Ticket Trauma, Eras Tour Swiftly Descends to Chaos
Taylor Swift announced yet another tour that would crash Ticketmaster's website and end with touts selling tickets for thousands of dollars.
People are furious at being forced to pay outrageous amounts for tickets because of dynamic pricing. This is what people on the internet are saying.
Well, here we are again.
Tickets for another headline act go on sale, and a fresh storm of problems faced by fans appears on social media.
We've written at length before about Web3 offering a solution to beating the scalpers, how dynamic pricing leaves fans upset and how important it is that there be some control of the secondary ticketing market.
But we're reaching the point where the scale of discontent around current ticketing platforms is hard to overstate.
People crave experiences more than ever before, and the connectivity and super-charged marketing platform offered by social media mean that there is high demand for almost every show.
Currently, Web2 event ticketing platforms can offer very little in the way of secondary market control. This, combined with the demand, means that fans either miss out to scalpers or face high prices designed to deter scalping when tickets to an event go live.
Either way, the system is completely broken.
The failure of event ticketing to provide a way for fans to connect with artists is beginning to take its toll on fans.
Scalping is no longer confined to large-scale events either and now impacts performers and artists at a local level. The current model of event ticketing has enabled scalpers to cash in on the demand for artists and performers at the expense of fans and the live events industry in general.
From big-name events like The Champions League and an Adele residency to small, local musicians like Jamie Webster, scalping is a problem that continues to impact events of all shapes and sizes. And whether fans miss tickets entirely or simply can't afford them, we're seeing more angry voices than ever before.
Most recently, Blink-182 fans are on the receiving end of dynamic pricing, with prices reaching $2000 for two tickets in Toronto.
And while dynamic pricing is designed to beat scalpers, at this point, it's quite clearly affecting fans more than it is scalpers, who also have access to computers:
The problem is nicely summed up in this tweet by a frustrated user who cannot understand how young fans are meant to be able to afford the cost of tickets to their favourite show.
As user Emgem_91 puts it: Ticketmaster is ruining the experience.
On the r/Music subreddit, a popular post asks what the difference is between dynamic pricing and price gouging.
Even if we consider dynamic pricing to not be a form of price gouging, the fact that the same tickets are available at different prices is, at best, confusing.
In colourful terms, this Reddit post also describes the disappointing experience of a young teenage fan.
The operational policies of Ticketmaster have been highlighted in newspapers as well:
And finally, one tired fan explains why the current ticketing model is slowly stifling their passion for live gigs.
"I miss being able to see the price, and know that that's what I would spend, end of story."
How on earth has something as simple as going to see your favourite artist perform become such a confusing, almost deliberately difficult process?
Obviously, Ticketmaster isn't the only culprit. The entire event ticketing industry has a problem with scalping. But it's Ticketmaster's dominance that means they face the brunt of discontent.
Dynamic pricing, and the hunger for profit, can make the fan ticketing experience a terrible one.
While ticketing platforms argue the revenue generated by dynamic pricing is profit for the performer, it's still all at the expense of fans.
Of course, it's not fair to say that event ticketing has totally failed. Many fans do still get to see their favourite acts.
But the scale of the problem is so drastic, as a community, we are resigned to not getting to see our favourite shows because of scalping!
High prices and pre-sale queues are a barrier to primary ticket sales, but there are times when to prevent scalping, ticket resales are prohibited entirely. In such cases, ticket scalping leaves fans with no flexibility at all should their plans change.
When resales are allowed, the situation is not helped by the fact that many of the secondary marketplaces are owned by the same ticketing platform that sold the original. This means that they directly profit from high resale prices through booking fees charged as a percentage.
And when companies have been caught on camera saying they have no interest in policing ticket scalpers, it's easy to see why trust is fast eroding.
Fans are even beginning to wonder whether ticketing platforms actually want to stop scalping at all, given the money they make from resales:
Especially considering this:
In event ticketing, we have to ask ourselves, why are platforms designed to connect fans with the artists they love causing so much discontent and upset by preventing fans from attending events?
There will always be people willing to try and make a quick buck from an event's popularity. So event ticketing needs the tools to distribute tickets to fans effectively while impacting the potential for scalpers to profit.
Plus, it would be nice if fans had some flexibility once they've bought a ticket; what if a babysitter cancels or plans change? A secondary market is a big part of a positive fan experience.
Maybe then it's time we looked at alternatives to the current solutions. With Web3 now an established part of many industries, its technology can revolutionise how event ticketing connects fans with shows and experiences.
Aside from the articles linked at the start, we've discussed the different possibilities for NFT ticketing. First, there's the traceability of blockchain, meaning all tickets are authentic. Then there are smart contracts, providing secondary market control and enabling transparent, fair resales for fans.
On SeatlabNFT, we take it one step further and allow event organisers to set Royalty Splits, directing revenue from secondary sales of NFT tickets to a wallet of their choosing.
We've added in the potential for airdrops to be used to enhance and extend the event experience for fans, and we've even created a new breed of fan club with the Immersive Fan Pass.
The possibilities are limitless with NFT ticketing. Blockchain opens up an entire world of event ticketing potential while solving the industry's biggest problems.
NFT tickets are far more than access control; they enable an entire generation of fans to feel connected to their favourite artists and performers. They eliminate fraud and combat scalping. But most importantly, they create a ticketing platform that serves the live events community.
NFT tickets are redefining event ticketing, and we're here to make it happen.
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