Artist Managers Put Gig Tickets Straight On Rip-Off Resale Sites, BBC Finds

By Holly Brockwell on at

An investigation by the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show has found that - as you might have guessed if you've bought gig tickets recently - some artist management companies whack them straight onto high-priced resale sites like GetMeIn and Seatwave at vastly inflated prices.

The system is supposed to work like this: the promoter decides a price (the face value printed on the ticket), they release the tickets to whichever distributor(s) they've chosen (Ticketmaster, GigsAndTours and the like), you buy them at a reasonable cost, go along to the gig and have a rockin' time. Since some people can't make gigs through no fault of their own, it makes sense to have a resale option, which is where sites like Seatwave come in. They're supposed to be like eBay for tickets: people who can't go list their spare tickets on the site, people who didn't get tickets in the main sale buy them, the venue is full on the night and... everyone has a rockin' time.

As we all know, it hasn't worked like this for some time. What tends to actually happen is that a load of ticket touts who never intended to go to the gig jump on the main sale, buy up all the seats and place them immediately on reseller sites at a huge profit, to take advantage of dedicated fans who don't have a broadband connection faster than Usain Bolt on rollerskates. While we've all been complaining about this for some time, it's incredibly galling to hear from the BBC's investigation (and it's well worth reading the whole thing) that some artist management firms are acting like touts themselves, putting the tickets on resale at inflated costs before anyone's had a chance to buy them at a more reasonable price.

Using the example of a Robbie Williams Gig, Victoria Derbyshire found that some 'resale' tickets sold by Williams' management were £65 more expensive than similar seats in the next row at the same gig, with the money going directly to the management company. Ironically, the same company signed a petition complaining about "industrial-scale abuse" of event ticketing systems in 2015, asking the government to step in and stop resale sites from ripping off fans. Until someone steps in to fix the fustercluck that is ticket buying, though, all we can suggest is boycotting Robbie Williams gigs. Oh, you were anyway? Good for you. [BBC]

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