B.C. government report suggests there's only one group of people who actually like ticket scalping

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      In news that should surprise no one with the possible exception of your neighbourhood ticket re-seller, a B.C. government report has concluded that the province’s concertgoers aren’t fans of scalper bots.

      In a report released yesterday, the province announced that roughly 6,500 hundred people responded to an online government survey launched in March. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth asked concertgoers to share stories about ticket buying, reselling tickets, and buying tickets from resellers.

      The initiative was sparked partly by the outrage expressed by B.C. music fans who’d hoped to attend the Tragically Hip’s farewell show in Vancouver in 2017. As is the case with many high-profile shows, fans went online to buy tour tickets that were snapped up by sophisticated bots in seconds.

      Those bots use algorithms to bypass limits on the number of tickets that can be bought by an individual. Tickets often pop up minutes later at inflated prices on secondary-seller sites like StubHub.

      Of the respondents to the government’s March survey, 97 percent want bots banned, with 83 percent in favour of capping the price tickets can be resold for. The report also stated that approximately 10 percent of survey respondents were unable to get into an event after purchasing tickets through a secondary seller.

      Farnsworth will use the survey results to help devise a government strategy to regulate the selling of concert tickets. It should be noted that scalping has been a problem not just in B.C., but across the world, since the Beatles were on their first tour of North America.

      StubHub spokeswoman Aimee Campbell issued a statement after the report’s release looking forward to reviewing whatever measures Farnsworth comes up with. “StubHub is supportive of measures that protect consumers and serve the best interest of fans including banning the use of bots,” Campbell said.

      On January 1 of this year Ontario introduced legislation banning bots, as well as banning tickets from being resold at anything above 50 percent of its face value. Facing increasingly vocal criticism from frustrated music fans, Ticketmast announced yesterday it was shutting its secondary-selling sites GET ME IN! and Seatwave in Europe. 

      A Ticketmaster blog post said the company has heard what fans have to say, and that they are “tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit.” It went on to state, “Secondary sites just don’t cut it anymore. All we want is you, the fan, to be able to safely buy tickets to the events you love.”

      In the meantime, should you be interested in seeing the Beyonce Jay-Z double bill at BC Place on October 2, Ticketmaster lists a single ticket in B-3 right near the stage as going for $347.80 including service charges. StubHub has a ticket in the same section for $1,860.