Trouble for touts: Ticketmaster pulls the plug on ticket resale websites

13 Aug 2018

Dua Lipa performing with a group of dancers during the Champions League Final. Image: katatonia82/Shutterstock

Ticketmaster is shutting down its two resale sites in an effort to minimise touting.

Ticket touts have long been a scourge of live-music fans, with the problem getting worse and worse each passing year. Fans have criticised secondary sites where touts can charge extortionate prices for some time now. Today (13 August), Ticketmaster said is closing down its two resale sites, Seatwave and GetMeIn.

Head of Ticketmaster UK, Andrew Parsons, said: “We know that fans are tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit on secondary websites, so we have taken action.”

Both Seatwave and GetMeIn will cease operations in October. This now leaves StubHub and Viagogo as the last two remaining resale platforms standing.

Criticism of resale sites

Fans and music promotors say secondary sites are allowing touts to charge huge mark-ups on tickets, many of which are already expensive to purchase in the first place.

Seatwave in particular came under fire when tickets for U2 concerts in Dublin appeared on the platform. The tickets were listed for thousands of euro after selling out on Ticketmaster within minutes.

Ticketmaster launches ticket exchange tool

Once the sites close down in the autumn, fans will be able to resell tickets on Ticketmaster for the original price and booking fee, but no more.

From today, no new events will appear on Seatwave and GetMeIn.

Parsons added: “Closing down our secondary sites and creating a ticket exchange on Ticketmaster has always been our long-term plan. We’re excited to launch our redesigned website, which will make buying and selling tickets fast and simple, with all tickets in the same place.”

Incoming legislation may have played a part

In July of this year, the Irish Cabinet agreed that the resale of tickets for large concerts and sporting events for more than face value will be banned under new legislation.

The new rules will apply to events taking place at “designated venues” that hold 1,000 people or more.

The Government made the decision due to the negative impact these resale sites were having on the ability of fans to obtain tickets to popular events. Taking aim at so-called ‘armchair touts’, the rules will also ban the use of bots to buy more tickets than permitted by concert organisers.

The legislation brought forward by TDs Noel Rock and Stephen Donnelly is being reviewed. The hope is that it will be replicated in other European countries.

Dua Lipa performing with a group of dancers during the Champions League Final. Image: katatonia82/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects