Industry News

Vibe Tickets takes aim at TM over McCartney ‘sell-out’

Vibe Tickets has described the primary sector as “the root of the problem” in the ticketing industry after the launch of sales for yet another major music tour was met with a public outcry over inflated resale prices.

TheTicketingBusiness reported earlier this week how fans had been left furious when tickets for Paul McCartney’s Freshen Up tour apparently sold out within minutes but were soon appearing on secondary sites. While much of their ire was directed at resellers such as eBay, Stubhub and Viagogo, ticketing site Vibe took to social media to slam vendor Ticketmaster and call for action on what it alleged to be market manipulation through the artificial limiting of ticket supply to increase demand.

“When will government and policymakers turn their attention to the primary market?” Vibe said in a tweet. “If we fix the problem at its root, we start to solve the issue and make the ticketing landscape fair for fans!”

Vibe expanded on its accusations in a 500-word blog entitled ‘Hello, Goodbye. McCartney ticketing madness’. In the article it alleges that Ticketmaster is not releasing all tickets available when sales begin, but continue to drip new tickets over the course of several days thus “creating scarcity… a scarcity that then means they can drive up the price of the ticket.”

It said Ticketmaster’s Official Platinum Seats airline-style system means “the price of a ticket can fluctuate based on market demand, and what’s the best way to make sure demand is sky-high? Well, by making sure tickets are scarce, of course!”

Vibe added: “You’d think that once we’re greeted with that ‘tickets unavailable’ message it must mean all of the tickets have been snapped up though, right? Not the case!

“On Tuesday, the cost of a ticket in Section 004 Row D was £530 yet on Wednesday, the cost of a ticket in Section 004 Row C is £650! 24 hours, same section, 1 row difference, and a £120 increase in price, an increase in price because of high demand, a demand that they control by drip feeding their tickets into the market.”

Vibe, which has long been frustrated by its lack of access to tickets for major events, called for government action, and asked for FanFair Alliance – the campaign group led by many senior figures from the music industry – to comment on ‘drip feeding’.

Ticketmaster was approached to respond to Vibe Tickets’ allegations but had not replied at time of publication. FanFair Alliance did not wish to comment on Vibe’s allegations.

Image: Jimmy Baikovicius (Flickr)