In the last year, there has been plenty said about the controversial ticket resale site Viagogo, with both the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the NSW State Government speaking out against the infamous service. Now, one of Australia’s most beloved indie-rock groups have come out swinging as well.
The Rubens are set to kick off a series of live performances for 2018 in just a matter of days, but what should be an exciting time for the group has been marred by frustration and sadness amidst reports that fans have been forced to pay outrageously inflated prices for tickets to their shows thanks to Viagogo.
“We REALLY hate Viagogo,” the band explained in a post on Facebook. “They exist to rip you off, take your hard earned cash, and let scalpers take advantage of all aspects of a show they have nothing to do with.”
“We’ve been getting some messages lately that have really got us pissed off. A whole bunch of people out there have paid $222 for a ticket that is $76. This is thanks to Viagogo and their dodgy profiteering. This is completely wrong, and we have no idea how this is still legal. Fuck Viagogo.”
The band urged fans to read up on the controversial methods of Viagogo, and also urged fans to make sure that they only purchase tickets through their website.
“We are beyond pumped to get out in front of you and play some of our new songs, but please look out for this kind of shit – and we can make sure that the good times keep rolling.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Viagogo have come under fire for what they’re doing to the live music industry. In fact, back in October, it was announced that 67% of those who had previously purchased concert tickets from a resale site such as Viagogo stated they were less likely to attend live shows in the future. After all, when you have to pay an almost 300% markup on a concert ticket, you tend to become a bit jaded.
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So what is the answer to this ticket resale debacle? Well, thankfully there are services such as Twickets, which are aiming to make it easier for fans to purchase the tickets that they want to for a price akin to what the artist intended.
Having recently been utilised by the 2018 UNIFY Gathering, Twickets is a face value resale site, meaning that demand for tickets is not a factor when it comes to the pricing, and that average punters can avoid being scammed by unscrupulous scalpers and resale sites.
“No one wants to pay over the odds for a gig but for hot shows sometimes they haven’t had a choice,” stated Danny Hannaford, former Head of Ticketing at UK promoter Global Live, upon Twickets’ Australian launch in May. “Now genuine fans who have a spare ticket or can no longer make the show are able to pass on the tickets at face value to other fans who weren’t so lucky the first time around.”
While the secondary market for tickets is a volatile and immoral beast at best, thanks to artists such as The Rubens, and services such as Twickets, we may soon be able to make scalpers a less dominant force than they once were.