Dear SeatWave, legal touting is killing live music (still) and it’s your fault

So today, I tried to do something nice. Sure I am a week behind the times but I wanted to get two general admission tickets for my parents to see Kate Bush. They saw her perform way waaaaaay back and it would be quite special to them.

However, once again I’ve been struck with the disgusting activity that is legal ticket touting. This is something that I touched on quote some time ago now. Back in 2009 I wrote this in relation to a report on paperless ticketing and also referenced attempts from Nine Inch Nails to combat touting with ID based ticketing.

The issue, as Trent Reznor wrote back in 2009 is not individuals touting tickets anymore, it is organised sellers legally buying and selling tickets in a monopolised, controlled environment created by the event organisers themselves. Sites live Seatwave, LiveNation et al are trading blocks of general and premium tickets for major events in order to hike prices and value.

Before general tickets go on sale for any event at somewhere like say The O2, or in my most recent case the London Apollo, at least a quarter of those tickets have been sold or given away to the following:
Seatwave
Livenation
Ticketweb
Any major investors in the venue (i.e. O2)

O2 in fact get a huge volume of ‘freebies’ for being a venue sponsor which they can often not shift and therefore seats which should have people in them are empty. These are not just private boxes like you’d think, no they’re front row, back row, crows nest seats, they’re actually all over the venue and ultimately it means that you and I get fucked over when we want to genuinely enjoy an event.

Why there has not been a further investigation into price rigging for events post-olympics 2012 is beyond me, but I am fairly confident in saying that as long as AMG and the like own most of the higher capacity venues we’ll continue to be ripped off by these legal ticket scalpers.

As a final passing shot, here is a link to Viagogo, you have probably seen their adverts on TV boasting to be the wonderfully helpful people who can get you where you want to be. Well here they’re trying to get somebody to cough up over £1,000 for a single general admission ticket http://www.viagogo.co.uk/Concert-Tickets/Jazz-and-Blues/Kate-Bush-Tickets/E-642703?affiliateID=1129&PCID=AFFGBIAFF1129REFB512AD9D01-10002-4&ref=10002-4.

In comparison Seatwave are offering the same ticket type at a reasonable £700.00 + booking fees of course [http://www.seatwave.com/kate-bush-tickets/eventim-apollo-tickets/09-september-2014/perf/919197?affid=0477&tdaid=2277353&affname=stereoboard.com&tduid=1d583319859463a71e8085b2be792539](http://www.seatwave.com/kate-bush-tickets/eventim-apollo-tickets/09-september-2014/perf/919197?affid=0477&tdaid=2277353&affname=stereoboard.com&tduid=1d583319859463a71e8085b2be792539}.

Published by

Andy Parker

User Experience Designer, headbanger, biker, skater, gamer from Brighton UK.