There are few things more devastating than waking up bright and early on the morning that gig tickets for your favourite band go live, logging onto the website, finding the tickets you want and hitting purchase, only to realise the concert is sold out and, quite frankly, have your heart broken.
You scramble back to the homepage, desperately searching for every other, any other date that is still available. You don't live anywhere near the Dublin or Belfast dates you're searching for, but you're willing to jump on a ferry for the evening just to attend the concert. But sadly, it's too late. The tickets have magically disappeared within 5 minutes of going on sale; you missed your chance.
Unfortunately, it isn't magic, and it happens to the best of us. But the real reason for your ticket woes is one of the biggest issues facing artists and their fans today, and that is ticket touts.
I write this piece as a begrudged fan that, like the majority of gig goers out there, missed their chance at seeing her favorite band touring their brand new album, due to ticket touts. Sure, there are still tickets available, but only through secondary sources selling those tickets for double, sometimes more than double their original price.
Secondary ticket markets have come under scrutiny lately, after a Which? Report was published, but not enough is being done to make a change.
Many of the offenders are the people you see outside gigs, selling tickets for extortionate prices to fans that have turned up, hoping that they'll get lucky and find a deal from one of the sellers outside the doors. Sadly, this is rarely the case and, after having traveled all the way to the gig, people hand over their cash, paying much more than they should have done just to get inside.
Some bands are trying to combat the problem, but not enough. The 1975 for example, recently provided subscribers to their mailing list with personal codes, guaranteeing fans tickets for their latest tour dates before a certain time of day. It's a genius idea, but for it to have an impact, more artists need to get involved with helping out their fans and tackling extortionate second hand sellers.
The truth of the issue is that this problem does not just affect the fans. Sure, concert goers are either scammed out of more money, or they simply miss out on their chance to attend the gig. But this can often discourage people from even attempting to buy tickets, assuming they don't stand a chance against these ticket touts. However, this also affects the venues and ultimately, the artists themselves. Some seats are left empty, the prices of second hand tickets too expensive for many to purchase, leaving the tickets unused and useless. Empty seats at concerts does not bode well for the venue, nor the artist themselves.
Fortunately, some companies are making moves to tackle the problem. Vibe Tickets has been a loud voice in the fight against ticket touts, launching their own campaign titled #OutTheTout, complete with a petition and a compilation of quotes from disgruntled fans that missed their concerts or have been scammed by secondary companies.
All companies involved with ticket sales should follow Vibe's example and make moves to fight what is a growing issue, before we all, justifiably I might add, tear out our hair because we can't attend the latest Beyonce tour.