eBay Oz fights back on ticket sales

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eBay are to sue organisers of Australia’s Big Day Out concert for cancelling tickets sold online.

Promotors have cancelled tickets known to have been sold online, in accordance with a warning given to original buyers. They argue that eBay’s easily accessible market place encourages ticket holders to resell their tickets way above face value. Tickets for the Big Day Out were originally sold out in record time; it seems like just a very simple case of too little supply for too much demand. Would you like to go and see your favourite band, or make a big wad of cash just after Christmas? It’s a tough call.

I’m left feeling that it must be jealousy on the part of the promotors. If they sell huge blocks of tickets to touts early on, they’re guaranteed their cash for the gig, and the touts are taking the risk for them that the tickets may not sell at all. I’m imagining some suited exective looking green-faced at eBay’s completed auctions and thinking of all the money that could have been his. If they don’t like this scenario, it’d be simple enough to restrict the number of tickets sold to any one person, something that some promotors are now doing.

But to say that Joe Public can’t pass on a ticket to a mate, can’t sell it to a bloke in the pub, or can’t auction it on eBay is just ridiculous. All that eBay have done is to make overt something that has been happening for decades. Instead of having to deal with a tout outside the venue, fans can now buy the ticket from the comfort of their living room: who can blame them for preferring that?

Of course, what concert promotors never seem to quite explain is why ticket holders *shouldn’t* sell their tickets for way above face value. There is usually some mention of ‘preventing genuine fans from seeing the musicians’. I think to pay triple face value to someone you’ve never met for a concert ticket, you’d have to be a very devoted fan indeed.


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