Monday, 9 April 2012
Touts are pricing ordinary people out of live entertainment
When one thinks of tickets touts, the first image that usually comes to mind is of a wideboy or “spiv” hanging around outside a concert venue whispering in your ear. Visit any gig or football stadium today and you can still find such people, often visibly wine-soaked and almost always looking like the last person one would wish to buy anything from.
If you are a regular concert goer, the chances are you will have bought a ticket from a tout at some point. Some estimates suggest as many as 40 per cent of tickets are now being sold on the secondary market. Today, however, you will probably have bought the ticket online, rather than from a dishevelled chap in a grubby back alley.
While online touts undoubtedly provide more security for the buyer than the unregulated street sellers of old, they have also opened up professional touting to anyone with an internet connection and a bit of spare cash. Those who have sat furiously refreshing their internet browser at nine o’clock on a Friday morning – only to find that tickets have “sold out” by 9.01 – will know exactly what I am talking about. The anger tends to reach boiling point when half an hour later the same tickets appear on eBay at many times their face value. A quick look on Seatwave is all it takes to see the problem. Tickets for the upcoming shows at The O2 by boyband One Direction are currently listed for sale for hundreds of pounds. If you want one of the best seats, however, you could pay £1098 – 27 times the face value of the tickets. For those who cannot afford such prices, live music is increasingly something they see only on television.
Continue reading at The Independent.