Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Radiohead break the artistic silence on ticket touts

One of the least surprising elements in the fallout from Channel 4’s recent documentary The Great Ticket Scandal has been the silence of the acts. Many of us long had a suspicion that acts were complicit in how secondary ticketing …

Fri, Mar 9, 2012, 09:40

   

One of the least surprising elements in the fallout from Channel 4’s recent documentary The Great Ticket Scandal has been the silence of the acts.

Many of us long had a suspicion that acts were complicit in how secondary ticketing services (or “touts” as we call them around here) got tickets for sold-out shows.

After watching the Channel 4 show, no-one was in any doubt about how everyone from acts to promoters were caught up in this blatant, greedy, unsavoury business.

It says it all when the biggest ticket seller in the business, Ticketmaster, can also own and operate a secondary ticket selling business, Get Me In, and still have promoters and acts using their services.

While some acts from Nine Inch Nails to Bruce Springsteen have tried anti-touting measures in the past, there has been a noticeable silence from the artistic quarter over the contents and implications of the Channel 4 programme.

Step up, then, Radiohead. This writer may have little truck with much of the band’s music, but hats off to the musicians and their management on this occasion.

Aside from criticising the parasitical practice of industry-endorsed touting, they have also partnered with fan-to-fan ticket exchange service the Ticket Trust for their forthcoming tour. This will allow fans to resell tickets for shows they can’t attend to fellow fans who will get to buy them at face value.

While some tickets for shows will inevitably make their way to tout sites like Viagogo and Seatwave, Radiohead’s efforts will help to lessen that number. We also hope the band will make efforts to ensure that their show promoters don’t hold back tickets for those secondary markets. It may be time-consuming, but it’s what Radiohead’s fans want and it shows a real respect towards those who buy the tickets, merchandise and albums. Let’s hope other acts take note.