With just a few hours to go until we find out how effective the fan-funded No More Touts show has been, I thought it might be an idea to compile the five (yes, five!) blog posts I wrote on the subject into one large, master list post. Hopefully, with all of them on one page, it'll make it easier to read. Thank you so much to everyone who's shared these posts, emailed me, and invited me to be a part of their group. It's been an amazing few weeks and I can't wait to meet you all! You're all doing an amazing job and the awareness you've raised to not one, but several causes, is beyond measure. You have, undoubtedly, made history.
If you want to keep up with how the campaign is progressing, feel free to follow the hashtag #nomoretouts
You can also find more information at:
Tickets go on sale for a high profile show only to sell out in minutes. Before you know it, those same tickets that, moments earlier, had probably been on sale for £50 are on resale websites for hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds more.
Sound familiar? If you're a fan of music, theatre, sports, or anything else that requires ticketed entry then you may have had that experience of sitting online and waiting for tickets to go on sale only for there to be none when you finally manage to get to the site. That's if you get onto the site because, all too often, you'll be met with a blank page or a “403: Forbidden” page.
The secondary ticket market is a huge problem in the UK. While other countries have regulations on resale of tickets, including how much the ticket can be marked up above the face value, the UK has little in the way of rules and laws. The only rule is that tickets to football matches and Olympic events can't be resold above their face value. Everything else is fair game for the secondary market, an industry that pulls in over £2,000,000,000 in profit every year.
While most people probably wouldn't mind paying a little over the face value, in this day and age of austerity, being asked to pay upwards of £200 for a £50 ticket is ludicrous. Yet nothing is being done. Even a Channel 4 episode of Dispatches was ignored. The episode is viewable here:
After seeing how well a fan-funded show worked in the States, a group in the UK decided to do something similar. The Foo Fighters have spoken in favour of fan-funded shows and against the secondary ticket market. They're not thinking of the money (of which little, if any, of the profit from the secondary market actually goes to the band). They're thinking of their own roots, of saving up for albums and tickets, of being stuck in the nosebleed seats. Their current TV series, Sonic Highways, highlights many of these points. However, the UK show would have a twist in that it would highlight the problems of the secondary ticketing market.
And, for the second time in a few years, I found myself part of a perfect storm. Back in 2009/2010, I got involved in the “Rage For Christmas #1” campaign and was lucky enough to score tickets to their free show.
In mid-September, I was sent the link to a fan-funded Foo Fighters show in Birmingham. After a couple of hours debating it, I pledged £300 for 6 tickets. Less than a week later, we watched as the total ticked over to the target of £150,000.
So why did I do it? There's a number of reasons, one of them being that my mother regrets that they never took us to more concerts when we were younger. The reason? They were too expensive. So here was the perfect chance for my family and myself to see one of the world's biggest bands in a teeny-tiny venue.
The other reasons?
- Like many people, I'm on a low wage so concert tickets are seen as a luxury. When you couple in travel, food, merchandise, and possibly accommodation, you're looking at hundreds of pounds.
- For some reason, despite being in the centre of the country, Birmingham is often overlooked by the bigger bands. Yes, we have some of the country's largest festivals all within driving distance but if you're not a festival person (like myself) then you often feel left out. Birmingham is also the closest city to me and I'd love to go and support their local economy instead of having to go to London or Manchester (Not that I don't like London and Manchester but Birmingham does have some redeeming qualities!).
- Often I'm at work and wind up missing out on tickets, leaving me at the mercy of the secondary ticket market. And I'd rather support the band than lining the pockets of the ticket touts. Foo Fighters fans in the US tragically got a taste of this when tickets to two shows (Wrigley Field for next year and a Nashville show last night) were sold in a record amount of time. Many of them, including non-transferable ones for the Nashville show, were being sold for astronomical amounts on secondary sites (ones for Nashville were originally on sale for $20 and wound up going for hundreds more). The band had the scalped tickets for the Nashville show cancelled and resold at their original value.
