Hip-hop star Jay-Z has been trying to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, with a concert to benefit the families of the victims. But so far, scalpers have been the ones cashing in on his charity.
Jay-Z decried the scalpers' actions in a statement yesterday.
"We are truly disheartened that certain individuals would choose to benefit from what is meant to be a 100% charitable event," said the rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter. "We do not support any profits made from reselling any ticket that was meant to be purchased by honest fans."
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Tickets to Friday's concert were intentionally set low at $54.50 to make the show affordable to fans struggling amid the economic downturn, reports the Daily News. Money made from the tickets was supposed to go to benefit the widows and children of the police officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty on Sept. 11, 2001.
But as soon as the 20,000 tickets sold out yesterday, scalpers starting hawking them on resale Web sites for anywhere from $200 to $3,000 -- pocketing the proceeds (and then some) intended to go to 9/11 victims' families.
One site was peddling tickets for an outrageous $45,000 a pop, reports the News.
Fans who wanted to buy the tickets the right way for the right reasons found themselves at a loss when they signed onto Ticketmaster to purchase them. Kevin Lee, of Harlem was told just after 9 a.m. yesterday that the tickets were sold out, reports the News.
He wasn't the only one – and many ticket-seekers who were out of luck figured something fishy was going on.
Jay-Z says he's taken steps to ensure that scalpers don't get all the tickets, but John Neary, treasurer of the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund, said he didn't know what could be done because scalping happens with lots of shows.
Friday's concert will be Jay-Z's only New York performance this year. If you can't make it, the show will be broadcast live on the Fuse network.