When writing about the documentary The Great Ticket Scandal I was introduced to The Ticket Trust. This group was created to allow ticket holders to resale unwanted tickets at face value, what some consider the only legitimate purpose of secondary tickets sellers. Recently Radiohead chose The Ticket Trust as the only officially sanctioned company for reselling their tickets.
At the time AIF Vice-Chair Ben Turner stated:
"AIF has pulled together its festival members to collectively make a simple message – AIF festivals DO NOT and WILL NOT play the secondary ticketing market for profiteering. AIF stands for strong principles in the festival sector and we object to the practices of many of the so-called secondary ticketing market companies."
They chose to partner with Sandbag, a direct-to-fan music services company based in Reading, for fulfilment. Said Turner:
"I heard Christiaan [Munro] from Sandbag speak at In The City on a panel about this sector and his anger, passion and vision for change inspired me to approach him on-the-spot to partner with AIF on this project."
As Munro put it:
"There is a finite amount of money that fans have to spend on music and entertainment and we often see tickets we have sold being sold at more than ten times the face value. The increase in ticket price, with profit siphoned away, can only be to the detriment of the music industry as a whole. Secondary ticketing for profit is not yet illegal for concert tickets, but it's just plain wrong."
At the time Sandbag not only provided services for Radiohead but included members of their management team on the board. Recently Radiohead, as well as the Eden Sessions festival, joined the artists and festivals already using the Ticket Trust service. The announcement included this statement from Radiohead's management:
"Radiohead are fortunate enough to have a loyal and passionate fan base cultivated over many years. Their live shows are well anticipated and rightly create a tangible sense of excitement through innovative staging. In recent years however, the band's enjoyment of their own shows has been marred by the knowledge that a great many of their fans have been obliged to pay well over face value for their tickets. Secondary ticketing is wrong on so many levels and as management, with ultimate responsibility for the welfare of the band, we must ensure that their fans are treated fairly. This is why we are happy to work with The Ticket Trust".
While officially designating The Ticket Trust as a resale partner cannot stop secondary ticket sales that amount to scalping until legislation is passed, Radiohead has sent a strong message as the largest act making use of the service.
Find out more about how The Ticket Trust works to faciliate fans ability to buy and sell unneeded tickets and to ensure that such tickets are not counterfeit.
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.