- And the most important reason I'm supporting this – the ticket touts. I know that people will talk about capitalism and supply and demand, but why should that come at the cost of the fans? Why should the fans have to pay hundreds and thousands of pounds over the odds for seats? Seats which sometimes turn out to be fake, even when they've come from one of the reputable secondary resellers? And why should the touts be allowed to hoover up the majority of the tickets for an event? Ticketmaster USA have admitted that 90% of their daily hits come through botnets hoovering up tickets for the secondary market. With those kinds of numbers, what chance do fans have of buying fairly priced tickets? Under UK law, the use of botnets is illegal.
What I thought had started as a storm in a teacup has now become a perfect storm with foofightersuk.com and Birmingham at its eye. Radio stations are asking the band if they'll play the show. Fans across the Atlantic are approaching the band and flying banners in support of the fan-funded show at shows. It's a crazy idea and one that I'm so proud to be supporting. Knowing that there's others out there like myself makes me feel so much better. It's time for us to stand up for what we believe in and, while I don't think art should be free (Heck, part of my income comes from writing) I do think it should be fairly priced and affordable. And it most certainly shouldn't come at the cost of either the artists or the fans.
Will this show happen? Well, we'll find out some time around November 17th.
PART 2 - THE VICTIMS
In the wake of the original No More Touts post, I had an email from one of my friends who bought tickets to the Foo Fighters Halloween show in Nashville from a secondary seller. She had the unfortunate experience of not knowing that the scalped tickets had been cancelled, leaving her out on the street after a 200+ mile journey. While some people received phone calls to say that their tickets had been cancelled, my friend wasn't so lucky. She agreed to talk to me for this blog.
- How much were the original tickets and how much did you pay for them from Ticketnetwork?
Originally, $20 plus fees, so maybe $30. I paid $221.40 through TicketNetwork
- How far did you travel to the show?
3 1/2 hour drive, roughly 210 miles each way
- When did you find out the tickets had been cancelled?
I had heard rumors that they had been cancelled, and even called the Ryman, but didn't know for sure until the night of the show, when I saw on a sign that no tickets bought with gift cards would be honored.
- How large of a group were left without tickets?
Not sure. I know several of us who were in line had gotten "taken".
- Did you try getting tickets through Ticketmaster?
Yes, I tried for 35 minutes straight, using 2 computers and a cell phone when they went on sale. I had even pre-registered and had my info ready. I pulled up the Ticketmaster site at least an hour early, in case I got stuck in waiting room hell (like with Wrigley)
- How do you feel in the wake of all of this?
Like an idiot. Very disappointed. I wanted to see these guys SO BAD (have yet to see them live). Since I really do nothing else, going to the occasional concert would be awesome.
- Anything else you want to add?
#1 Originally, I was very happy when I found out that I could get tix online, because I don't have anyone in Nashville who could go get in line for me. I even considered driving to the box office myself but it wasn't feasible.
#2 I think that those of us who got bad tickets should've been given preference to buy a real ticket. I don't have a smart phone so I didn't know that the invalid tickets had been resold. Somebody got into the Ryman and sat in the seat I bought on the 29th.
#3 I don't know what the answer to this clusterfuck is but SOMETHING needs to be done! I appreciate the Foos (obviously) trying to do something about it, though.
#4 I have learned my lesson - unless I can get tix through the "approved" vendor, I'm not going. I can't afford to pay outrageous prices. As much as I love these guys, rent has to be paid, electric needs to be kept on and the cats need food.
Recent reports show that the Rugby World Cup has suffered the same fate as many other high profile events. Despite the tickets being allocated through a lottery, they’re still turning up on secondary ticketing sites, sometimes for more than 2500% above face value. On top of that, despite laws in many US states restricting ticket scalping, Missouri actually turned against the tide and repelled their anti-ticketscalping laws back in 2007. The US secondary ticket market is estimated to be worth $5,000,000,000 annually and is forecast to grow by 12 percent every year. Things in the UK aren't looking any better. In a House of Commons document dated January 2014, Parliament decided not to legislate the secondary ticket market, instead asking that it continues to self-regulate. (PDF download: www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN04715.pdf )
Which is why the No More Touts campaign needed to be done. When the original ticket sellers and MP's are calling for regulations, you know it's getting serious.
