In the past few days the chief executive of The Hydro has made the bold claim that people don’t mind paying over the odds to scamming ticket touts for the privilege of seeing their favourite artists as that means they are “true fans”.
For someone who holds a very high position in Scotland’s largest venue, which showcases the world’s biggest musicians, comedians and entertainers, then making a statement like this shows he couldn’t be more out of touch with his customers if he tried. Just because someone has the money to foolishly pay a ridiculous amount for a ticket that has increased in value does not make them more of a “real fan” than someone who can’t. Being a fan isn’t a competition and it certainly doesn’t matter how much money you have, where you live, or how many times you’ve seen someone live. You’re either a fan or you’re not and nobody should be priced out of seeing their favourite musician. This is a point which is lost on someone who clearly only sees things through pound signs.
Ticket touts and websites such as GetMeIn, ViaGoGo and StubHub should be made illegal. The purpose of these “jobs” and companies is to rip off the average fans who miss out on general sale tickets. Part of the problem of events selling out though is because these websites are able to snap up multiple amounts and immediately sell them on for as much as 10 times the amount within minutes of generale sale opening up.
Recently we had Josh Franceschi of You Me At Six go as far as a court case to challenge these despicable actions of ticket touts and it gives music fans real hope that a change will happen sooner or later. The more of our top acts who challenge over-pricing re-sold tickets to the fans, the more chance we have that our government will sit up and take notice. Josh stood in front of the culture, media and sports committee and stated that those who force fans to pay hiked-up prices should face jail or a hefty fine.
I, and millions of others, stand with you Josh and applaud you for standing up to touts. It’s heartening to finally see one of our favourite artists use their platform and position in a positive way and fight for the little guy. We need more to speak up and stand against these rip-off merchants who are pricing people out of doing something they love.
It’s time to make a stance, stand up to these criminals and make our government take notice that we’re not accepting it anymore. We are the generation who have a bigger voice than ever before. With social media at it’s height, we CAN stop this and we CAN make the powers that be take notice of our wishes.
Music shouldn’t be about how much money you can afford. It’s about that moment the lights go up and your favourite band are suddenly in front of you blasting through a two hour set. It’s about that song which makes you tear up no matter whether it’s live or playing in your bedroom. It’s about taking a selfie with your favourite singer and cherishing that photo forever. It’s about being in the same room as others, whether it’s 250 or 25 thousand, and knowing you all share the same thing. It’s about friendship, love, connection, support, and enjoyment. We shouldn’t have to be over-priced for that.