Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody has launched an angry four-letter tirade against touts flogging charity gig tickets for thousands of pounds.
The band is staging two acoustic concerts in Belfast next month and deliberately kept ticket prices low.
All proceeds from both shows at the Waterfront Hall on December 23 will go to local charities.
Tickets for the gigs, priced £22.50, sold out within minutes of being released last Friday, leaving many bitterly disappointed fans.
But frustration soon turned to fury when, within a few hours, touts began to put tickets up for sale on eBay.
Tickets are selling from several hundred pounds up to almost £6,000. Two front row, block A tickets — among the best in the house — were on sale yesterday for £5,900, with 12 bids placed.
Last night a pair of tickets for seats in block E went for a scarcely believable £3,787. They were sold by a woman from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
“Unfortunately, my other half is unable to attend and so I am selling the pair. Any questions, please email,” the seller wrote on her eBay page. “I don't have the tickets in hand yet but will post within two days of receiving it.” However, most pairs of tickets appeared to be attracting bids of around £100.
Angry fans took to internet forums and social networking sites to express their disgust.
Last night Lightbody took to Twitter to hit out at the practice and apologised to fans who had forked out large sums of cash to get into the gigs.
“Sorry for those who had to resort to paying more than face value for the Belfast tickets,” he said. “We do our best to make it hard for touts but it’s impossible to stop altogether.
“We wanted a low ticket price so it wasn’t too hard on your pockets at Christmas. Touts f*** that idea right up.”
Lightbody said the one positive was that local charities would still benefit from the two acoustic shows.
“Northern Irish charities will make in excess of 30 grand from the show so that at least is something positive,” he said.
“As for folks who paid hundreds of pounds for a ticket I’m sure nothing I say is gonna make it sting any less. I’m just sorry this s*** happens at all.”
He then signed off: “Loads of love to everyone. Bless your hearts.xx”