If touts are entrepreneurs then that degree I bought online makes me a doctor.

So it seems that Glastonbury only sold 100,000 of 137,000 tickets when they went on sale over the weekend. Now this could be because of the horrible lineup (Jay-Z? Really? Ugh.) – not that a bad lineup has ever stopped people in the past. It could be because of the weather – but the weather is vile almost every year. Or, perhaps, it could be that the new anti-touting measures have worked and we’ve seen what the actual demand is instead of the fake demand created by touts and people trying to make a fast buck off other music fans. Considering that Reading/Leeds, T in the Park and V Festivals all sold out immediately, I’m thinking it’s that last one myself.

For better or worse (it’s looking like for worse at the moment), we purchased T in the Park tickets. Unlike last year, when we managed to get 1 ticket between 3 of us, this year we managed to get 4 tickets between 3 of us. Why four you ask? Well, you could only get a maximum of 2 and 3 of us wanted to go. To avoid last year’s problem we opted to try for 2 from each household. It worked. The number of people who did the same is probably pretty high. We offered our spare to a friend who accepted. Most people will have gone straight to eBay. If touting were illegal, this dilemma may not have occurred. It would also have prevented the several hundred tickets that were on eBay within minutes of the festival selling out being on there at outrageous prices. Or the hundreds that will be sold via eBay, Gumtree and other, similar sites and through dodgy ticket resellers between now and mid-July.

When hundreds of tickets go on sale every day, it suggests that an extremely large percentage of the tickets for T in the Park (or any festival or major gig) are going to touts, not to fans. So people aren’t getting the helpful opportunity to buy tickets from resellers when they miss out because they didn’t know something was on sale or couldn’t get to the phone or computer, they are being forced to buy tickets this way because touts (and we mean you, music fans who are selling your spares above face value, as well) are cornering the market and artificially driving up ticket prices.

Now, Word Magazine had an interesting suggestion which they claim will sort everything out without the need for legislation – just don’t buy tickets at inflated prices. But can you imagine being a 16 or 18 year old who’s missed out on getting a ticket to the gig or festival you’ve been dreaming of for months or years, finding out all your friends managed to get those tickets and then being faced with the dilemma of paying 2x, 4x or even 6x the face value but not missing out or staying home and feeling like a social outcast? It’s not going to happen.

With the kids starting to go to gigs now for the first time having this scenario as the norm, they will just accept it and nothing will change. If anything, it will get worse – and the bands and artists aren’t even benefitting from this. The touts are actually making more money per ticket than the artists are in many cases. If you consider that a £30 ticket to the Manchester Apollo for the Arcade Fire was selling for a couple hundred pounds, you have to wonder about a government commission that tells us that these people are offering a useful service when what they are really doing is making a living by being disrespectful to the artists and disrespectful to the fans. These people take pride in contributing nothing to the betterment of society and instead would rather make a living off other people’s hard work instead of their own. To me, that behavior is not only unethical and greedy, it’s highly anti-social.

Word Magazine suggested that maybe touting agencies should be required to pay royalties to the artists. Well now, that won’t make them raise their prices further, now will it?

When you consider that the ticket touting, ahem, reselling industry makes a living by trying to disguise the fact they are resellers, offering tickets for sale that have not been bought yet, and is full of companies that take people’s cash and never deliver, you have to wonder that the government has not cottoned onto the fact that this is not legitimate business any more than the spam emails we get from “universities” offering degrees and the ones offering prescription drugs prescribed “legally” are legitimate businesses.

When will the people who make the laws wake up and see that they should be encouraging entrepreneurship and community, not greed and laziness? Make touting illegal.

Oh, and if you miss out on tickets, or you end up with spares, please use Scarlet Mist.

7 Responses to “If touts are entrepreneurs then that degree I bought online makes me a doctor.”

  • Tom Kerswill Says:

    I think old school Glastonbury Festival goers are just very badly organised… I include myself in this. I forgot to go through the pre-registration, uploading password pic malarkey, and therefore pretty much ruled myself out by the time tickets went on sale… Maybe we need a return of the fence-scaling days!

  • Max Says:

    You’ve sort of hinted at a combination of things that have put people off buying tickets for Glastonbury and to some extent I think you’re right. If the new system will prevent touts from buying tickets and that tickets can be sold to ordinary fans in a fare and proper way then I might consider going again.

    Jay-Z is not my cup of tea but simply I would choose not to see himas i did with Paul McCartney/Oasis the last time I went. I’m never really put off by the weather as I usually take my holidays in the UK I’ve learnt to be prepared for everything.

    What did put me off though was being sat for hours on end at a computer trying to book tickets online and at the same time ringing the offical telephone number that was constantly engaged only to find that the damn Server had ‘froze’ under the strain! Some mates got their tickets from an ordinary ticket agency.

    In any event I now prefer the Cambridge Folk Festival – not very rock’n’roll I know but at least you can get to talk the artists and everything is just so laid back.


  • JustHipper Says:

    Tom, if old school Glasto-goers are so disorganised then why did it sell out so quickly last year when registration was introduced?

    I agree Max, I can’t stand sat trying to get tickets only to have sites crash, but surely if the robots that touts use to mass-book tickets were illegal then this would help (as would ticket agencies making sure they have enough bandwidth. At least Ticketbastard’s new system doesn’t time out so you don’t have to sit hitting refresh and swearing for 2 hours).

  • DianaLyn Says:

    not enitrely on-poin but I think quite a few regular glastonbury go-ers were very put off by comments from michael eavis regarding this year’s line-up being a reaction against the vibe at last year’s festival – ie that he wanted to attract a younger audience. in my office, there are 2 guys who have been going to glastonbury for years and they both have decided against it this year. one is 29 and the other is 40. my 40-year-old friend said he was pretty offended that eavis had made those remarks, especially because he was so loyal to the festival. but he also said he couldn’t handle the weather again. 🙂

    thanks for the scarlett mist link, never heard of this site, I”ll be using it!

  • JustHipper Says:

    That is actually pretty on-point. I’d forgotten about that, although I remember being quite offended at the time considering Glastonbury is a much better festival for having a wider variety of attendees, unlike, say, Leeds/Reading last year, which was ruined by the organisers driving off all the old goths and rockers in favour of 18-22 year-old NME readers.

    I’m not surprised your friend didn’t want to give Eavis his custom. Although a bigger fuck-you would have been not only to go, but to take an old-age home’s worth of pensioners with him.

  • Chat Says:

    Good work,hope your blog be better!I just want to make a blog like this!for your nice sharing!Just keep on.

  • about jobs Says:

    Wow, amazing weblog structure! How long have you been running a blog for? you make running a blog look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content material!

Leave a Reply