It has been a long time now that artists have expressed their dismay at the illegal practices of ticket touts. In a new campaign against the practice, artists including Arctic Monkeys, Iron Maiden, Ed Sheeran, Noel Gallagher, and Little Mix have launched a new campaign.
Called the FanFair Alliance, the collective is calling on government to take action and impose tougher consequences against websites that buy and resell concert tickets.
With the launch of the new campaign, Ian McAndrew, the manager of Arctic Monkeys’ has accused these sites of “rampant profiteering”. He explained that the goal of the sites was to “make it easier for fans to buy tickets” at face value.
“Fans’ anger, their discontent, is what prompted me to do something about this,” he told the BBC. Adding: “I hope the efforts of this campaign will put pressure on the government to do something.”
Concertgoers and fans have been urged to show their support by registering for the initiative.
A petition has already been set up by FanFare Alliance in May and to date has already attracted over 44,000 signatures.
The reselling of tickets for concerts in the UK is estimated to be worth approximately £1bn a year. The music industry’s main concern is that fans are being excluded from concerts by “professional” resellers, who move in to by tickets as soon as they go on sale, and then inflate ticket prices for the general public.
Earlier this year, tickets to see acts like Radiohead and Adele were advertised at up to 100 times their face value.
Case in point, tickets for Justin Bieber’s Purpose tour in November are being advertised at a massive £1,200. These same tickets had a face value of £74.50.
Harry Magee who manages One Direction and Little Mix told BBC News: “Parents write letters and fans write letters because they feel they’ve been ripped off,” he said. “When it falls at the artist’s door, you have to do something about it because it damages their career.”
The four main secondary ticketing websites – Seatwave, Viagogo, Stubhub and Getmein – have responded by saying that these high prices are rarely achieved.
Stubhub has stated in the past that 10% of their stock is sold for less than face value; and Viagogo told the BBC, “while a seller can list a ticket at any price he likes, it doesn’t mean the ticket will actually sell at that price.”
As a footnote to this story, the sites are denying it pointing out that the majority of their sellers are in fact fans, not ticket touts.