FasterLouder story: ‘Ticket Scalping: The State Of The Union’, April 2012

My first feature for FasterLouder. This was perhaps the hardest story I’ve ever tackled, just in terms of a general unwillingness of promoters, artists and scalpers to go on record. It took a lot of emailing. Thankfully, Kimbra, Jimmy Barnes, Matthew Lazarus-Hall of Chugg Entertainment and Danny Rogers of Lunatic Entertainment/Laneway Festival all stepped up to the plate, whilst a Newcastle-based ticket reseller provided perhaps the most cogent rationale for scalping I could have possibly asked for. Excerpt below.

When Radiohead tickets went on sale on the morning of March 1, nobody expected them to last long. Even still, Ticketek and Ticketmaster exhausting their respective allocations in just under half-an-hour caused astonishment within the local music industry. What turned out to be more astonishing still, was how quickly those same tickets started appearing on eBay at greatly inflated prices: the dreaded scalpers had struck again, in some cases charging $1,299.00 for two tickets – five times the original retail price.

Within minutes fans were voicing their grievances via social media, and the same day Chugg Entertainment, who are handling the November tour, released a statement on Facebook promising to cancel any tickets identified as having breached the conditions of sale.

The whole episode has once again shone a light on ticket scalping. What was once the domain of sidewalk desperados has been given a dose of sophistication for the digital era, skilled resellers targeting the online sale of concert tickets, snapping up as many tickets as they can before flipping them for higher prices via online auction sites such as eBay. There’s little doubt the practice is becoming more popular.

It can be a lucrative exercise for those who play their cards carefully, but is it morally wrong? And if so, how much damage does it do and what’s the best way to tackle the problem? Many a reseller will tell you that they’re simply facilitating a floating market price for concert tickets: if this is the case, should that perhaps be done from the outset?

Full the full story, visit FasterLouder. Image credit: get directly down.

 

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