I’m almost positive that since the very first time a show or spectacle charged a fee for attendance, scalpers have been in existence. Take an event everyone wants to see, buy up a group of tickets, and sell them for more money than the initial cost, keeping the profit. Through the years it has been fought; artists, sports teams, broadway, even the government has tried to make it illegal, but nothing seems to stop it. Some try to fight it, some just embrace it (ask Van Halen and their manager Irving Azoff about reselling their own tickets). Personally, I’m for the former, and apparently Eric Church is too.
Announced yesterday, Eric Church has cancelled 25,000 tickets held by secondary market websites. Using his own people, they’re tracking each sale, ticket by ticket and finding out what tickets were bought illegally to be resold. Now, how does this effect you? What do you care? Isn’t he rich and touring stadiums?
See, in simple terms, it’s like this: some people work hard, day after day, and dedicate their lives to providing for their family. Some people dedicate their lives to creating art and showcasing it in a live environment. Those two groups of people every once in a while come together for a fantastic evening of entertainment, be it clubs, theaters, stadiums, etc. A scalper (or website) is someone who comes along and interjects between the worker and the artist, buys as many tickets as they can, and sells them to the worker at a profit to only the scalper. What if someone bought up all of the milk at a grocery store, stood outside, and tried to resell it to you for twice as much? I bet you’d want to punch that person in the face. Well, Eric is starting to swing, and as an artist, I love him for it.
I never liked scalpers to begin with, and now we’re all accustomed to it. Websites like StubHub and TicketsNow, just to name a few, are our go-to places knowing that Ticketmaster is already going to be sold out. Why? BECAUSE SCALPERS BOUGHT ALL THE SEATS ALREADY. And now companies like Eventellect come along and try to work with artists and sports teams to maximize profits on resale websites. It’s just gross.
Last week I read a sympathy article about an old school scalper, and honestly, I have no love-lost for him. Whether it’s an old scalper on the street or one of a hundred resale websites, on one side they’re taking people’s hard-earned money to make a profit, and on the other side they’re keeping fans away from seeing their favorite bands/shows by over-charging. That’s how they make their living. Think about that for a second.
They make their living by buying up something you want and selling it back to you for a higher price.
Now I’m really sick.
And what’s the answer? There’s a lot of entities involved in ticket selling and reselling, but as a consumer, try and not purchase from these resale websites. Go to the source. As an artist? Do as Mr. Church is doing. Fight. Fight for your fans. Fight for your own business. And most of all, fight because it’s the right thing to do.