True Fans Lose Again: Sam Smith and Secondary Ticketing Market Transparency

Once again, the secondary ticketing market is causing problems for true fans and music lovers around the globe. Of course, the nature of supply and demand will often leave would-be concertgoers disappointed when they can’t secure tickets to their favorite act; however, it’s an entirely different matter when purchased tickets become re-released into secondary ticketing markets only moments after the show is announced as “sold out.”

Image via Quinn Dombrowski

Such is the case with Sam Smith’s upcoming appearance at Thetford Forest. This breakout artist is making waves worldwide, so it’s no surprise that the event tickets sold out fast. What is so upsetting is the flood of tickets that started appearing on sites like eBay and StubHub only moments after the show sold out.
Let’s breakdown the timeline of the Sam Smith @ Forest Live ticketing sales:

Sam Smith’s Thetford Forest appearance is announced on March 2nd, 2015.
Tickets go on sale at 9am on March 6th, 2015. The original face value is £29.50 (plus a 10% booking fee).
By 9:42am Forest Live Twitter announced that tickets were officially sold out.
Minutes later, these same Sam Smith tickets started appearing on secondary ticketing markets with listing prices starting at £90.
As of Monday, March 16th there are 192 tickets available through StubHub U.K.. These tickets now range from £90.47 to £163.50.

The Forestry Commission issued a statement regarding the matter:

“Sam Smith tickets were on sale at £29.50 + booking fee from the Forestry Commission and our official agents. Regrettably, like other concert promoters in the music industry, we cannot stop the resale of tickets. To allow as many different parties as possible to attend our concerts we limit the number of tickets each individual can buy for an event – a maximum of 4 tickets per transaction for Sam Smith. While it remains legal, ticket resale is always going to be an issue if the original purchaser chooses to sell via ticketing or auction websites.”

Image via marcen27

With newly passed ticket re-sale policy, the U.K. Government is taking important steps forward in regards to protecting arts and culture fans from aggressive secondary ticketing practices. Unfortunately, this type of behavior will only stop once and for all when it becomes illegal to sell tickets at a higher price than their original face value (à la Burning Man re-sale practices).

Secondary ticketing transparency is only the beginning of a very long journey towards fair re-selling practices.

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