Tuesday, September 09, 2003

WE SAW THIS ONE COMING: We've long suspected that what really irks promoters about ticket touts isn't so much that they're breaching the non-transferable terms printed on the tickets, but that they sit in their offices watching shabby men in ill-waterproofed clothing flogging tickets for a hundred quid that they'd only got twenty for. Sooner or later, they were going to figure out that technology will allow them to force the touts out of business not through legal crackdowns, but by becoming touts themselves. You might recall at the time of the Glastonbury ticket debacle, we wondered why they didn't just auction the tickets off themselves in the first place; now, that's what it looks like Ticketmaster are planning to do in the States. It's inevitable, really, although it's another small kick in the kidneys of rock music, ensuring as it will that even fewer young, noisy people will be in the venues as they get Ebayed out by those with higher disposable incomes - seriously, would you rather share the Darkness front row with people who'd slept out on the streets all night to get tickets, or people who were able to pull their Platinum Amex card to score tickets? (The only saving grace of the latter being slightly less smelly, of course). But from a business point of view, it's pure logic - you don't have to worry about setting your prices at a level that the market will bear, as the market will do that for you. It's also great news for pimps, as in future, loads more kids are going to have to sell their scrawny arses to get to see the bands they've helped push to the stadiums. It might also be good news for Mariah Carey - she may be spared the horror of the curtained-off upstairs under a system like this; even I'd buy her tickets in an auction for twenty pence. And it's not a million miles away from how budget airlines work. Which makes us wonder - having already made the leap into cinema, will Stelios be mulling easyGigs?

[Inital link supplied by Ms Becky Bamboo; shoes of graititude to her]

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