You might have heard about a little K-Pop group called BTS having a tour this year. Oh wait, BTS are everywhere right now!
So yes, tickets for many of BTS’ LOVE YOURSELF tour went on sale at 9am on Friday 1st June, including for the Amsterdam, Paris and London venues. However, many fans were left disappointed when tickets were rapidly sold out only to then re-appear on ticket resale sites at hugely extortionate prices.
For those unfamiliar, ticket touts (also known as scalpers) buy tickets with the aim of selling them on at a higher price and making a profit. They appear on many ticket resale sites or can be sold outside the venue on the day itself. Of course, ticket touts are not a new thing, the term itself is said to have been created in the 19th century for those who bought railroad tickets to then resell them.
Ticket touts are a problem for every event that sells tickets. Football matches, concerts, plays etc. can all suffer, but it does not mean it’s any less frustrating for the fans that are made to miss out because of it. It can also mean that, if the ticket touts are unable to re-sell the tickets, there will be empty spaces and seats at the events. This is another extremely annoying fact for the fans that have been unable to go because of them.
So, what exactly can be done about this? In many countries, the resale of tickets above face value is actually completely legal. It is up to the ticket buyers what prices to re-sell them at and up to anyone who wishes to buy them at what price they wish to pay. If the tickets are not re-sold, the original buyer is out of pocket.
In the UK, there is a law that specifically prohibits the resale of tickets for football matches unless it is authorised by organisers of each game. In some US states, there are specific areas outside venues where ticket resales can take place, perhaps in an attempt to regulate the practice in some way. Overall though, in many places, the practice of reselling tickets at anything higher than face value not illegal, just frowned upon. So come on guys, let’s all frown together!
Obviously though, making something illegal does not mean it will not happen. The practice is simply pushed into the shadows where there is possibility for it to be even less regulated. Perhaps, the only thing that can be done is to set up restrictions with the help of technology? For example, limiting the amount of tickets per IP address, or some form of identification to be shown after purchase of the tickets? You probably have better ideas yourself, but there will likely always be loopholes.
For now, the only thing we can do to fight against ticket touts is not buy tickets being resold at a higher price than they were originally sold for. No matter how desperate we are to go to events, to see our favourite acts and scream our hearts out, the bottom line is – if you are buying resold tickets for a higher price, you are playing right into the touts’ hands. As a result, the touts will continue to do what they do.
In any case, if you have tickets to one of BTS’ European stops, I hope you enjoy your time and have lots of fun. For those that do not, we can always hope that tickets will be made available again, or more European dates will be added!