How can you help? There's a petition running to get government to take another look at regulating the secondary ticket market. You can sign it here:
PART 3 - THE MUSICIANS
I decided to write a follow on from the No More Touts post I wrote a few days ago. Thanks to everyone who's read and shared it! I never realised it would ever go that far!
In the last post, we were talking about ticket touts and the fan-funded show from the perspective of the fans. We also talked about those who'd been the victims of ticket scalpers. I come from a musical family. It's not unusual to find jam sessions happening in our house. We have a small home studio. Our garage is holds the legacy that my parents started so many years ago. Cases packed with coiled cables stand beside tool boxes. Beneath a desk is a crate filled drum stands. A book case has become a leaning post for a guitar. Packets of strings and drumsticks are piled in a corner. The studio is so small that we've recorded drummers in bathrooms, singers in wardrobes, and guitarists out in the garden.
|We call it "organised chaos".|
I rounded up a few of the passing musicians for beer and a chat about the secondary ticket market.
As musicians who are often paid to play shows, what are your views on ticket touts?
Ticket touts are pushing out the fans that have less money, turning concerts into exclusive events that only those with a higher percentage of disposable income can afford. Besides, why should fans pay over the odds for tickets that were cheap enough in the first place? Cheaper tickets mean that there are more people at a show. This is good for smaller and newer bands, especially if they’re the opener for a larger band.
Bands are being locked out of the industry because of the secondary market. Some of us also believe that touts are killing the music industry in some areas. The touts tend to target popular bands (supply and demand). Some bands may only visit a few cities and part of their reasoning for that may be because of the secondary market. They know that the more shows they play equals more tickets going to the secondary market. And bands have costs too. We have travel, food, accommodation, crew that we have to pay. Our costs aren’t anywhere near that of some of the larger bands but, as you know, the bigger the band the more overheads they’ve got to cover. Yes, if a show sells out, the band will get paid. But what happens if a venue is only filled to a fraction of its capacity? A lot of a band’s wages comes from merchandise. And even if the venue is full what happens if the majority of those people have bought their tickets through secondary sellers at an inflated cost? They now have less money to spend on the artist they’ve come to support.
This may sound greedy on the part of musicians, but we think that many people would prefer to be supporting the artists rather than the ticket touts making hundreds of pounds more for a ticket that may have originally only cost £40. We also want to see as many of you as possible at the shows, something that won’t happen if you’re being held to ransom by ticket touts. As musicians and concert goers ourselves, we're just as angry as you are. At the end of the day, we’re here for you. Our job is to make you happy and give you a good night out. And if you’re happy, then we’re happy!
Ticketmaster has admitted that between a fifth and ninety percent of daily ticket sales come from botnets. While the use of botnets is banned in the UK under section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, there's nothing to stop the secondary ticket sellers from using human power to grab hundreds of tickets using multiple credit cards and addresses. This was highlighted in Channel 4's Dispatches from 2012 (The Great Ticket Scandal). Also highlighted in the documentary were a number of other ways that the secondary ticket sellers are able to get hold of tickets. This includes the promoters, venues, and others within the industry.
Secondary ticketing regulations by country can be found on Wikipedia (not the best source, I know!):
PART 4 - THE GOVERNMENT
It seems quite fitting to be talking about the government the day after Bonfire Night.
Why won’t the government legislate the secondary ticket market? There could be a number of reasons why the government won’t bring in regulations. The ones I’ve come up with are pure speculation and based on my own observations.
- It could be that the government doesn’t believe regulation of the secondary ticket market is important enough. The idea has been debated several times in parliament and, in 2006, legislation surrounding the reselling of football and Olympic tickets was put into place. However, the government didn’t see other ticketed events in the same light.
- They also may believe that it’s not that serious a crime to warrant legislation.
- Government may believe that the secondary market already regulates itself enough. STAR (Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers) is a body formed within the UK to provide self-regulation within the theatre and event ticketing sales industry. Their aim to ensure fairness and openness in the sale of event tickets. Members are required to comply with a code of practice. Along with the guarantees that websites provide, as well as making it illegal for street touts to operate without a license, government may believe that they’ve already done enough and that little more can be done.
