So, your favourite band or artist announces a huge show or tour…
You check when the tickets go on sale, you set your reminders in your phone, put the times and dates in your calendar and you’re set to go!… Right?
Almost… If you’re one of the lucky few that is!
The fact is, that you’re not just up against 1000’s of other fans fighting for the same limited amount of tickets, you’re also up against software, known as Bots, that are specifically designed to beat the online queues and snap up the tickets before real fans even get a look in. Fans that have bought all the albums, stood in line at signings in the rain all just to be beaten by a click of the button by ‘online bots’.
This description below is taken directly from a website advertising this specific Bot software key features. We’re not linking to the site as we feel that these services are fundamentally wrong and costing fans millions of pounds above the face value of tickets. This particular bot is designed to target the Ticketmaster website and costs $1800.
“The software allows you to reserve multiple tickets, you can do multiple searches simultaneously on one event or multiple events with just a click of a mouse. You can use it for drop checks as well as set them for pre-sales and on sale events. It also has an option to allow you to set the bot to start at a specific time, while you are not there and the software will start at a time and grab the tickets and notify you, if the tickets match your criteria. The bot can be customized to meet your exact needs as well.
In short, the bot grabs hundreds of tickets for multiple event simultaneously and let you choose cream tickets from them to buy with just a single click.”
I know right! What a fucking joke! This is just one way fans are losing out. Infuriating!!
One the key questions we’d like to know at Flick of the Finger Magazine is – ‘What are the online ticketing companies like Ticketmaster doing to stop this??’ Actually, speaking of Ticketmaster that leads me nicely on to the next point.
So, you’re in the online queue, let’s for arguments sake say Ticketmaster, about to purchase tickets again for argument sake say for Ed Sheeran, at Manchester Arena, the 2nd largest indoor arena in Europe, boasting a 21,000 capacity.
The tickets go on sale and within seconds 21,000 tickets sell out. Why is this?
Well firstly as discussed, the Bots and software, good luck beating them! Secondly, you’re against actual real people who are all after the same limited amount of tickets as yourself, but we have to ask ourselves, “out of the 21,000 that sell out in seconds, how many go to real fans and how many actually go to touts with bots?”
The reason we have to ask this question is that immediately after selling out, Ticketmaster will redirect you to their sister site Get Me In where tickets immediately become available again at hiked prices.
A good example of this was when Stone Roses tickets went on sale for two concerts at London’s O2 arena in 2012 and sold out in 20 minutes. Seats were then offered at hiked up prices began appearing on second-hand ticket sites such as viagogo, Seatwave and Get Me In! moments later, as buyers sought to make a profit from desperate fans.
The online ticketing company was contacted by the MailOnline, and said ‘although they made a profit from the sales on Get Me In! it is the sellers, not the company, who set the sometimes-ludicrous prices When a seller sets a price, like £15,000, that is just a listing and there is no guarantee that the ticket will sell at that price’
Obviously not, but ticket master could (if they really wanted to) put a cap on resale prices. But why would they when they take a cut of the sale…??
So, the real question is, Does Ticketmaster make more money from their re-sale commission on their sister sites than they do at face value on their main site?? If I was a betting man, I know where my money would be!!
It’s wrong, it’s frustrating and real fans are either missing out or paying well over the odds for tickets that have a face value of anywhere from £21 to £75.
What’s the answer? well we could boycott such sites? Let’s be honest, that’s not going happen… understandably fans want to go to gigs.
We could start a petition? Well, that was done last year and received over 46,000 online signatures, then was closed early due to a General Election – fucking convenient don’t you think? You can read the report here which was concluded by Professor Waterson.
Gig promoters taking back control of tickets could work? Easier said than done given the convenience of modern day ticketing tools – but then we’re just back at square one.
The only way this can be fixed or made fairer on fans is by throwing it back in to the hands of the government who let’s be honest, have done fuck all to help fans so far… bottom line is – who knows where this will end. But you can guarantee we’ll be paying more than we should for tickets for the foreseeable…