It’s a problem that’s been around since Keith Richards was the most dangerous junkie in rock ’n’ roll rather than everyone’s favourite human-cockroach grandad: scalping.
And with the advent of online buying, the problem has only gotten worse, especially when it comes to stadium shows. Everyone has a story of logging on to buy Tragically Hip farewell tour or Beyoncé Lemonade tour tickets only to find that all seats have been snapped up by sophisticated bots in seconds. Making matters worse, they then pop up minutes later on sites like StubHub.
Now, in an effort to do what Pearl Jam, Miley Cyrus, Tom Petty, Adele, and Bruce Springsteen have tried with little success, the B.C. provincial government is attempting to deal with scalpers.
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has announced a three-week survey designed to gather information on the ticket-buying experiences of British Columbians. Participants will be asked to share stories about ticket buying, reselling tickets, and buying tickets from resellers.
A government news release states “information will be used to develop recommendations for improving affordability, fairness and transparency.”
In that release Farnworth states: “Live events should be an enjoyable experience for British Columbians, not a windfall for scalpers. The action we’re taking is aimed at protecting people from unscrupulous scalpers and unfair practices that shut average people out from events in B.C.”
The survey is open to all B.C. residents at www.engage.gov.bc.ca/ticketbuying.
An Angus Reid poll shows four out of five Canadians want to see ticket bot software banned, with 50 percent adding that government needs to enact legislation to make this happen.
Tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s 2016 tour were being sold for up to $5,800 each on StubHub and TicketNetwork even though they hadn’t formally gone on sale.
When Adele’s 2016 tour sold out instantly, tickets were immediately posted on StubHub for prices up to $5,000. The singer had her staff flag buyers who purchases tickets in large quantities, with those purchases cancelled and refunded.
The good news here is that even if it takes the next 50 years for someone to solve a massively infuriating and decades-spanning problem, Keith Richards will still be alive.