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‘Irish Ticket Touts Are Being Allowed Run Riot… And It’s A F*cking Joke’

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We’ve all been there.

After waiting what seems like YEARS,
your favourite act finally announces an Irish gig.

The morning that that tickets go on
sale, you’re poised and ready with Ticketmaster open on your laptop
and mobile, your finger hovering over the refresh button and more
adrenaline running through your veins that Usain Bolt ahead of a 100m
sprint.

FINALLY, it’s 9am. The tickets go live
and you wait, every part of your body clenched, as the spinning wheel
searches for your order and tells you to ‘sit tight’.

You wait.

And you wait.

And you wait some more, your hopes and
dreams fading as the clock ticks on.

Eventually, Ticketmaster puts you out
of your misery with the dreaded message ‘Sorry, no tickets match your
search’.

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Most of us have been unfortunate enough
to endure this crushing disappointment at some stage of our lives and
while it’s annoying enough to miss out to other fans, the reality
that your tickets have instead gone to touts is enough to send anyone
into an incandescent rage.

Take last Friday, for example.

Tickets for Eddie Vedder’s upcoming
date at the 3 Arena went on sale at 9am. As a long-time fan, I
dutifully went through the motions of trying to get a ticket but,
surprise surprise, they sold out in minutes.

I logged on to secondary ticket seller
Seatwave’s website at 9.20am and there were already 53 tickets on
sale – with the cheapest priced at €200 (the most expensive at
the moment is €650) .

They were priced between €60 and €90
originally.

The kicker? Ticketmaster also owns
Seatwave and adds a €40 booking fee to the already inflated price
of the tickets.

And the situation on other secondary
sites is even worse.

The sad thing is that I wasn’t even
surprised. This is standard practice now for any popular concert, forcing
genuine fans to pay 3x the price of a ticket or camp out in the
street to be in with a chance of being able to attend.

There are tickets to see U2 at Croke
Park selling for €1,000 on StubHub at the moment, a lower tier
ticket to see Ed Sheeran at the 3 Arena next month is on Viagogo for
€1,147, and a ticket to see Radiohead at 3 Arena in June could set
you back €600 on NeedATicket.ie.

Absolute madness.

While Fine Gael’s Noel Rock and Fianna
Fáil’s Stephen Donnelly are about to put forward a motion to make
touting illegal in Ireland, there has been little political appetite
to address the issue in the past.

Calls for similar legislation back in
1998 and 2005 failed to receive enough support in the corridors of
power and a very telling story recently published by The Sunday Times
could explain why.

The newspaper claimed that IDA Ireland
advised the Government that introducing legislation to make touting
illegal could have a negative impact on companies like Viagogo and
Stubhub, who both have offices in Ireland.

Viagogo, for example, employs 200
people at its Limerick site and the investment agency “expressed
concern” that “restrictive provisions on ticket resale
would send a negative signal to these businesses and adversely affect
efforts to attract other businesses in the sector to Ireland”.

Rock recently told Hot Press that his
bill has the support of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, raising some
hope that a resolution could be on the horizon.

However, given that this is far from a
new issue and the Government’s dire track record so far, you’ll
forgive us if we’re not counting our chickens.

In the meantime? It looks like I’ll be
pitching up outside St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre for a few
hours this Thursday morning to make sure I don’t miss out again.

The joys of modern technology, eh?

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