Industry News

Iron Maiden paperless strategy slashes scalping by 95%

Iron Maiden’s tough stand against touts helped reduce the number of tickets for their 2017 tour appearing on secondary sites by more than 95 per cent.

After problems with scalping during their 2010 tour, the band introduced a paperless ticketing policy for their Book Of Souls UK arena schedule. Iron Maiden and ticket vendor Ticketmaster ruled that all available tickets would carry the name of the purchaser and would also require the purchaser’s credit card and ID on entry, among other measures.

Having seen more than 6,000 tickets appear on resale sites within 24 hours seven years ago, Iron Maiden said the figure for Book Of Souls was just 207 out of more than 100,000 sold. All the tickets offered for resale were on Viagogo.

“We are delighted that the paperless ticketing system and other measures we instigated here in the UK have proved a massive deterrent to touts and counterfeiters,” said Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood. “We want to thank our fans for their enduring support and patience.

“We appreciate that our stringent policy has meant fans having to jump over one more hurdle in the ticket-buying process, but the results speak for themselves, and I think everyone can agree this was well worth it.

“On the first day of public sale, we sold over 100,000 tickets nationwide direct to genuine fans through the proper legitimate channels. This is an incredible achievement, and a victory for concertgoers – not least as this is a full 12-date UK tour we’re undertaking, not just a couple of dates in the bigger cities.”

The stand taken by Iron Maiden was hailed by anti-scalping campaigner and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music, MP Nigel Evans.

He said: “Iron Maiden and their management should be commended for their innovative approach to tackling touts. For too long, genuine fans have been fleeced by professional, well organised and greedy large scale touts who use secondary ticketing sites to profiteer.

“With both industry and government beginning to take action against the touts, I am hopeful we will see a fairer ticketing industry sooner rather than later.”

Iron Maiden will play in Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham, Cardiff, Aberdeen, Glasgow and London this spring. They will also play in North America and a number of European countries.

Andrew Parsons, managing director, Ticketmaster UK, said: “Iron Maiden has been clear from the beginning: eliminate resale and get tickets directly into the hands of fans. We’re proud that our Paperless ticketing technology has been able to achieve this for the band, their team and the fans.”