And by “piracy” they’re including the ridiculously legal scheme whereby TicketBastard / LiveNation and their friends happily allow people to buy £40 tickets for shows and then shove them online two minutes later for £400. But it’s OK as it’s through a “licensed resale site”, from which Ticketbastard – coincidentally… not – take a percentage of the sale price.
Maiden’s 2017 UK arena tour will be official announced on Friday, though it seems that the “leaked” information from a couple of days ago is accurate. I guess we’ll find out, though!
Before you read on, note that we’re hugely in favour of any means whereby the greedy force fans who couldn’t get online fast enough to pay well over the odds for tickets. However, there are still a few issues with Maiden’s solution, though it wouldn’t surprise me if they have some method of sorting these which isn’t in their FAQ as yet. It’s more annoying that they’re having to implement these policies to fix a problem that shouldn’t exist in the first place.
- The ticket purchaser and their card must be present to enter the venue with the tickets supplied. Maiden have said they’ll sort things out if the card is lost / changed, which is cool, but it doesn’t get round the issue of needing the cardholder to be there. This can be a problem if the tickets are bought as a gift by someone who doesn’t want to attend, or as a favour for someone who doesn’t own a credit card.
- Government issued photo ID required that matches the cardholder’s name could also be problematic. We only really have two in this country – passport and driving license – and not everyone has those.
However, full marks to Maiden and their management for implementing something to kick TicketBastard and its various subsidiaries into touch. However, I can’t see this helping fans of smaller bands who simply don’t have Maiden’s clout when it comes to dealing with the larger ticketing agencies, who the band will still be using to distribute tickets.
The statement in full from Rod Smallwood is as follows…
We do not want our fans being ripped off either by counterfeit tickets or through costly mark-ups on so called secondary ticketing websites. These problems now affect the UK more than any other country outside of the U.S.A. We believe the most successful way to prevent this is by implementing Paperless ticketing. This proved highly successful in reducing piracy at our previous London shows in 2013 and on our North American tours since 2010. This is a simple procedure and goes a long way to minimising the resale of tickets and reducing fraud by requiring the original cardholder purchaser to be present at entry.
We have been working with our UK promoter Live Nation and Ticketmaster to ensure that we can operate a Paperless ticketing system, in full or in part, at all the UK venues we’ll play in 2017. We are also instigating a number of additional measures which we believe will directly help our fans to access tickets in the fairest, safest way and at the intended price.
The actions being put in place for 2017 are:
- Ensuring that every venue will operate Paperless ticketing, either 100% or partial.
- Working in co-operation with Live Nation and Ticketmaster, Paperless ticketing means that the original cardholder is required to present their debit or credit card and photographic ID at the point of entry with their guest(s).
- Setting Conditions of Purchase so that tickets are not for resale. Ensuring to the best of our abilities, in conjunction with Live Nation and Ticketmaster, that secondary ticketing sites are prevented from listing our shows and to invalidate tickets should any appear on these secondary sites.
- Setting a maximum limit of 4 (four) tickets per person per show.
- To use Purchaser Names on tickets where they are not paperless and to require the cardholder to be present at the show, with picture ID.
- A dedicated team to monitor ticket sales in real-time throughout the exclusive Iron Maiden Fan Club pre-sale http://ironmaiden.com/fan-club/presales, any other presales and the general public on sale to ensure that ticket limits are being imposed and all suspicious activity is reported and investigated.
- A dedicated customer support team on hand to deal with any issues from fans with legitimate problems.
- Being aware of criminals and their methods to infiltrate our best practices and having the conviction to retrospectively cancel their inventory. This is especially in respect of automated bots and multiple card efforts which are used to garner large numbers of tickets at the onsale to the detriment of the fans.
- Reinforcing the message that if you buy a ticket from an unauthorised source, it will be either invalid or counterfeit. Do not become a victim.
IRON MAIDEN has long been active in combating the abuse of secondary ticketing websites; specifically the individuals and businesses who use digital platforms to immediately snap up and re-sell tickets at vastly inflated prices, denying the genuine fan a fair chance to purchase at face-value. The band supports The Fanfair Alliance which unites music businesses, artists and fans against ticket touting and profiteering in the online secondary market.
Nigel Adams MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Music and Member of Parliament for Selby and Ainsty adds:
I’m pleased that Iron Maiden are taking a principled position and standing up for music fans. I’d like to think the whole industry can learn from this initiative and use technology to put a stop to the industrial level of touting that has been a blight on the live music industry for so long.
Please note the FAQ which will hopefully go some way to answering any queries from fans.