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Ticketmaster’s new pricing system leaves fans infuriated

Music lovers across the nation are deeply disappointed at the news of a new pricing system that alters the price of tickets based on demand on Ticketmaster. 

The ticket seller claims that ​​the new system is being used in order to try to stop touts, and to give more money back to artists. But fans aren’t convinced stating that tickets to popular music events will end up costing double in the end with the money going to Ticketmaster over reselling individuals. 

On the Ticketmaster page for Harry Styles’s tour, a notice explains how its new demand-based system works. It reads: “These tickets vary in price driven by demand from fans, similar to airline tickets and hotel rooms […] We give fans an opportunity to safely buy official tickets for the events they love, right up to the date of the show.”

This new pricing system means that Ticketmaster does not publicise ticket costs ahead of time, instead, they charge constantly, based on the demand for tickets. Adam Webb, campaigner for the FanFair Alliance, a group aimed at stopping ticket touting in the UK, told the BBC that there’s a “whole bunch of issues” with pricing tickets on demand. “You’ve got the face-value price, which is determined by the artist and promoter, then you have the secondary market price, which is obviously going to be a lot more because it’s mostly ticket-tout businesses reselling those tickets, and you’re trying to inflate the primary ticket price to get closer to that.”

Rebecca McGowan, a children’s clinical nurse specialist from Tamworth, said: “I went to Harry’s last tour back in June and went three times. I thought the tickets were really good value for money, to be fair.” Originally, she paid £56 for a seated ticket in Manchester, £110 for a pit-standing ticket and £96 for a seat in Wembley Stadium. However, when booking tickets for the next year, she noticed a huge difference in price. Two tickets cost £115 each for Wembley but, when she hit ‘purchase’, they were no longer available. “I scrolled down the screen and it said, ‘Pit tickets £386 each,’ for the same area […] Lo and behold, I could get them – but I refused, because they were the same tickets. It really annoyed me… As much as I love going to concerts, I was like ‘no chance’ – this is an absolute joke.”

The ticket prices had increased while she was at the buying stage, as Ticketmaster matched demand from resale websites.

Others took to social media to share their anger at the new system. One wrote: “Furious; tix for #Lizzo £125 (!) Friday now £75 but can’t add to basket; comparison to airline pricing disingenuous; an artist playing one night w/ tix thru one agency means exclusive #monopoly controlling product & market. #Ticketmaster#dynamicpricing.”

Another said said: “Went to buy @depechemode tickets and once tickets were in my cart @Ticketmaster had doubled the price with #dynamicpricing. It is not all #Ticketmaster‘s fault – artists allow this. I will not be attending #DepecheMode unless I get a good deal on the secondary market #justsayno”

@eveningstandard

Ticketmaster have been criticised for new surge pricing model. What do you think about it? #news #music #harrystyles #arcticmonkeys

♬ Breaking News Background Music (Basic A)(1001538) – LEOPARD

Many critics of dynamic pricing say artists can already stop touting, by applying their own ticketing rules. 


Credit…Theo Wargo/Getty Images

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