Industry News

Ticketmaster slated for redirecting fans to resale

Ticketmaster has been criticised for redirecting Rolling Stones fans to its resale platforms when face-value primary tickets were still available.

According to the Daily Record, the ticketing giant paid for Google advertising fees to see its GetMeIn! secondary platform at the top of web searches, despite its large primary allocation not having sold out yet.

The newspaper found that fans are being asked to pay £259 on Get Me In! for a standing brief at the Stones’ Murrayfield gig in Scotland on June 9 – a 156 per cent mark-up – when an identical ticket can still be bought for £101 on Ticketmaster and rival primary site AXS.

Seatwave, which is also owned by Ticketmaster, also had more than 100 tickets, with standing briefs selling for £486 – a mark-up of 480 per cent.

Which? recently found that 49 per cent of people who bought tickets on sites like these thought the website was the official ticket seller.

MP Pete Wishart aims to raise a debate in Parliament where the Record’s latest findings would be discussed.

He said: “Music fans should be absolutely appalled at the latest evidence about the racket that exists to rip them off and make a profit for ticketing agencies.

“This broken, discredited ticketing infrastructure is beyond repair and should no longer be accepted. What we have are primary ticketing agencies owning secondary subsidiaries, allowing touts to sell tickets at inflated prices in which the primary ticketing agency secures a secondary cut.

“I saw screen grabs of Runrig tickets available on a subsidiary secondary site 12 minutes after they went on sale by one of the official ticket agents. Now Rolling Stones fans are being exposed to this same racket.

“Tout sites will be securing a cool £1m of fans’ money selling Rolling Stones tickets at inflated prices.

“The unsavoury, exploitative relationship between primary sites, tout hosting subsidiaries and Google must be properly explored and tackled. I am now seeking a debate in Parliament to shine some light on all of this.

“The whole ticketing market for rock concerts is broken beyond repair and causing immense damage to one of our biggest export industries. The Government have been reluctant to legislate on behalf of fans and artists but they cannot continue to ignore the damage being done by this dysfunctional and broken infrastructure.”

Image: Martin Fisch