The English Cricketing Board gets tough. Time for music to do the same?
As regular readers (and those who get re-directed here by various tweets etc.. thank you) will know, in the last three weeks I have launched an anti-touting petition .
I was spurred into action by the Kate Bush tickets debacle, but it wasn’t about me failing to get tickets for Kate Bush. It’s about the way in which punters are fleeced by people who have no interest in the events other than a way to make a quick buck, with ridiculous mark-ups.
When I started the petition, Maria Miller was the Culture Secretary in the UK. Unless you take no interest in Politics (in which case, you are setting yourselves up to be completely exploited) you will have noticed she has resigned. The new Culture Secretary is Sajid Javid, or to give him his full title, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Equalities.
So the petition is directed to him, rather than Prime Minister David Cameron. Within a matter of hours of Mr. Javid being appointed, it emerged that he had praised ticket touts as being ‘classic entrepeneurs.’ Now, I’m not a Tory voter – but I can imagine that there were those within his own party cringing at this. And whilst the eagle-eyed will point out that this has been attributed to him three years ago, he has not retracted it.
It’s not just about music – it’s about sport and theatre, too. Watch this summer as at major sporting events touts make a killing. This money won’t go to anyone but the touts. I’d be willing to be they won’t be paying tax on these earnings (remember how Al Capone was caught in the end?) I can understand that there are those people who buy a ticket and then cannot go, who want to get their money’s worth. Fine. But anyone who thinks that this is what ticket touts are doing…well, you probably fell for the ‘gullible’s just been taken out of the dictionary, too’ didn’t you?
It may seem hard to stop ticket touting. But just because there is a market for something, doesn’t make it it a case for so-called entrepeneurs to get involved. It exploits vulnerable punters and waving the touts along with the ‘well, if people are stupid enough to pay for it’ really doesn’t legitimise it. There might be a market for someone dealing drugs outside a primary school – but do you want people to do it? If people are always going to murder other people do we just decriminalise that on the grounds it’s probably going to happen anyway? Far-fetched examples, perhaps but relevant.
So, please, keep up the pressure. Sign the petition and spread the word. We can do this.
Interestingly, there has also been criticism this year of Record Store Day as people have sought to profit and make a killing as soon as possible without letting genuine fans get their hands on the merchandise. Paul Weller has already said he won’t be involved because of inflated prices – and The Quietus has published an excellent article on whether the day is in crisis.
If you would like to sign the petition, please follow this link. Please share and retweet