Belfast Telegraph

Music fans ‘crucified’ by secondary ticketing sites, artist booking agent says

Secondary sites such as Viagogo and StubHub offer users the opportunity to resell tickets for more than their face value.

Music fans are being crucified by the secondary ticketing site, a booking agent has warned.

Chris Payne, who works for International Talent Booking, the company which represents some of the world’s biggest music stars including Adele and Maroon 5, warned punters may be put off from attending gigs due to increasing prices on the secondary market.

Secondary sites such as Viagogo and StubHub offer users the opportunity to resell tickets for more than their face value and have been criticised by both musicians and politicians over the past 12 months.

Adele (Yui Mok/PA)

Payne told the Press Association: “Ticketing has become much more profitable than it ever was.

“A lot of people out there are trying to maximise from that and, yeah, I’m a capitalist, I want people to make money and I want there to be good business, but there’s not much point in crucifying the punter for it.”

He labelled the experience of buying tickets a “complicated process for something that should be so easy” as he backed the launch of a new site aiming to end black-market tickets for UK artists and fans.

Dutch start-up Guaranteed Unique Ticketing System, branded as GUTS, has launched in the UK and uses Blockchain technology – the digital infrastructure of cryptocurrency Bitcoin – to make it impossible to re-sell tickets at a higher price.

It comes weeks after the competition watchdog announced they were taking enforcement action against secondary ticketing websites suspected of breaking consumer law.

The Competition and Markets Authority announcement, which did not identify the sites, had been investigating the market.

A number of artists including Ed Sheeran, Mumford And Sons, Radiohead and Amy Macdonald have encouraged music lovers to stop using secondary platforms Viagogo, Get Me In!, Stubhub and Seatwave.

Earlier this year Viagogo was accused of “moral repugnance” over a decision to resell tickets to a Sheeran cancer charity concert.

The site was also rebuked by MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for failing to show up to a hearing discussing the issue of secondary sites.

Payne told the Press Association the launch of GUTS was a positive move and also backed face-value secondary site Twickets, which work with artists including Sheeran, Adele and Foo Fighters.

He added: “It’s something I think we’ll slowly change … we’re in the midst of quite a few landgrabs actually.

“I think there are good people pulling in the right direction that can hopefully, bit by bit, overcome some of these practices that are in place.”


From Belfast Telegraph