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Iron Maiden say their anti-touting tactics have worked

By | Published on Friday 3 March 2017

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden have been bigging up their efforts to stop the touts on their upcoming UK arena tour, which have included paperless ticketing, printing names on tickets, demanding ID on entry and pressuring resale sites to not allow tickets to be listed. As a result, the band says, the number of tickets going at inflated prices on the secondary market is down 95% compared with the band’s last UK arena tour back in 2011.

6294 tickets appeared for sale across Viagogo, Seatwave and Get Me In during 2011, whereas when tickets for the 2017 tour went on sale last year only 207 tickets ended up being touted, and that despite the growth in secondary ticketing over the last six years. Only Viagogo knocked back the band’s request to not allow the resale of their tickets for the UK tour, so all 207 were listed there.

Though, the band add, many of those tickets for sale didn’t actually exist. In a statement Iron Maiden said yesterday: “Of those 207 tickets listed by Viagogo in 2016, most were identified as bogus and are now in the hands of the relevant authorities investigating criminal activity. The few genuine tickets which made their way onto Viagogo have been made null and void per our conditions of ticket purchase”.

Stopping touts from buying up tickets for the tour hasn’t affected ticket sales overall, which are actually up compared to 2010. Promoter Live Nation and its ticketing business Ticketmaster say that they’ve only had positive feedback from fans regarding the rules and regulations that have been put in place to try to combat touting.

Commenting on all this, the band’s manager Rod Smallwood says: “We are delighted that the paperless ticketing system and other measures we instigated here in the UK have proved a massive deterrent to touts and counterfeiters. We want to thank our fans for their enduring support and patience. We appreciate that our stringent policy has meant fans having to jump over one more hurdle in the ticket-buying process but the results speak for themselves and I think everyone can agree this was well worth it”.

He adds: “On the first day of public sale, we sold over 100,000 tickets nationwide direct to genuine fans through the proper legitimate channels. This is an incredible achievement and victory for concert-goers, not least as this is a full twelve date UK tour we’re undertaking, not just a couple of dates in the bigger cities. We’ve calculated that around £1 million worth of mark-up on tickets is not sitting in the hands of touts, but instead the tickets are sitting in the hands of the fans at the correct price and we think that is a great result and makes all our efforts worthwhile”.

Backing the wider campaign in the artist community against ticket touting, and the call for more regulation, Smallwood concluded: “Secondary ticketing sites operate a billion pound profiteering industry offering little to the consumer in return for their hugely inflated prices. There have been many instances highlighted in the UK media recently about the reselling of tickets for corporate or personal gain so we very much welcome the excellent work of the FanFair Alliance and the fact that the Culture, Media & Sports Committee recently re-opened the debate in the House Of Commons on this ongoing problem, and trust that common sense and good judgement will prevail”.

Ticketmaster’s paperless ticketing system has played its role in helping Iron Maiden keep tickets off the resale market, which is, of course, slightly ironic, given the Live Nation ticketing firm is itself a major player in secondary ticketing owning sites like Seatwave and Get Me In. Given that some in the artist community see Live Nation as part of the problem when it comes to touting, it’s interesting when its products are also part of the solution.

And certainly Ticketmaster UK MD Andrew Parsons is happy to have helped Iron Maiden in their battle with the touts, saying yesterday: “Iron Maiden has been clear from the beginning: eliminate resale and get tickets directly into the hands of fans. We’re proud that our paperless ticketing technology has been able to achieve this for the band, their team and the fans”.