It’s concert season and already a number of world tours have been announced, tickets have already gone on sale and you’re either ecstatic or feel like you’ve been hoodwinked .
Ticket scalping is a huge problem in the US, where tickets are being sold for absurd prices on third party websites, such as Viagogo, Get Me In, StubHub and more. Scalping does also happen in Europe, and this year I feel that it’s definitely increased, as the demand for K-Pop has excelled. Unfortunately, people outside of the community are aware of the international influx of the forever growing genre.
Along with website servers crashing due to an extremely large amount of people accessing the website at the same time, you have to also compete with ticket demons aka scalpers, whose aim is to snatch as many tickets as they can, and increase the price by up to 100%, and even more at times!
For those who tried to purchase to tickets today for BTS’s 방탄소년단 World tour “Love Yourself” in London, I can agree and say that it was hell.
I arrived on the website at 8.30am (tickets went on sale 9.00am GMT), and I was put into a queue. Once 9am hit, I was then put into another queue, and it took me over 30 minutes to get on to the website. By then of course, all tickets were sold out. People were going crazy on Twitter, either expressing their success, or their utter disappointment due to being swindled. Tickets were so close, but yet so far, and they just slipped through our fingers.
If you were lucky enough to know of and use the Ticketmaster app, then you may have scooped yourself tickets easier, as there was no queue for the mobile application.
Finally Europe is gaining the love that they deserve, and a number of top-level idol groups and artists are finally landing on European soil! More and more each year. Yet, many of us are still unable to see our faves, as scalping is an abomination and is getting out of hand.
You can now find tickets for BTS in London (on third party sites) for between £400-£2000. Just minutes after being sold out.
This is absolutely ridiculous, and something needs to be done!
Within the past few days, I’ve seen via ITV News (British news programme), that the Advertising Standards Authority has taken action against Viagogo and StubHub, and have informed them that they can no longer class themselves as “official”, or guarantee customers entry into events and concerts with these re-sale tickets.
A petition to complete a complete stop to secondary re-seller websites was put towards the British Government, but was rejected in May 2017. You can see the petition and the government’s response here.
If the government aren’t going to take action into their hands, then the event companies and official ticketing websites need to make more of an effort to cancel any tickets that appear on these websites. An idea would be to cancel the transactions and return the funds to this so-called “fan”, and to then return the tickets to the official website where it can be sold fairly. With the amount of technology and internet and computer intelligence around, this task shouldn’t be too hard, costly yes, but difficult no.
I can see that American concert event company Powerhouse took action into their own hands, after seeing the upheaval of fans that took place, when tickets for MONSTA X 몬스타엑스 and GOT7 갓세븐 went on sale. They stated that any tickets purchased for BTS 방탄소년단 from third-party websites would not be accepted upon entry. American MONSTA X 몬스타엑스 and GOT7 갓세븐 fans took to social media to ask why this priority wasn’t given to their fandom and their favourite group? All in all, Powerhouse are now making a conscious effort to put things right for the future, so lets hope that other companies both inside the USA and Europe take heed.
The laws in Asia and especially Korea are very different. Ticket re-selling is highly frowned upon and it is not tolerated in any form. And scalping? People just don’t do it! I’d like it very much if the record labels in Korea took an interest of the logistics for the non-domestic tours, and asked the event companies about the ticket process. The international audience attending your artist’s show are the supporters, they bring in the money just as much as fans within Korea and the rest of Asia do. Shadowing the respect would make the ticketing and concert experience much better for international fans, and so many of us wouldn’t have to miss out.
So yes JYP Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, Big Hit Entertainment etc; please step in. You should care about the international fans just as much as you care about the Korean and other Asian fans. It shouldn’t just be about the money, you should infiltrate the system when it comes to your own artists, whether that’s a domestic tour or a World Tour. Learn about the ticketing and concert culture here and take some control! As artist management, you have every right to do so!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so leave a comment below. Like, Share, retweet!
Let’s get a conversation going.