The Stone Roses finally announced two long overdue re-union gigs in their hometown of Manchester at 3pm on 18th October 2011. 150,000 fans would be able to attend two gigs at Heaton Park on 29th & 30th June 2012; a venue that has hosted a number of famous Manchester acts including Oasis. Tickets became available for sale on 21st October at 9.30am. Being a 90’s indie kid, I had to have one of these tickets. I was not the only one excited by the promise of the stupendous event. Anticipation and excitement raged in the ranks of my friends, who witnessed the Roses success first time round, at the elated pleasure of, once again, getting a live performance of fool’s gold, Sally Cinnamon and I am the resurrection.
Fingers were poised on Friday morning at 9.29am as the count-down for ticket sales clicked by. Then, to much horror the tickets systems crashed, data traffic overload. On the phone, a kind electronic recording apologised for the lines being unavailable. After half an hour of copious attempts to buy back my 90’s dream, the Saturday event had sold out. Frustratingly, the systems of the big sellers – Ticketline.com and Ticketmaster.com still allowed the hopeful thousands to go through the ‘buy ticket’ rigmarole. The data traffic eased as a new date on Sunday, 1st July was announced, but, I don’t fancy watching a tired band on Sunday. On facebook, the majority of status updates mirrored my ticket discontent, whilst the lucky few basked in their success.
Then, as if to rub salt crystals in to the proverbial wounds, tickets became available for sale on EBAY! Yes people, once again, the soulless ticket touts rise from their gutters to extort money from music fans, extracting ‘fool’s gold’ from those dim enough to pay it! The anger was rife amongst Stone Roses aficionados who had tried all morning to buy back an era. Kate, 34, from Manchester, a roses fan since the 80’s missed out on getting a ticket said
“I hope these scumbags who are selling tickets for personal gain on EBAY are pleased with themselves”
Beth, a local Manchester business women, couldn’t believe the nerve of the touts buying tickets, just to sell them straight away on EBAY ‘I really wanted one of those tickets’ she said.
This is not the first time touts have attempted to gain monetary benefit from music fans, and it certainly won’t be the last. As online bidding wars commence, disgruntled, genuine fans will sit with anger contemplating buying over-priced tickets and lining the pockets of these vermin in order to see the long awaited Roses re-union gig.
As a responsible and credible organisation, it is high time that EBAY took serious steps to eradicate the unfair selling of over-priced concert tickets on their auction site. They need take firm and responsible action preventing such sales which directly affect the music industry and fans. Using their own intelligent search facilities, surely EBAY can monitor the auction of illegal items (as terms on most tickets stipulate ‘no re-sale in the course of business’) and disassociate sellers from the website. It was pretty easy for me to search for tickets which became available for sale on EBAY soon after the gig sold out, and I’m certain that something could be put in place to remove from the auction site, what should be, illegal ticket sales – as with football match tickets. I ask you EBAY, is it really that difficult to prevent unfairly priced ticket sales? Event organisors should also be doing their part and taking civil action against these ticket touting parasites.
I implore all genuine music fans to take a stand. DON’T encourage the daylight robbery of touts by purchasing over inflated gig tickets on EBAY or anywhere else. And remember, there are a number of fair ticket exchange websites which allow sellers to sell excess tickets for face value. Scarlett Mist is one which I have used in the past, it’s a place where genuine music fans have spare tickets to sell, to other fans – it happens to us all sometimes. Check: www.scartlettmist.com
Whilst I still consider myself a fan of the Stone Roses, I won’t be supporting the sale of tickets at exorbitant prices just to attend this re-union show. Instead, I will wait patiently for the announcement of world tour dates. My friends and I will now be making a weekend break out of our ticketless disadvantage, and heading to watch the Stone Roses at the most obscure destination offered on the end of an easyJet route. Another advantage is that we are less likely to get a pint of piss thrown at us from a gang of scallies who have absolutely no interest in the music!