Rock n’ rip off

You love music, right? You’re reading the music section of the paper, so chances are you love going to music events as well. What you probably don’t love, however, is seeing tickets for your favourite bands and live music acts sell out in a matter of minutes, especially when you see them up on sites for three times the price just after you missed out.

Ticket touting has become a massive problem in the business of music and live events and tickets for artists such as Drake, Ed Sheeran and Adele can often go for over £200. Most recently, tickets to Liam Gallagher’s long awaited tour are being resold on StubHub for up to £1000, not really what the average student can afford…

Live music is the perfect way to get up close and personal to your favourite artists, whether at festivals or on tour, but it becomes increasingly difficult to access when ticket tours take over the market.

So what is being done about it? Last year, some of the music industry’s biggest names, including Florence and the Machine, Little Mix and Mumford and Sons, called for ticket touting to be made a criminal offence for all concerts, plays and sporting events in the UK.

As well as this, good old Ed Sheeran, in an attempt to limit the amount of fans being taken advantage of by touts, cancelled 10,000 tickets that were being sold online for 2018 shows for ridiculous prices, and put them back on general sale. Sheeran also backs a reselling site – Twickets – marketed as a “fan-to-fan ticket resale” that is opposing profiteering resale websites. Artists clearly have a sense of frustration when it means loads of their genuine fans miss out to bots.

A recent survey released by anti-tout campaign group FanFair Alliance reported that 2⁄3 of respondents who had at some point paid more than face value for a ticket through resale were less likely to attend a gig in the future. Adam Webb, a FanFair Alliance campaigner concluded that ticket touting is doing “considerable long-term damage” to the music industry and could cost it £4.5 billion.

Is it fair that we are able to put such a hefty price on music? Live music is fantastic and should be celebrated, whether you’re at a tiny venue with a capacity of 200 or the O2, it’s always a night to remember and you shouldn’t have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for the privilege. Although touts are hard to stop, it’s something that’s being massively cracked down on and hopefully will become harder to take advantage of in the future, as pressure from artists and public alike will result in stricter regulations and make it fairer for everybody. Remember, no artist is worth paying £200+ for. Think of how many smaller music gigs you could go to for that!


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September 2021
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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