Ticketmaster has come under scrutiny after its temporary block on touts for the One Love Manchester suggested it has the ability to deter scalpers at will.
Critics claim the company’s proclamation of a “zero tolerance on touts” policy for the one-off charity gig, contradicts its previous claims that such a move was impossible.
Ariana Grande returned to Manchester two weeks after a suicide bombing killed 22 of her fans and injured dozens of others. She paid tribute to those affected with an all-star concert featuring Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Take That, Miley Cyrus and Liam Gallagher.
According to the Associated Press news agency, the pop-star and the British Red Cross raised more than £10m (€11.5m/$13m) for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, created for those affected by the attack at Grande’s May 22 show.
The ticketing giant banned the resale of the £40 tickets from its secondary sites GetMeIn! and Seatwave, while also vowing to cancel any tickets being sold elsewhere for profit.
While critics revered the initial act, they also highlighted Ticketmaster’s on-going denial that it does not have the power to stop scammers. They are calling for the company to implement these tactics at every other sold-out gig.
According to the Daily Record website, industry investigator Reg Walker, of the Iridium Consultancy, said: “Ticketmaster deserve credit for doing the right thing and acting decisively on this occasion. They have effectively eradicated ticket touting within 24 hours, which is something they have claimed is impossible in the past.
“We [had] one of the greatest line-ups of stars in decades appearing for the lowest face-value tickets, a tout’s dream.
“But this is one gig where the fans are, for a change, being given proper protection.
“It does raise the question as to why they would not adopt measures like this on a regular basis, wherever fans are being ripped off.”
Prior to the concert, Ticketmaster said that more than 10,000 false claims were made from people attempting to access free tickets to the concert.
Free tickets were offered to all 14,200 people who attended the Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
However, Ticketmaster said 25,000 applications were made, with “opportunists or touts” trying to take advantage of its offer.
Ticketmaster said: “Sadly, over 10,000 unscrupulous applications have been made.
“At Ticketmaster we are doing everything we can – including extending today’s deadline – to ensure that tickets go to the actual fans and not the opportunists or touts who have also been applying for free tickets.”
A Ticketmaster spokesperson said: “We do not list charity events on our resale marketplaces.”
Image: Viih Arianator