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Social Media Assessment: Ticket Touting

Social Media Assessment:

In July of this year, I experienced a ticket tout first-hand. My other-half and I lost £400 when all we had honestly hoped for were two tickets to the T In The Park weekender. However, the con artist ran off at the first hint of us being even slightly suspcious. I know, I know… what a stupid thing for us to have done, but… we were desperate to go and I suppose that is just one of the extremes that you will go to when you can’t buy a ticket online from a legit outlet. Plus, in our defence, he was the perfect liar and we fully believed him, until he started to run obviously, but on the upside, we did manage to find him by searching Facebook using a few key clues and that in turn led the police straight to him. In all seriousness though, if you have ever thought about buying a ticket to an event from a stranger, please don’t; if you have worries in your head of it going wrong, it probably will and you are most likely completely right to feel how you do.

My point is that every music fan has experienced that of the ticket tour; whether it be because you were unable to buy a ticket as they sold out so quickly and then were put up for auction on eBay before there was any possible way of the ticket being in the buyers hands, or even outside a gig where a handful of (more often than not) men can be found shouting loud and repetitious lines in hope that you will buy from them.

Even with the Government and other such ruling bodies declaring their war on ticket touting, we have yet to see any full-proof move in stopping them from exploiting true fans in order to make and build what they call ‘a business’. To this date, what has been done…?
In 2006, the founder of Match.com and Ticketmaster created a website called Seatwave, where it was reported that sport, music and theatre fans could sell on their tickets to other fans when they were unable to attend for whatever reason. What fans were led to believe is that all tickets would be sold on, and again bought, for face value, but this is infact not entirely true. While it is upto the sellers to decide how much they would like to sell their tickets for, Seatwave allows them to sell off their tickets for as much under or over face value as they wish; buyers are given no promise that what they are buying is real or official and are therefore left until they are at the gates or doors of the event to find out if what they have bought is legitimate. I will give it to Seatwave though, in that no money ‘crossed hands’ until the buyer of the ticket has successfully gotten into the show, but surely this still goes against all the rules of ticket touting.

Also, last year, T In The Park introduced a system in which they thought would stop touters from buying numerous tickets and selling them on, but it didn’t work, and aswell as reading opinions on forums and such, I also know this from my own personal experience. The system was that each ticket would be printed with the name and address of the buyer, therefore hopefully stopping the illegal selling-on at ridiculous prices, but it turned out that – if the tickets were sold on – that all the buyer needed to show at the gates or doors of the event, were two utility bills from the address to which the ticket was registered.

So there is your answer: nothing. We are yet to hear of or see any plans that could stop this ongoing problem – not even a little. I find this especially frustrating when those who only want to see their favourite band or what-not are done over and lose money aswell as not actually being able to attend what they had purchased the ticket for in the first place. What happened with the guy who messed us about? I really don’t know. Do you see what I mean? I wouldn’t be surprised if he got away with a slap on the wrist, while we – the victims of crime and fraud – are left £400 short. It is ridiculous.

I sometimes let me mind go into overdrive and think about ways in which we can stop ticket touting, but the truth is, I don’t think we ever will. If something is implemented that works, I think the argument might then turn from touters selling for over-the-top prices to those who need or want to sell their ticket legitimately quite frankly not being able to; either way, it’s the fan who loses out. Maybe one day there will be a system that works and elimates the over-pricing middle-men.

Useful wesbites:
T In The Park
Anti-Ticket Touting
Ticket Resale Wiki

Useful video:
Harvey Goldsmith talks

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