Tragically Hip performs in 2009. (Scott Alexander/Wikimedia Commons)

Cap reseller ticket prices, control bots, B.C. told

Survey finds frustration with live event tickets being scooped up

Tickets for live events start showing up on the secondary market as soon as an event is sold out, and sometimes before they are offered to the general public.

That’s one of the frustrations B.C. ticket buyers have with the current system, according to a survey conducted by the B.C. government this spring. Popular concerts such as the Tragically Hip farewell tour last year have led to calls for a solution, and survey respondents say they’d like to see a cap on price increases by resellers.

Respondents suggested banning automated programs or “bots” from scooping up tickets as soon as they are available for online sale, and preventing resale of tickets before they are offered to the public from the primary ticket source.

The B.C. government hosted an online questionnaire for three weeks in March 2018, with 6,507 responses submitted.

The province is looking for legislative options to make the ticket selling system fairer for consumers, although the ministry acknowledges the demand for some events will always outstrip supply and reselling is a part of the market.

Tickets selling out quickly was the experience of 96 per cent of the survey respondents, most of whom buy event tickets online more than once a year. Nearly 60 per cent reported that they had seen tickets offered by a secondary seller before the primary seller was making them available.

More than half of respondents said they had bought tickets from a secondary seller, despite concerns about the price and availability of refunds.

There were few reports of actual fraud, with 89 per cent reporting that the tickets they bought from a secondary seller actually got them into the event.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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