- However, these ideas don’t target the illegal sellers, many of whom operate through legal channels (ebay, Stubhub etc) or who set up ticketing websites for single events (as was seen with recent Take That and One Direction concerts. Love Money offers advice on spotting fake ticket websites.). The technology is in place to be able to find and track these people.
- The legal secondary ticket market is worth an estimated £2,000,000,000 a year and growing, which means the government will see some of that in taxes.
- The government could also see it as not their responsibility to regulate the secondary market. It could be that the government want the market themselves to bring in the control measures that are needed (i.e. photo ID to be shown at entry to an event). However, unscrupulous sellers can easily bypass some of these control measures (There’s already been reports of people reselling multiple copies of a pair of PDF tickets to an ALT-J concert, meaning that once one pair had been scanned everyone else was left outside and out of pocket). There is a call for photos to be printed on tickets, something that has worked well for Glastonbury. Measures would have to be put in place for people who found themselves unable to attend. Again, the technology is in place to do this.
PART 5 - MY FINAL WORDS
Okay, one last post before November 17th.* This is me talking. No more statistics, no more news stories, no more analysing. This is just you and me chatting over a beer.
A few days ago, I wrote a post that I thought might interest some of the few people who pass by this site. Never in a million years did I think that those words would go as crazy as they did. For those not in the know, cycle back to November 1st and read a post titled No More Touts.
You see, I wrote that original post out of anger. I'd seen some of the negativity that surrounded the whole No More Touts campaign. And it stung. Really, really stung. Heck, on September 19th 2014, I was an outsider looking in, a passing music lover who'd seen a good idea and decided to support it. The fact that the idea spoke to me on so many levels certainly helped. And here were people picking apart what was being done. To see so much spite and negativity levelled towards people who were doing something to change the industry really hurt me. Yet I know from experience that you can't reason with haters. On top of that, one of my pet hates is to see hatred thrown at people who are just trying to do some good in a world that's already ravaged by darkness (I'm also a firm believer in "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".).
In the original post, I mentioned that I'd been a part of the “Rage for Christmas #1” campaign. Like the No More Touts one, it was a grass roots effort that took off. Even if the song hadn't reached number one and even if the band hadn't played the show (again, they were under no obligation to do so but did it out of the goodness of their hearts) the Rage campaign did something amazing.
It raised over £162,000for Shelter, the UK's homeless charity. Even now people still donate in the Rage campaign's name.
I noticed, while reading up on the No More Touts campaign, that the people behind it also support a charity (I've also noticed they've been writing about this too in the past few days. Hi, guys!). Given to Live makes it possible for people who are vulnerable or feel excluded to go to live music events. So far, they've had a lot of success, including the Invictus Games back in September.
So, if you burrow a little deeper and don't take everything at face value, you discover a deeper, more beautiful meaning to this. Even if the band don't play, this campaign has taken the issue of ticket touts to some of the biggest powers in the music industry. People are sitting up and listening. It's making headline news again and again. People know that there's something going on and revolutions don't start overnight.
Most of all it's doing something good by giving others the chance to experience what many of us take for granted.
The music connects us, let's not forget that. We're all coming from nothing here and, through this, the world can be changed for the better.
And I've met a bunch of awesome and very cool people through it!
“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” -John Bingham
*Maybe. There may be more.
I promised I wouldn't write any more on this. But I'm going to because this really is something I'm passionate about because I'm a music lover first and a writer second.
On November 18th, the clock ran out on the Kickstarter No More Touts campaign. Many saw it as a failure. But, to many more, myself included, it wasn't the end but the beginning. Just moments after the campaign ended, the Foo Fighters came out with the name of their American tour: Beat The Bots. Going back to the old school, they had people queue at venues across the States to buy concert tickets. And it worked. Thousands upon thousands of tickets were snapped up by fans in an attempt to beat the computer programs that hoover up tickets.
Some people see music as a privilege and a luxury, something that should be restricted to those with money. It's one of the perceptions that symphony orchestras, ballets, and other musical events that are considered “high class” have been battling against for years. It may not be written into any constitution or human rights act, but music is a human right.
