Is ticket tout culture fair on fans?

Charlotte Airey discusses the negative impact of ticket tout culture on the music scene, which is when people buy tickets just to sell them on for a higher price.

Charlotte Airey
15th March 2021
Image credit: @Mack Male, Flickr
Festivals over the past couple of weeks have sold out, with tickets being resold on ticket sites for upwards £500 for Reading/Leeds, £700 for Creamfields and one for £2.5K on Viagogo for BoomTown!

If you are interested in live music or performances, chances are you will have had a bad or irritating experience with ticket touts and the culture that surrounds it. Nothing is more exasperating than being there at 9 am waiting on Ticketmaster for the tickets to drop, and they are completely sold out because ticket touts are sat there with bots and credit cards, buying multiple tickets and then you find online they are being sold for hundreds of pounds more.

Some websites are obviously legit, and I have sold a few tickets in the past through Twickets, which is a platform that means you can only buy the ticket for face value or less, so that is great. The rest of the platforms are the issue; websites such as Viagogo and Stubhub let ticket touts thrive in making serious profits at the expense of someone else’s experience.

I don’t think what ticket touts do is fair, as not only is it unjust in the sense that fans can’t buy tickets that they genuinely want, but it also means that fans that don’t have the large amounts of money can’t purchase them, allowing for fans of lower economic standing to not attend events. This makes music political when it should be for all to enjoy. The culture of ticket touting is therefore inherently unfair and moreover brings inequality into the music scene.

The culture of ticket touting is inherently unfair and moreover brings inequality into the music scene.

Because of the expense of the tickets that are being re-sold, there are sometimes a lot of empty seats at larger concerts, because of the expense of the tickets, which not only is irritating when people would have enjoyed attending but ruins the atmosphere. If you are attending an event, concert or gig, one of the best elements is everyone being there enjoying the experience together, and if a ticket tout has bought many tickets and not sold them then that is taken away.

This also has a negative impact on fans as it could mean that they may not want to see the artist again because of that experience, and it also discourages people in attempting to get tickets for popular events. All in all, I really hate Ticket Tout culture, as it adds a side to the music scene which is one of a selfish nature, and takes the enjoyment away from deserving fans. If you’re a ticket tout, get a real job.

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AUTHOR: Charlotte Airey
Politics Student @ NCL Uni

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