We all love going to gigs. It’s a fact. It’s one of the most exciting, exhilarating experiences we will ever have. Seeing some of your favourite acts live, in a huge arena surrounded by friends and people who are their for the same experiences you are. Yet there’s a problem which most people are now aware of.
Let’s say you can’t go to a gig because of personal matters, you look and see the gig has sold out. What do most people do? They stick it up on websites such as GetMeIn and Stub hub to name a few for a price that is triple the face value.
You go to buy a ticket to see your favourite ever artist play a huge arena and the price of the ticket is £60. The tickets sell out in 10 minutes and you were unfortunate to not get a one. You look once and people are hundreds of the same ticket you were after on the websites previously mentioned, available for £250 each (and that’s the minimum price).
Thousands of people (also known as touts or twats in my case) purchase sacks full of tickets for certain gigs and re sell them to the public for an extravagantly more expensive price. This is a problem which faces hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and is an issue which on the rise.
You Me At Six have famously taken this issue to court. Lead singer Josh Franceschi stepped up the fight against touting in November last year, after he suggested to the government that touting should be made illegal and bans, and jail/prison sentences should be introduced to crack down on the issue. Josh Franceschi said in an interview with the BBC: “It’s the touts who have bought them, forcing fans to pay hiked up prices on secondary websites. Enough is enough. Genuine fans are being priced out of the equation. Music lovers are consumers too, and consumers have rights.”In New York, legislation is in place. The UK must follow suit.”
Let’s take The Streets as an example. The Birmingham band fronted my Mike Skinner announced a UK tour for the first time in over 4 years a few weeks ago. Tickets for all dates sold out very quickly, yet immediately tickets began popping up on resale sites for around £200 for his shows. Mike skinner added to The Streets Facebook page saying “Disgusted at the bot-driven tout sites that got hold of any tickets today. The team put in restrictions of two per transaction and have been cancelling suspicious orders using CC numbers and IP addresses and tried as hard as possible to minimise”. He then added: “Ticketmaster’s Get Me In service is a disgrace”.
Quite frankly it’s disgusting. The reality of it is some individuals are stopping others from having a night they’ll remember for the rest of their lives from happening, just to earn a bit of cash.
There are some options, and ones that need to happen in order to tackle this issue:
More artists are becoming increasingly aware of reselling sites such as Twickets. Twickets offers face value resale of gig tickets, so that there is a fair opportunity for people to purchase tickets for these shows. Artists such as Placebo, Catfish And The Bottlemen and more are promoting these sites to prompt people away from sites such as Getmein, in order for their fans to see them perform live, without having to pay a ridiculous price. For me, this is the easiest option for all reselling websites. They simply have to make it so you cannot extend the price above to face value of the ticket. Wouldn’t that make the world a better place?
Having names on tickets has mixed reviews. I feel that this system works to an extent. Yes it allows people to go to the venue who have genuinely purchased these tickets, yet also if you a bought the ticket for the show by a friend, you won’t be able to enter the venue as it is in your friend’s name and not yours, unless your friend also has a ticket.
FanFair Alliance is an organisation which was set up earlier in 2016 in order to combat touting. The organisation was set up in order to bring a change to the touting markets. The company offers advise for bands, artists, managers, the consumers, and offer a guide on how to get refunded by secondary ticketing sites. FanFair Alliance are also pushing the government to make a quick and swift move against the touting issue in order for fairer and better ticket reselling measures. You can check out their website here: fanfairalliance.org
It’s fair to say that there are movements and a lot of efforts being put into this issue which is effecting the music industry drastically. Only time will tell if we get a definitive answer to this problem. But in the meantime, please do not use any other ticketing resale site other than Twickets. Its fast, safe and reliable and it is my go to place for purchasing second hand tickets because it is fair.
Words by Piran Aston