Why do I say that? Put your hand on your chest. Feel that? That's your heart beating. Music lives within all of us right from the moment we're conceived. It's not a privilege, nor is it a luxury. It's something that you live with right from the very first seconds of life. Music has the ability to heal, something that the Chinese have understood for many years. Their character for “Music” is incorporated into the one that means “Medicine”. The Chinese character for music also has a second meaning: delight and happiness. Music is being used the world over to help unlock the minds of dementia patients. Every human being has a “balance note”, a harmonic that they respond to and that helps to keep the body and mind healthy. When they feel happy, they listen to a lot of music with this frequency (which may explain why you listen to a song on repeat). When they feel sad, or ill, they'll search through their music until they find that frequency to help rebalance themselves. Many people, myself included, use music to help us get through tough times. Again, many of us can trace passages in our life through certain songs. Music is everywhere within ourselves and nature. Even the universe sings to us.
Yet, with all the evidence that's mounting, it's still believed that we should pay vast amounts of money for what was originally a reasonably priced concert ticket. Do I believe that music should be free? No, I just believe that it should be accessible to as many people as possible. The Foo Fighters have already done this with their latest album by releasing it on to You Tube, Spotify, and other easily accessible platforms. Even if someone couldn't afford the album they'd still be able to listen and get involved.
And bands are listening to fans voices and the No More Touts campaign. As well as the Foo Fighters, Slipknot have also looked into their tickets being on secondary sites. This isn't the end of a hard fought battle. It's just the beginning. And who knows what's going to be around the corner? Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow? Maybe, one day, music will be available on prescription just like books are. Do you have blind faith on something amazing still waiting to happen? Because I do. This is a battle that the fans and bands will win.
You can follow the campaign using the hashtag #nomoretouts.
Want to get involved? You can by signing the petition to get the government look at the secondary ticket market:
Keep in touch at:
PART 7 - FANS PUT PRESSURE ON THE UK GOVERNMENT
From: Kelly at www.foofightersuk.com
*** FAN PRESSURE CAMPAIGN ***
I received an email from Mike Weatherley MP today. Mike is currently fighting for a fairer and more transparent secondary ticket market in the house of commons and he needs our help:
Over the last few years, there have been many discussions in Parliament about ‘Secondary Tickets’
or ‘Ticket Touts’.
Efforts to curb the market, and for ticket exchanges to work in favour of fans, have been thwarted
for various reasons.
We now have a real chance of making some changes and would ask for your help.
Using the template below, or your own words, we would encourage you to email your MP asking
them to support this amendment when it comes back to the House of Commons.
If you’re not sure who your MP is or how to contact them, you can find out by entering your
postcode on https://www.writetothem.com/.
More information can be found on the APPG Ticket Abuse website: www.putfansfirst.co.uk.
[Your name and full address]
Dear [name of MP]
PLEASE PUT FANS FIRST
As your constituent, I write to ask for you to support the proposals of the All Party Parliamentary
Group on Ticket Abuse, co-chaired by Mike Weatherly MP (Conservative) and Sharon Hodgson MP
(Labour), and the Lords amendments, to inject necessary transparency to the secondary ticketing
As a fan of live events I am regularly frustrated to see tickets for events I want to go to apparently
sold out within minutes of going on sale, only for thousands of them to instantly appear on
secondary sites – such as Viagogo, Seatwave, GetMeIn! and Stubhub – often at significant mark-ups.
These sites are supposed to be about fans selling tickets they can no longer use to other fans, and if
that’s all it was there wouldn’t be a problem – but what sport or music fan buys dozens of tickets for
a gig only to decide within a few minutes that they can’t go?
The Government’s aim should be to increase transparency in the secondary market. It would mean
that touts selling their tickets through major internet platforms will have to prominently disclose key
facts to consumers, assisting the fans, the event providers and the police to ensure a fair ticketing
If the secondary ticketing platforms have nothing to fear from transparency, they should have
nothing to fear from this legislation. I would therefore be grateful if you would confirm your
commitment to see fans protected when it comes back to the House of Commons.
You can continue to follow this campaign at:
And with the hashtag #nomoretouts
You can also sign the petition calling for tighter regulations on the secondary ticket market. It's quick and easy to do. You can find the petition at:
You can read everything I've written so far on the campaign here.
