Column: Ticketing services harm fans, artists

Writer shares insight on the negative effects of processes, platforms


Gianna Galante

In sync, ATEEZ performs in Dallas. Most ticket buyers at this concert had to buy resale tickets. “The face value for pit was about $175,” senior Gianna Galante said. “Because I couldn’t get in the queue in time, mine were around $300.”

For any fan aspiring to see their favorite artists live, tour announcements should be exciting. Ticketing services, however, make it less exciting, and more stress inducing. When most artists announce their tour, the ticketing process is done through multiple websites, including Ticketmaster, SeatGeek and AXS

The picture above shows the current platinum price for a ticket to see TOMORROW X TOGETHER. The face value price of this section was around $250. Due to platinum pricing, the price has risen to $786, not including fees. (Gianna Galante)

Although on the surface these websites make it look easy and stress free to buy tickets, they have proven to time and time again take advantage of fans.

If we are talking about taking advantage of fans, Ticketmaster is at the top of the pyramid. Artists generally price their tickets based on demand and venue size, but with Ticketmaster’s “platinum pricing” service, they up the face value price of a seat just because of its popularity. This puts fans at a disadvantage, and if they are desperate enough, left with no money. Ticketmaster claims to care about their users, but in the end they only care about one thing: money. Ticketmaster isn’t even the only service that does this. Another popular service, AXS, has equal or even crazier platinum prices.

In addition, most ticketing services use presale queues for popular artists, to eliminate the high volume of buyers. This may seem good, but half the time, the queues kick you out, put you in a random spot, or the entire site crashes, leaving fans ticketless. Even fans who log into the queue hours before the queue starts are left stuck behind thousands of others. “Sometimes I log into Ticketmaster an hour or two before the queue starts letting people join,” senior Kylie Green said.And when it came down to see my place in line, there were 2,000-plus people in front of me. It doesn’t make sense.” 

With anticipation, Taylor Swift fans join the queue for tickets. The ticket queue glitched throughout the day, leaving some fans ticketless. “Gianna’s computer was the only one that worked, so we all frantically logged into hers to buy our tickets,” junior Landry Long said. “Although hers was the only one that worked, it still took about an hour and a half to load. We signed in at 10 a.m. and left around 11:30 a.m.” (Gianna Galante)

Surprisingly enough, the call to action to change ticketing services sprung upon people in November 2022, during the Taylor Swift fan queue, where Ticketmaster not only kicked fans out of queues and wouldn’t allow purchases, but canceled public on sales entirely, leaving fans with no tickets. Although it was not the first time Ticketmaster has been called to court order, Taylor Swift fans re-established the problem at hand.

“Although my queue was on SeatGeek, we still had major issues,” junior Kross Nickerson said. “I have never been in a queue for that long. It took two hours to get in because the entire site was down. It was the same for people using Ticketmaster as well.” 

In an attempt to combat the Taylor Swift problem, Ticketmaster recently announced that their reselling service would not allow sellers to sell tickets for more than they have paid for. Although this claim was announced, there has yet to be action taken. “I recently couldn’t get tickets for one of my favorite groups,” Rock Hill High School alumna Madison McDow said. “I went on Ticketmaster to see if I could buy tickets people were reselling, and it was crazy. There was upwards of four thousand dollars per ticket. There is no way someone purchased it for that much.”

Allowing these resale prices to rise not only harms fans, but artists too. Artists’ shows will have multiple empty closer sections because no one can afford to keep up with the resale prices. 

Some concert-goers claim that these ticketing services are fine, because when it all comes down to it, it is the only way to ensure fraud-free tickets to see your favorite artists. Although this might be true right now, this is the exact reason why we need to push for a change. Fans have the power to change the problem, and need to do so for the sake of live music.