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Ticket Touting Trouble – What Can Fans Really Do?

We’ve all sat refreshing a page, bank card in hand only for tickets to sell out at 9.01am. But what can we do about it?!


Source: Pixalbay

So, picture this. Your favourite band have announced their biggest tour yet, hitting up arenas and the like. You’re there at 8:55am, clutching your bank card and refreshing that web page waiting for the tickets to be released at 9. When they finally are, you blink and they’re gone in a flash. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this happens all too often in the music industry thanks to thousands of online ticket touts.

This issue is only getting worse, but luckily (and finally) some serious action is being taken to fight back. You Me At Six frontman Josh Franceschi has been playing a huge part in the most recent battle, using his position in the music industry to promote petitions and raise awareness, and even appearing on BBC 2’s Daily Politics. Other senior music industry professionals are rallying together and demanding the government take action. They have put together the “Fan Fair Alliance” with four policy recommendations – Enforcement, Transparency, Responsibility and Supply. To sum it up, the government needs to enforce the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and hold those responsible accountable by criminalising the process of mass purchase for resale. You can read more about it over on the Fan Fair Alliance website, and sign the declaration. Ticket touts outside a venue are actually illegal if they don’t have a street trading license, yet online touts can get away with it, which doesn’t quite make sense.

There’s no telling how many of these touted tickets actually end up being used by fans (ever noticed when you go to ‘sold out’ shows and there’s still tons of seats empty?), which could be massively damaging the income of a tour. Sure, the money from the ticket sales still comes in, but if the massively hiked tickets aren’t sold on due to ridiculous prices, that’s a ton of potential merchandise buyers NOT attending a show and therefore the band could be missing out on a chunk of sales. Which may not sound like much, but multiply that by however many people at two weeks worth of shows, and it all adds up.

As music fans and consumers, the best we can do at the moment is continue raising awareness about this huge issue which is seeing these professional touters lining their pockets with thousands whilst fans are forking out over the odds to see their favourite band. Be careful where you buy your tickets from – no matter how desperate you are for tickets, seriously consider who will actually be getting the money. Also, help each other out! Barely a day goes past without seeing at least one tweet saying “selling one ticket for XXX show” for whatever reason because life happens, and I am so guilty of just ignoring them unless it’s a friend. Obviously, I’m not saying turn your Twitter into a buy and sell page, but a simple retweet could help a desperate fan find a ticket instead of turning to a tout, whilst also ensuring that the fan selling the ticket doesn’t lose out and resort to supplying a tout outside the venue. I sincerely hope these laws can be passed before the morally wrong actions of a few seriously damage the music industry, and particularly the live scene.

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