From online scammers sneakily reselling tickets at three times the price on second-hand sites to haggard blokes trailing queues for hours sniffing out desperate fans, we all know ticket touts are out there. They’re the music industry “bad guys”, but will we ever truly be able to wash our hands of those pesky ticket touts?
People are trying! First, we had the introduction of “official” second-hand sites, GetMeIn (a Ticketmaster partner) and StubHub (O2’s official buying-and-selling site) probably being the best examples. By going through well-known, reputable sites, we feel more confident that the tickets we’re buying are actually going to come through, instead of some venue details scrawled on a piece of toilet paper. But even though these sites seem more trustworthy, can we still say we’re completely sure the other person is being honest? There’s no price cap either, so these sites still see second-hand ticket prices soar way above face value (because is any band really worth that much?!)
Ticket websites have also tried to make the whole process a little fairer by introducing ‘queuing’ systems when big names go on sale. We’ve all been there- refreshing the page every five seconds before 9AM hits, having a mini heart attack when the server almost crashes, and crossing your fingers while you select your tickets to feel either magnificent triumph or devastating failure at the end. But now, to add even more tension to the whole thing, websites have implemented virtual ‘waiting rooms’ or ‘queues’ (often before tickets actually go on sale, which means people who have been awake since the crack of dawn have the upper hand). You have no idea when it’ll be your turn and, all the while, you’re getting a panic sweat on just KNOWING people are snapping up all the tickets while you’re stuck in some non-existent waiting room with your fate left in the hands of a computer system. Sure, ticket sites had to do something, but we’re not sure this stressful alternative is the answer.
Most recently, bands themselves have got involved. After having a bunch of tickets to their intimate London show snatched by ticket touts earlier in October, You Me At Six began speaking out about the issue. In an attempt to get more fans into the show, frontman Josh Franceschi went into Covent Garden and sold the last handful tickets to fans himself. Since then he has met with MP Nigel Adams to campaign against the issue and has opened an online petition to protect fans and prevent ticket touts. It’s all small steps, but seeing a band stick up for their fans makes us think that change really could be on the horizon.
Friends, the time for change has come. I urge you all to sign this petition so we can make a positive change for YOU https://t.co/9FBl1L9W9N
— Josh Franceschi (@joshmeatsix) October 20, 2016
Sometimes, in a fans’ darkest moments, second-hand tickets might seem like the only hope to get into that must-see show, but ticket touts are a lot like payday loans; overpriced, unreliable and not always quite what they seem. And, most of the time, they’ve got their own best interests at heart, not yours.