No More Touts 8 - Interview with Kelly
Last year, a lot of amazing things happened. Among them were fans starting to stand up to extortionate ticket prices. One campaign, which I've closely followed on here, was started by a group of Foo Fighters fans. Among them was Kelly. She was brave enough to come and take on the questioning! Read on for her reasons as to why she launched the campaign and to how it's continuing. Thank you, Kelly, for taking time out to come and talk!
Hi Kelly! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Kelly, 32 from South Devon. I am a huge Foo Fighters fan but music in general of all kinds.
You started the No More Touts campaign. Can you tell us what sparked the idea and how it all got started? What was the point that made you say “No more. We need to do something about this.”?
This has been an ongoing issue for so long, I was really surprised that nobody was trying to do anything about it already. Evolution is a scientific fact, there have been some historic changes throughout history and they all have 1 thing in common – people. People can drive change, people can do wonderful things…if they dare to. The Foo Fighters world tour was on it’s way to being announced, fear had set in and there were so many people worried about getting a ticket. Royal Blood and Biffy Clyro fans were experiencing all sorts of hell trying to get tickets. Cat Stevens had to cancel his own show in NYC to protect his fans from touts. Kate Bush did everything she could to protect her fans from touts at her recent London residency. This is great, is it really down to the artists; no I don’t think it is. Something had to be done, by somebody, somewhere. Even if we just make as much noise as possible to highlight the situation and stand up and say ‘enough is enough’.
For the past several years you’ve run the Foo Family. How did that come in to being? What does it involve? And how was it linked it the campaign?
When the Foo Fighters announced their long awaited Wasting Light tour and, more importantly, the Milton Keynes Bowl gig, me and my friends were so excited. We lived in different parts of the country so it was just easier to make a Facebook group so we could all communicate together about travel plans, accommodation etc. I started to receive random requests from other Foo fans who wanted to share the excitement with us, share their ideas and plans. The gig was set for the July, the group was set up in November after tickets went on sale. We received more and more requests for people to join. We had around 350 in the group by the time the gig came around. Within that time, some great friendships had been made, people met up at the gigs, people car shared, a real fan network was being created under my very nose. We all shared stories of our own fan journeys and what the band and their music meant to us. There literally was nothing else available on the internet for fans to communicate in this way. So we built it up from there, to what it is today. Without the group, the campaign would have never happened.
For the No More Touts campaign you used the Foo Fighters as a kind of figurehead for it. Why them specifically?
Well, we are all Foo Fighters fans but mostly we are all music fans. We have all experienced touting in one way or another not only with the Foo Fighters but with other artists as well.
In late 2014, the band also named their current North America tour “Beat The Bots”. Do you think this has any direct connection to the No More Touts campaign? Or was it just a reaction to the general feeling of the fans?
I would like to think that if it wasn’t a direct connection after all of the press No More Touts received then it inspired a thought process, in the right direction. This feeling within any fan community it will never go away, until it’s resolved.
The No More Touts Kickstarter was probably one of the most successful music related crowd funders of 2014. For many of us, it was like watching the countdown to New Year with the £150,000 total being exceeded in just over a week. How much work had you put in to it prior to its launch in September? And what do you think made it so successful?
A great team of dedicated people who wanted to drive this forward and make it work. We did lots of research into locations, historical relevance, different cities. Birmingham is in the centre of the country, it has great transport link and an international airport. It’s also the home of Rock n Roll!! This project had been batted about for some time in general conversation between a group of us and one day I just thought ‘I’m going to do this and I’m going to do it now’ and I contacted Kickstarter. It did take a few rejections from Kickstarter before the project eventually met their guidelines. We had a press release ready to go and had a team of people allocated to certain aspects of just getting it out there. We really wanted to put pressure on the government and not only what we were doing but most important why we were doing it.
There are many people out there who are looking at getting into crowdfunding. What advice would you give them creating a successful campaign?
Be absolutely sure of your end goal and how you are going to get there, these things don’t just happen themselves you really have to know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. We had a timeline that we followed, we knew when the press release was going out and we knew we would hit target quickly.
