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Our View On Glastonbury’s Anti-Scalping Measures

Glastonbury is a massive name in the annual festival calendar, with around 200,000 people in attendance and coverage on the BBC seen by millions worldwide.

Charlie Gardener
Charlie Gardener
July 6, 2022
min read
Glastonbury festivalGlastonbury festival

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Our View On Glastonbury’s Anti-Scalping Measures

Glastonbury is a massive name in the annual festival calendar, with around 200,000 people in attendance and coverage on the BBC seen by millions worldwide.

With such popularity, though, come the inevitable attempts to profit from ticket resales. The practice of ticket scalping is notorious in the live events community, and the battle against it continues as each new preventative measure is met with a new creative workaround by those looking to make a quick buck.

Of course, we all want to see an end to ticket scalping. Despite a minority of voices claiming it’s free-market economics, the reality is that scalping prevents real fans from attending events at a price they can afford and prevents artists and event organisers from seeing any revenue from secondary sales.

Current Anti-Scalping Measures

To tackle scalping, some ticketing platforms have introduced their own measures, like Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan programme. However, most of these measures have had somewhat limited success leading to events like Glastonbury creating their own set of conditions around buying tickets.

The measures enacted by Glastonbury were undoubtedly effective in combating ticket scalping, but these strict measures also raise their own set of problems. So, today we will look at how the iconic festival tried to eliminate scalping and how Web3 might offer solutions that work better for both fans and event organisers in the same way other big-name festivals like Defected Croatia have in areas such as Proof of Attendance rewards.

Non-Transferable Tickets

All tickets sold for Glastonbury this year were non-transferable, making it impossible to resell one to another person. Of course, this is the most apparent solution to ticket scalping; simply make it impossible to resell tickets.

However, there are times when the resale of a ticket is legitimate. Plans change, and it would be nice for people to have a way to offer their ticket to someone who missed out without losing their money. While people unable to attend this year were offered a refund and the tickets resold by the festival themselves, it only gave a limited window for cancellations (until May 6th). It also created a similarly narrow window for those seeking a refunded ticket.

One solution that Web3 offers is the ability to set a price ceiling for resales of NFT tickets. Issuing tickets as NFTs allows them to be governed by smart contracts, which could set a maximum price that people can resell tickets at. Currently, the two options event organisers have at their disposal are to totally prohibit resales or allow them but risk touts running riot and taking advantage of fans. Price ceilings offer a middle ground where people can resell their tickets fairly while simultaneously preventing them from making large profits.


For tickets to be locked to a person and made non-transferable, those wishing to buy tickets were required to register before the box office opened. Buyers were asked to provide basic information along with a passport-style photo, which would be checked against the ticket on entry to the venue.

While these conditions were only applicable to people over the age of 13, it’s a lot of information to have to give out, especially when considering this information is then attached to the physical ticket itself.

In addition to personal information being attached to the ticket, the data held on fans has to be stored somewhere. Privacy concerns are a hot topic at the moment, and the conversation surrounding them has only increased since the introduction of GDPR laws.

There is always a risk when it comes to holding large amounts of personal data. Data breaches are common and can happen no matter how carefully the organisation stores the data. Personal information held in compliance with GDPR by some of the biggest names in tech has been subject to security breaches in the past.

It’s even already happened in the festival world. In 2018, Tomorrowland festival fans had their personal information stolen in a data breach.

Web3 can eliminate the potential headaches of personal data collection and still offer a solution to making tickets non-transferable. NFT tickets can be programmed as ‘non-transferable’ when they are created so they can never be sent to another user’s wallet, and this can be done without the buyer’s personal details attached to them.

Lost or Stolen Tickets

Glastonbury festival also notes in their Terms and Conditions that tickets that have been lost or stolen will not be re-issued to further hinder the ability of touts to abuse the system.

Not only does this mean that fans who have the misfortune of losing their tickets lose their spot, but they also lose a ticket which has their personal information.

Using NFT tickets would resolve this problem. NFT tickets are hosted on a blockchain and accessed via a digital mobile wallet, which can be restored on another device should an attendee ever lose or break their smartphone. They also lack any personal identifying information which could be used by bad actors in a number of ways, from blackmail to identity fraud.

Final Thoughts

While Glastonbury and other large-scale famous events continue to have to put in place multiple measures to combat ticket scalping, these measures have an impact on the experience and practicality of ticketing for fans.

Of course, we don’t want to see an event dominated by scalpers where fans miss out on fair prices at the box office, but Web3 technology offers us a clear solution.

NFT ticketing allows for a good middle ground between not permitting resales of tickets and creating a measure of control around the secondary market in a way that current solutions cannot. Event organisers can use features such as price ceilings to ensure that resales are for genuine reasons and at legitimate prices. Alternatively, royalty splits offer the ability to determine where revenue from secondary sales is directed, meaning those who have put on the show see revenue that would otherwise go into the hands of scalpers.

To learn more about how our NFT ticketing solution works, read our full litepaper here, or follow the links below.

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