Ticket Touting: The Battle Enters A New Phase
Ireland’s ticket touting crisis has escalated into open battle, with all of the major promoters and Ticketmaster taking a firmer line than ever before on the practice.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 26 Jan 2007
The latest wave of controversy was sparked when Arcade Fire’s Olympia Theatre shows sold-out within 10 minutes of going on sale on Friday January 12. Initial disappointment turned to anger when fans discovered eBay immediately advertising tickets for as much as €250 each. 48 hours later, that figure had risen to an even more staggering €350.
“I knew with Arcade Fire being so popular that the chances of buying tickets online from Ticketmaster was slim, but having tried and failed at 9am to get a pair, it was really annoying to see them for sale on eBay at 9.10am for five times the face value,” complains hotpress reader Gemma Malone from Dundalk.
In retaliation, following a series of calls from hotpress, Ticketmaster – in what marks a new phase in the anti-touting battle – have now rescinded three tickets that were being offered for sale on eBay, and which were traced to an identifiable individual.
While most of the eBay vendors appear to be private individuals, a company called needaticket.net and quoting an address in Dublin’s Westland Row are offering €45.20 Arcade Fire standing tickets for €180. They’re also selling €24.50 tickets for Cansei Der Ser Sexy’s upcoming Ambassador Theatre show for €60 – even though it’s not sold-out.
“These are nothing more than on-line touts,” Ticketmaster Ireland spokesman Tony O’Brien tells hotpress. “If you look at the site you’ll see they invite people to sell them tickets, which they in turn will re-sell at exorbitant prices. The people who buy tickets and then sell them to touts like these are not real fans. They’re doing the ordinary fan out of a chance of buying tickets.”
Informed sources within the industry claim that it was possible to buy up to 50 Arcade Fire tickets, in one transaction, from the Ticketmaster Ireland website, but this is strenuously denied by Tony O’Brien.
“There was a limit of 10 tickets per person,” he insists. “Only four people purchased 10 tickets. The average purchase was between four and six tickets. We crosscheck addresses where we’re suspicious of purchases.
“Anything that goes on to the secondary markets, we’ll try to block those tickets,” he adds – a threat that was subsequently turned into reality with the cancellation of certain tickets that were being sold on eBay.
“We always advise people to only buy from legitimate outlets,” O’Brien says. “For instance, if you look up eBay, there are tickets on sale there for shows that don’t even exist.”