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The great rock ‘n’ roll swindle
Ticketmaster has made significant progress in the fight against the touts, but full colour photo ID might just be the next step.
Kevin Sheeky, 16 Jul 2007
It has been just over five months since the start of our Out-A-Tout campaign and although we’re a long way from getting rid of touts completely, things have definitely been moving in the right direction.
At the forefront of the battle against the touts is Ticketmaster. Spokesperson Tony O’Brien had some very positive news regarding the fight: “Since the start of the campaign we’ve cancelled over 2,000 tickets that have been resold above their cost price. We don’t want to get into specifics about how we do it as that would give the touts an advantage over us, but we’re definitely making strides against them.”
While this is great news, it doesn’t mean the touts have been stopped completely. Since we started our campaign we’ve been contacted by dozens of music fans who told us about their tout horror stories. One story in particular caught our attention. Last year, dedicated Morrissey fan and Waterford native Roger Cahill tried to buy tickets to the former Smiths frontman’s shows in Dublin, but the touts got there ahead of him. He told Hot Press about his experience:
“I went onto Ticketmaster 10 minutes after the tickets went on sale. He was playing smaller venues so I presumed they’d sell out quickly. The two Dublin shows were sold out so I went onto eBay straight away knowing that more than likely a lot of the tickets would end up going on there. I was shocked. The majority of tickets would have been for sale in the UK.
“These tickets cost about €50 a go but they were being sold for three times that. I got in touch with Ticketmaster and made the point that the fundamental reason why a band comes to a country is so the people in that country can see the band.” Ticketmaster eventually sourced tickets for Roger and he said he enjoyed the gigs immensely.
His observation of an Irish market being flooded with tickets from British touts is a good one. Hot Press conducted a number of searches on eBay.ie during the past few weeks to see how many tickets to sold-out Irish gigs were being offered by British-based sellers. Not only were numerous Irish gigs being touted, but most were being listed at prices in Sterling instead of Euro with postage to Ireland being significantly more expensive than postage within the UK.