Industry News

Hamilton celebrates success against touts

Organisers of hip-hop musical Hamilton in London’s West End have praised its ticketing system as “catching absolutely everyone,” with regards to touts.

The musical, which officially opens tonight (Thursday), is using a ticketless system for the first time in the West End. This means that fans entering the theatre will need to present an ID and the bankcard used to make the purchase.

According to the Times newspaper, Nick Allott, the managing director of Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, said that the security procedures employed during previews of Hamilton in London had caught touts and those purchasing tickets from resale sites.

Allot said that although there was one website still offering tickets at inflated prices, it was “flying a kite”.

Allot also noted that “once you are in the theatre you are not allowed to leave it with the tickets in your hand.”

This move is an effort to prevent scalpers from collecting tickets from the box office and passing them on. However, some fans have complained that the system makes it challenging to give tickets as gifts and requires the audience to arrive much earlier.

Despite this, Allott said that during the preview run “the queues had moved incredibly quickly and everybody has been incredibly complimentary about how smooth and effective it is. So far we are catching absolutely everyone.”

In the US, where Hamilton was created and first shown on Broadway, tickets have been resold for more than $3,000 (€2,528/£2,245).

According to the Times, Allott said that he thought the system could be a model for the future, adding that he was “thrilled” the government was “working with us” to crack down on secondary ticketing websites.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Hamilton fans in the UK that bought tickets on resale websites for up to £6,000 ($8,033/€6,807) could face being turned away from the Victoria Palace theatre. Many tickets had been offered at inflated prices via Viagogo, but organisers said they are now invalid because of the way they are advertised.

Organisers defended its paperless ticketing scheme, claiming it has “exceeded expectations” in combating touts. Ticketmaster claimed it has “all but eliminated” touts for the Hamilton show, with producers claiming to have encountered no “third party or touting issues” at the London run to date.