Fanfair Alliance estimated that the UK secondary ticketing market is estimated to make £1bn each year. That’s profit that comes directly from the pockets of fans, and effects artists and the entire industry. This needs to stop.
As music industry professionals, we see many cases of fans overpaying for tickets that they could have had for much cheaper. This is hard-earned money that could have bought them some nice merchandise directly from the artist, or an extra drink to make their night even more memorable.
In the analogue era, artists toured to promote and sell records. Nowadays though, that world has been turned on its head. Artists increasingly use recorded music (streams, downloads and online video) to promote ticket sales to live shows — where they will then look to sell CDs, vinyl and merchandise. In short, the live sector is increasingly at the core of most artist businesses.
The secondary ticketing marketplace i.e. ticket touts, impacts negatively on the entire music sector. More than that, by bypassing the primary market, tickets sold on secondary re-sale platforms displace the vital connection between artists and their audience.
Much of the UK’s secondary ticketing market is music-related and the actual scale of touting across the Big Four secondary re-sale platforms — GET ME IN!, Seatwave, Stubub and Viagogo — is hard to estimate. At the most in-demand events, touts will use specialised technology (known as “bots”, but covering a range of bulk-buying methods) to block off genuine fans and scoop up inventory from primary ticketing agencies — before listing tickets on secondary sites at inflated prices.
So here’s what you can do to avoid yourself being ripped off and support your favourite artists and promoters:
Check the Poster. On every gig poster there are different ticketing outlets. If your preferred option says sold out try another one on there.
Can’t find the Poster? Buy directly from the venue or the artists website. These will be your safest options in making sure you are paying the face value of the ticket.
Sold Out? Desperate to go and see your favourite artist but the concert is sold out, here’s what you can do:
- Sometimes last minute production hold tickets become available, so ask to be put on the venues waiting list. It’s not ideal but sometimes it’s the best option.
- Twickets – This secondary ticketing site, restricts users to only selling their ticket at face value. We used this option for our 2016 Paolo Nutini concert and is the preferred option of most artists which includes Ed Sheeran for his UK stadium tour.