Will Radiohead’s ethical ticketing change the resale record?
Radiohead tickets went on sale to the general public this morning. The band has pulled out all the stops to prevent their tickets from being resold at inflated prices. It’s music to our ears, but is it the right solution?
Radiohead’s latest UK tour is its first in four years, and the band is determined to ensure that fans are able to buy tickets at face value.
Pre-sale tickets were available on Wednesday exclusively to Radiohead’s fan club members. These tickets were limited to two per transaction with both attendees’ names being required when booking. Fans will need ID in order to enter the venue – if your name isn’t on the ticket, you won’t be allowed in.
No named ticket, no entry
Sounds hugely restrictive doesn’t it? Yet there’s a silver lining – fan club tickets can be resold through The Ticket Trust. This website only allows tickets to be resold at face value. So if you can’t attend the gig you can still get your money back – you just can’t make a profit.
Seems like a pretty good solution? And it answers the concerns we’ve raised about reselling tickets before on Which? Conversation. So why aren’t more tickets being sold in this way?
Viagogo and Get Me In! ticket resales
If tickets to see your favourite band are sold out, it may be possible to find second-hand tickets listed on ‘secondary’ ticket sites such as Viagogo and Get Me In!.
It’s generally assumed that most tickets listed on ‘secondary’ sites are sold by other fans. Prices are set by the seller and are often priced above the face value of the ticket.
However, Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary made some damning revelations. The documentary revealed that some promoters are apparently allocating a portion of tickets to be sold directly through secondary ticket sites and pocketing up to 90% of the profits.
Dispatches also filmed staff members at secondary sites, such as Viagogo, apparently buying large numbers of tickets from ‘primary ticket agents’ with multiple credit cards and then reselling them through for large profits.
Should the government intervene in ticket resales?
The Concert Promoters Association (CPA) responded to the documentary claiming that its members are forced to use secondary sites because the government has failed to outlaw ticket reselling. With promoters selling genuine tickets on these sites, the CPA argues, prices are brought down and touts are combated.
So what’s the solution to this ticketing fiasco? For many, big gig tickets go on sale at 9am and demand is high. It’s hard enough to get tickets when you’re up against professional touts, but now there are even less tickets available in that 9am rush.
If parts of the industry say they won’t change unless the government intervenes, then might this be the only way forward? MP Sharon Hodgson is campaigning to prevent tickets being resold for a profit greater than 10% of face value. Do you think this would be a good solution? How do you think the sale of tickets could be made fairer for music fans?
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