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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Why the "true fans" might not want to know the truth about ticket touting

Watched the Dispatches programme about the "secondary market" for tickets, which uncovered pretty clear evidence that promoters were supplying some tickets to the big on-line companies who were then selling them on as if they came from private individuals.

The thing I really found surprising was that on the two occasions when "the act" was mentioned, it was taken for granted that they couldn't possibly know anything about this business and if they did they would be horrified.

The big acts - and it's the big acts that see their tickets being sold on for a 200% premium - are quite practised at turning a blind eye to things which benefit them. If only their fans were a bit less naive.

Let's assume I'm the manager of a hot group. As I look out into the arena I can assume that half a million pounds has been spent on tickets. The problem is that my act has only got £300,000 of that. I'd be failing in my duty as a manager if I didn't want my clients to get a share of that missing £200,000.

Ticket prices have increased beyond all reason in the last ten years. This is not solely because of touting and re-selling. It's because people have been ready to pay increasing amounts and the acts have increased their prices to take advantage of that.  The problem they've got now is that they can't be seen to ask the prices they know that people will pay.

I don't actually know of a case of an act scalping their own tickets. However I would be absolutely amazed if it doesn't go on. Some exposé will eventually make that connection, although the concert business is so opaque it's unlikely they'll ever be able to prove it. The real problem is the public won't want to believe it.