If you're anything like me you'll love a good live performance. There is nothing like live music to get you pumped and inspired. I've been lucky to go see two of my absolute favourites in the last year - Beyoncé and Adele. To acquire tickets for both of these shows was a feat beyond my wildest expectations. I had to call in favours, ring the coast guard, jump through fire, solve world peace, hire a hitman and beg, lots of begging. Every week we hear about a concert that is sold out in 10 seconds and nobody could get tickets.
In the last 3 months several acts have been brandished with ticket controversies. U2's Joshua Tree Tour dates in Croke Park sold out in 5 minutes, Ed Sheeran's Dublin dates sold out in minutes and Radiohead in 1o minutes. When did pop music become so elitist and difficult to see live? The reality is concert tickets are becoming more and more impossible to get your hands on.
Fans wait hours online and at ticket kiosks to secure their place for some of their favourite acts. Many fans blame "touting", selling a large quantity of tickets at higher than cost price, as the reason behind the ticket controversy and have been left angry and disheartened by Ticketmaster, the primary ticket sellers throughout the globe, inability to deal with the crisis. Not very "master" like - just sayin'.
— Deborah Rushton Art (@debsrushtonart) February 3, 2017
— Colette Ní Chatháin (@CraicAgusCeoil) February 2, 2017
Artists such as Adele have publicly discouraged fans from buying tickets that are touted on secondary selling websites after one ticket for her concert was priced at £9,000. Ed Sheeran was concerned for his fans paying excessive amounts for tickets to see him live with a spokesperson telling the press: "We have written to each of our partners, be them promoters, venues or ticketing companies detailing the way in which we expect tickets to be sold: direct to fans".
Fader, an online publication, noted that some artists are only selling 10% of tickets on Ticketmaster. The majority of tickets are being separated between radio contests, pre-sales and VIPs. It's not just live music that is suffering but much-beloved musicals and plays such as Hamilton and Harry Potter And The Cursed Child are being subjected to touting.
Secondary selling websites such as Seatwave are being highlighted as problematic. Seatwave, owned by Ticketmaster, can sell your tickets for you once they have been purchased from Ticketmaster - an eyebrow-raising transaction. Seatwave gets 10% percent of whatever price you sell your ticket at. The move has resulted in tickets for Ed Sheeran, U2 and Coldplay - all up and coming Dublin shows - selling in excess of 1,000 euro or more in some cases.
— Paul McCarthy-Brain 🇪🇺 (@penguinbasher) October 7, 2016
Ticketmaster also charges additional costs on tickets they sell through the Ticketmaster website. Many people find the service charges questionable as the site often crashes or disconnects as they're midway through buying tickets.
— Andrew Cao #RedefiningRealEstateLaw (@ThatLawyerGuy) February 27, 2017
Although this is not a predominantly Irish problem several TDs have pushed for legislation that will protect consumers from being scammed and exploited by ticket sellers. The Irish Times reported that Minister Denis Naughten is recommending a Private Members' Bill drafted by Fine Gael TD Noel Rock and Independent TD Stephen Donnelly. The bill would ban the resale of tickets for above face value with the exception of tickets auctioned for charitable purposes. The ban would see Ireland following in the steps of countries such as Brazil and Belgium. It can't come soon enough!
Do you have a story about your experience trying to buy concert tickets? Leave a comment below and let us know!