Last week’s Channel 4 Dispatches documentary on secondary ticketing websites has caused an almighty rumpus among music fans and industry folk alike.
Here are three more reactions, from ticketing site WeGotTickets, the Association of Independent Festivals, and ethical tickets reseller Scarlet Mist.
WeGotTickets: Director Dave Newton
“Channel 4 Dispatches tonight was interesting viewing and I’m encouraged by it showing despite Viagogo’s attempt to put an
injunction it and Seatwave’s pre-emptive disclaimer.
More than purely interesting though, it highlighted how certain parts of the live industry have been complicit in these “legitimised” touting practices – agents, promoters and, in many cases, artists themselves.
We need to be careful however not to confuse online and secondary ticketing sectors thereby tarring the legitimate electronic ticket vendor with the same brush. The water is muddied by companies like Ticketmaster who, as a primary seller, are happy to dance with the secondary ticketing devil with their ‘Get Me In’ outlet.
Also the Concert Promoters Association set up (the quickly defunct) OfficialBoxOffice.com a few years back which was powered by See Tickets. This was their “can’t beat them then join them” reaction to Viagogo and Seatwave launching in the UK and taking the touting business that they were previously in control of.
This is really just a continuation of the promoters-of-old who themselves used to take physical tickets out of the back door of the Box Office and put them in the hands of street touts for cash at a mark-up over face-value.
At the end of the day we encourage customers to investigate where they’re buying their tickets from, if the company is opaque with their processes and don’t account for their fees or where the ticket comes from then questions should be asked.
WeGotTickets remains a primary ticketing company with all our tickets sold at face value and supplied directly to us by the event organiser.
Every penny of our fees are fully accounted for and our booking fee is also the lowest in the industry – this is a policy of transparency that we have campaigned for for years and will continue to adhere to”
AIF: Spokesperson’s statement
“Dispatches’ exposé on secondary ticketing sites has revealed that the majority of tickets on secondary ticketing sites are purchased and sold by touts and in-house buyers.
AIF launched the Ticket Trust in summer 2011 in partnership with Sandbag as a direct response to these immoral operations to sell our members tickets at a profit. The Ticket Trust is a genuine fan to fan ticket exchange, which offers a safe and secure platform for resale of unwanted tickets at face value.
In 2011, tickets were ethically exchanged for End of the Road, Bestival, Camp Bestival, Kendal Calling, Creamfields and Secret Garden Party last summer and watch this space as the world’s biggest and most conscious artists join the exchange and stand up for the very fans who keep them in business.”
Scarlet Mist: Founder Richard Marks
“What really sticks in our throat is the connivance of the promoters with the scalpers and touts. This is a rotten industry, and one which cries out to be regulated and throttled back. We urge Parliament to support Sharon Hodgson’s bill and to stop this cynical deception.”