The USA Today website this week announced that paperless tickets for gigs have doubled in the past year. The main reason cited is to prevent touts or scalpers reselling the top seats in venues for extortionate prices.
This is on the back of the recent cut-price gigs by the likes of The Rolling Stones where last minute tickets were only available on the door and successful ticket purchasers were actually escorted into the venue – allowing no opportunity for the re-sale opportunists.
Some of these paperless, toutless tickets this Summer actually come from Kid Rock, who recently made the news for admitting he has scalped his own tickets. In an interview discussing his most recent tour, where tickets are going for as little as $20 in the US, Mr. Rock said he had (allegedly along with other musicians and members of his entourage) kept back tickets to his own shows in order to sell them on at a higher price nearer the time. These reduced price shows are presumably an attempt to make up for these previous indiscretions, as The Stones were doing after US audiences initially refused to shell out for their big arena shows in these budget conscious times.
More recently, Keith Richards has been quoted as saying they’d do the shows for free if they could (but can’t with staff to pay and expensive habits to maintain presumably…).
So whilst the number of toutless tickets on sale is less than 0.1% of all tickets this year, it’s a trend that’s definitely on the rise. As a happy co-incidence, Ticketlab’s tickets are paperless and tout free. If you’d like to know more about how we’re saving the world of events tickets (in our own little way), check us out at Ticketlab