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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 12:46 GMT
Stones shows sell out in minutes
The Rolling Stones are touring to support their 40 Licks album
Tickets to all three Stones shows have sold out
Tickets for two Rolling Stones concerts in London next summer have sold out within 15 minutes of going on sale.

Bookings for the Licks tour shows, at London Astoria and Wembley Arena, began at 0900 GMT on Friday.

But the tickets went almost immediately, followed by 50,000 tickets for a third date at Twickenham rugby stadium selling out within two hours.

Stones in London
Twickenham (23 August)
London Astoria (27 August)
Wembley Arena (29 August)
Tickets for the show at the Astoria - which has a capacity of only 2,000 - are already turning up on internet auction sites.

But the concert's promoter has warned that ticketholders for the Astoria show will need to show the credit card the ticket was booked on, and some form of identity, before they can get the tickets - which will rule out tickets bought from third parties.

BBC News Online has found two tickets on the internet auction site eBay. One pair are currently selling for 1,020.

Another pair have a starting bid price of 1,800.


Tour poster
The tour supports the band's "best of" album, 40 Licks
Promoter John Giddings told BBC News Online: "Two days before the gig, people have to turn up with their credit card and ID and we will give them an armband," he said.

"Two thousand pounds for a pair of tickets. That is ridiculous. Physical tickets are not in existence yet. They have not been printed up. How can you sell a ticket that doesn't even exist?" Mr Giddings added.

The band's European fanclub website, It's Only Rock 'N' Roll, has reported that the band will also play another two or three concerts at Wembley Arena in August and September, and another date at Twickenham to support their 40th anniversary show.

But Mr Giddings said: "God, I would hope they would play eight or nine shows. After today I will be begging them to play more shows."

He added that it was a bonus that the band would be playing Twickenham.

"Wembley Stadium, of course, is not available, and it's great Twickenham have allowed us to use the grounds, because it's not very away from where they first started at Eel Pie Island," Mr Giddings said.

Canadian date

The tour started in September with a string of dates in Boston in the US, and the Stones have since played over 30 concerts in the US.

The band are playing a mix of venues in each city, including shows in small, intimate clubs.

The band's next date is at the Molson Centre in Montreal, Canada, on 8 January, before they travel to Australia and the Far East.

eBay screen grab
Tickets are already being sold on the internet
The European tour, which starts in Germany at the Munich Olympiahalle on 4 June, currently includes 14 confirmed concerts, though many more are rumoured.

Serbian row

Meanwhile, Serbian newspapers have reported that the band will play a show in the capital Belgrade next summer - the first time they have played the country.

But ticket prices - costing the equivalent of 32 - have drawn criticism from Serbian fans because it represents a third of the average Serbian monthly wage.

Belgrade-based promoters Komuna have told fans they can pay off the price of the tickets in three monthly instalments. Some fans want the show to be played for free.

Click here to go to BBC London Online
See also:

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