Ticket Wars

By Lauren Ciulla ’16
EE Staff Writer

Perched comfortably at the top of the charts are artists like One Direction and Justin Bieber. The constantly growing fanbases are fed up with the notorious struggle faced when trying to acquire tickets to any of these popular shows. Ticketmaster’s dreaded “Sorry, no exact matches were found, but other tickets may still be available” is becoming more and more prevalent due to scalping, or the reselling of tickets.

The anticipation and nervousness of buying concert tickets can occupy one’s emotions for days until it is time to hit the purchase button. Will I get good seats? Will I get seats at all? With bands as in-demand as One Direction, this moment can either be elating or crushing; however, the latter option is more prevalent.

Some of the shows on One Direction’s Take Me Home Tour were sold out in under ten seconds. The band sold out Madison Square Garden seconds after the tickets went on sale. This is amazing; however, it is not fans that the tickets are usually going to. Scalper websites like Stubhub and AllGoodSeats purchase the tickets before fans can, and then they sell them for triple the price.

“Stubhub is definitely given tickets by Ticketmaster. They are sold at crazy prices, which is apparently legal,” said Lauren Tavella, a senior at Trumbull High.

In many states, Connecticut included, scalping tickets is illegal. Other states follow a law that allows websites like StubHub and these websites enable scalpers to sell their tickets for whatever price they choose. Front row seats have passed the five-digit mark!

While these websites are prevalent, there are also the old-fashioned street scalpers. At One Direction’s show at Mohegan Sun in November, the premises were flooded with sketchy, hunched over men trying to sell their tickets.

“I’ve got security cameras on me all night, let’s make this quick,” one claimed during a transaction.

Scalpers know what they are doing is wrong. However, the profit made by reselling tickets is colossal. Furthermore, Stubhub receives 20-25% of the commission. Fans are willing to pay insane prices to see their favorite bands, but the cost becomes an obstacle for some.

“It’s ridiculous that they sell the tickets for insane prices. If you buy the tickets for cheap, then sell them for cheap! Stop ruining the chances for fans to see their favorite bands,” said Trumbull resident Ariana Rojas, who is fed up with Stubhub’s monstrous prices.

Fans in tight financial positions are not going to be able to come up with three hundred dollars for a seat in the last row.

Lauren Tavella commented, “Bands like One Direction should have a way of ensuring that fans are getting their tickets, like a fan club that you have to pay to be a part of.”

The band All Time Low has a fanclub that costs about twenty-five dollars to enter. This fanclub offers presales and preferred seating. Another benefit is that both a name and username must be entered at the time of purchase. This limits scalping possibilities, especially considering a photo ID must match up to the name at the concert.

Fan clubs would certainly reduce the amount of scalping, and they would give true fans a better chance to get tickets. Until a drastic solution can be made that will eliminate scalping completely, these organizations would be a beneficial addition.

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