coldplay Live forum, where you can read the latest comments here onwards.

    There has been anger that more than five per cent of the 500 tickets that were made available for the Mencap event on Saturday are being sold on eBay. None of the profit will go to the intended charity. The first tickets to reach the end of their alloted auction time at 5pm yesterday were sold for £1,020 — dwarfing the £50 they were originally bought for. Others are currently for sale for several hundred pounds with several days or hours to go.


    Excitement is mounting ahead of the gig, which will see Lily Allen and La Roux supporting Coldplay. But organisers have warned they could not guarantee entry to anyone who uses eBay to purchase a ticket which was originally sold through the official Little Noises website.


    Ebay said it had a policy with charity gigs to donate at least 20 per cent of profits if tickets were resold in this way. However, a spokesman said Mencap had not alerted it to this particular event so it was not able to put the policy in place on the sales. As a result, none of the profit made by the sellers looks set to benefit Mencap. A spokesman for the event said: “It is very disappointing. The reason we do these gigs is that Mencap desperately needs funds and the money we raise goes directly to the people Mencap supports.” A spokesman for eBay said: “We work with thousands of charities and are delighted to support them but we cannot be held accountable if we are not told about it or approached about it by Mencap.”


    More online comments to the eBay sales of Mencap charity tickets:


    -- so they can get fake id made up now in time for saturdays event, or as one seller is listing,he is going to send his credit card that he purchased the ticket with to the winning bidder....dunno how that one is going to work???? [kate, devon]


    -- I think it is ridiculous that they are allowed to tout tickets like this. As has been said, names on tickets and photo I.D on the door would have solved the problem. Would have loved to have gone, but touts buying up tickets like this meant they had sold out. I can't believe Radio 1, the Venue, HMV or even Coldplay didn't see this coming. I feel let down, they finally come home and we have to miss out for touts and ridiculous people who will pay the money. Should have been for locals only. "Homecoming gig my arse." [DK, Drewsteignton]


    -- I may be an Old Git, but I can not understand anyone paying £1400 (as advertised on e-bay) for a pair of tickets to a concert - any concert. Some people clearly have too much money for their own good. Or perhaps they will be bought by an MP and the money reclaimed as "hospitality expenses" [Paul, Exeter]


    -- To add to the confusion the Express and Echo's competition asks you to make a 7 letter Coldplay song title out of 3 letters provided on Saturday and 3 letters provided today - last time I checked 3+3=6!! Annoying thing is there is a 7 letter Coldplay song which contains the 3 letters provided on Saturday and I thought I'd be clever and get my answer in early, that will teach me!! [AH, Exeter]


    -- I Know someone who is selling their tickets on E-bay but they are not a money grabber. The profit earned will be spent on her debts. so please dont judge us all. [Kelly Woodgate, Exeter Devon]


    -- Ebays listing policy states that the resale of charity event tickets must have at least 20% of the sale price donated back to the charity. I therefore strongly urge people to use Ebays reporting system to report all listings breaching that policy in order to get these tickets removed from sale. We can't do anything with the listings that clearly state they WILL give at least 20% back, however - If the money grabbing so-and-so's can't give at least some of the profits back, we should do all we can to get those listings removed. [s, Devon]


    -- Maybe the organisers should have sold them all via ebay and raised a more substantial sum for charity. [Keith, Exeter]


    Meanwhile, Mencap related, a reminder that a small number of official tickets for Coldplay's homecoming gig for Mencap in Exeter this Saturday have been made available by Seatwave. This previously reported by Anchorman:


    Good afternoon. The tickets for Coldplay's intimate Big Noise Session gig for Mencap in Exeter on Saturday, 19th Dec week sold out in record time (thanks to everyone who bought some). If you missed out, then you do have one last chance to get tickets, as the final five pairs are now being auctioned. The five highest bidders by 12noon on Friday, 18th Dec will each get a pair of tickets to the show, which will also feature Lily Allen and La Roux. The proceeds will go directly to Mencap's amazing work with people with a learning disability in the UK. Click here if you'd like to join the bidding.


    First photos of the work being done at Exeter Castle ahead of the gig: (Pictures by karenc)








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