Even though the Kickstarter didn’t come to its intended conclusion, it’s still viewed by many as being a success. What kind of feedback did you get from it all? Have discussions surrounding ticket touting (ticket scalping to our friends in other countries) grown? Are you finding other people are now taking an interest? What’s happening next with the campaign?
There are 2 people who if they can, will change this for all fans moving forward and that’s Sharon Hodgson MP & Mike Weatherly MP who are both supportive of this movement. They have both recently launched a ‘put fans first’ campaign over social media, driving people to write to their local MP’s to support this during the debate in the house of commons later this year (possibly March). I received an email from Mike prior to the campaign launch asking for our support, which was great. The UK Foo Fighters fan base is now known for standing up for something we believe is not right and I am pleased with that achievement in itself. We received some great feedback from other fan groups via social media. One fan base that really got on board was the Blackstone Cherry fan group. People really came together to help make as much noise as possible, regardless of which band or group we followed it was all for a common purpose.
One of the big issues surrounding ticket touting is that the government have taken very little interest. Other countries have laws in place to protect fans while the UK only regulates the resale of football and Olympic tickets. Have the UK government started to listen more in the wake of the campaign? Have there been reactions from leaders in other countries? What kind of regulations would you like to see put in place?
I think it’s important to remember, everybody should be able to sell on a ticket. It’s just not feasible to ban the resale of tickets all together. Things happen in life which means that peoples plans change and they can’t always attend an event where a ticket was purchased sometimes up to 6-8 months in advance. Companies like ‘Stubhub’ and ‘Get Me In’ have created this platform for people to buy and sell tickets. But when it gets down to the nitty gritty and people are being sold fake tickets or being forced into buying tickets at 30 times their face value these companies respond with ‘we have created a platform for others to use, we don’t control the prices of tickets’ which I believe to be a complete cop out. If somebody creates a service or a platform then they should be responsible for the protection of the people that use it. The whole industry needs to work together to resolve this. At the moment it’s the artists that are trying to drive change but they can’t do this on their own. As consumers we are entitled to a fair and transparent service, to feel protected and know that we are being looked after – just like we would with any other retailer. The secondary ticket market are digging their heels into the ground, nothing has changed. Now it’s up to the government – if they listen. Yes, fans could boycott the secondary ticket market but when tickets are shown as ‘sold out’ and you’re automatically directed to a sister site or ‘fan site’ where there are tickets available then it’s a monopoly and people have no choice.
Yet there are a few people who are for ticket touting, citing the free market and that people will pay whatever is required for a ticket. What would you say to those people?
These people have more money than sense. Anybody who thinks it’s ‘ok’ to spend 10x the ticket price for a ticket 5 minutes after its been released on general resale is crazy and doesn’t represent the general public at all. Music means a lot to people, especially live music. I’m sorry, I just don’t understand anybody that thinks the free market is the place for event tickets, regardless of if its sport, music or whatever….who wants to be ripped off, I know I don’t!
When it’s said and done, you did an amazing job! You worked incredibly hard and you’re keeping this going. How do you feel about the whole campaign? Do you have any other plans in the pipeline?
I knew this was going to be quite a big thing; it’s difficult to comprehend the success of it. Sometimes I wish I was an outsider looking in to grasp the hugeness of it all. It would have been amazing for the end result to include a musical protest and everybody coming together at a truly fan funded concert, showing that people can come together and drive change and celebrate success. Who knows, maybe one day that will happen. We have set up a ticket exchange through our own website where people can buy sell tickets at face value. The one thing that drove us to do this is that PayPal UK have recently updated their terms of protection, protecting people who buy event tickets against fake tickets and just not receiving them at all. When the Foo Fighters released their UK dates, we bought as many tickets as possible to sell on to fans at face value. You got to remember, we as a fan base are just a drop in the ocean but we will do all we can to help as many people as possible, regardless of if that’s 1 or 1000.
You can follow the No More Touts campaign (And the Foo Family!) at: www.facebook.com/foofamiluk
And on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/foofamilyuk
You can also use the hashtag #NoMoreTouts
You can read the rest of the No More Touts posts here.