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Ticket Brokers: Looking Behind the Curtain | A Journal of Musical Things

Some tours, especially major ones by big name bands, only release to the public for sale a fraction of a venue’s capacity, roughly 46% of overall capacity. This is done to drive up demand for shows, often resulting in higher prices for fans who don’t know this practice exists. Once that first wave of tickets—possibly as small as a quarter of the available seats for a given show—is sold and people are chomping at the bit to gain access (or, as in the case with The Tragically Hip’s tour this summer), the venue or promoter or band might “suddenly” decide to release more tickets. This gives fans the impression that more seats are open when, in reality, it might just mean additional seats that were going to be empty were released to the market.

When asked whether The Hip’s statement, released a few days after the first two fan club presale events sold out in seconds, that the band was going to reconfigure its stage setup in order to make more seats available, Adler was skeptical. It might be true, he say, but it’s more common in his experience that the promoter or venue simply made available other seats that hadn’t been up for sale before.

NATB does lobbying work to eliminate ticket price floors, meaning tickets cannot be resold for less than face value. He points to the recent stories out of Vancouver that Hip fans were able to buy tickets to the previously sold-out shows there for less than face value as an example of the benefit of being able to charge fans a fair price if supply for a show is greater than the demand. There’s a practice, at least among professional sports leagues, where a fan could lose their season tickets if found to be reselling tickets to a game they can’t attend if the seat is sold for less than face value.

On the other hand, Adler is against prohibiting people from selling seats for more than face value on the resale market. Let the customer decide how much he or she wants to pay, he asserts. Any attempt to restrict ticket sale prices by legislation is a disservice to fans and entertainers or athletes alike.

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A Journal of Musical ThingsTicket Brokers: Looking Behind the Curtain – A Journal of Musical Things.

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