The issue of concert ticket sales is causing frustration not only among Taylor Swift fans but also among music lovers in general. Recent incidents of scams and technical problems during ticket purchases have prompted calls for increased oversight of the industry.
According to a survey conducted by “ethical resale” platform TicketSwap, around 59 percent of Londoners have either fallen victim to ticketing fraud or have personal connections to someone who has experienced it. In addition, nearly half of the respondents from the surrounding areas have also been impacted by ticket scams, as they often travel to London for big concerts.
Interestingly, Londoners have reported losing more money due to fraudulent tickets compared to people from other parts of the UK, with 21.4 percent losing between £100 to £149. Consequently, more than three-quarters of respondents from the capital believe that ticket resale prices should be limited, and two-thirds of them have been discouraged from buying second-hand tickets altogether.
These findings have emerged in the wake of a major ticketing debacle that could potentially lead to significant changes in the industry. In January, Ticketmaster had to apologize to Taylor Swift fans as their system crashed under the overwhelming demand for tickets to the singer’s 2023 Eras Tour. The company attributed the glitch to the use of illegal software bots to acquire tickets.
Since its merger with Live Nation in 2010, Ticketmaster has been widely regarded as having a monopoly over ticketing for live music events. US politicians, such as Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have criticized the company’s market dominance.
Nevertheless, ticket scalpers continue to exploit fans by using bots to bulk-purchase tickets, and then reselling them at exorbitant prices on secondary platforms. Tickets for Madonna’s Celebration tour, for example, were being sold for over £2,000 on some platforms, while a ticket for Beyoncé’s Renaissance World tour was listed for more than £4,000. It is worth noting that using bots to buy large quantities of tickets is illegal in the UK.
The survey in question was conducted by TicketSwap, a company based in Amsterdam that recently expanded into the UK market. It adheres to Dutch law, which limits ticket resale prices to 20 percent above their retail value. Other countries, such as Ireland and France, have even banned the practice of selling tickets above face value. The survey included 2,000 respondents, with 260 based in London and 259 from the South East.
Experts advise fans to exercise caution when purchasing tickets from secondary websites. Karen Worstell, a senior cyber-security strategist at VMware, suggests being particularly vigilant with ticket sites and unfamiliar services. It is crucial to ensure the presence of up-to-date computer firewall settings and advanced threat protection, both on personal devices and company computers.