Summer’s just around the corner and its time to go online or pick up the phone and buy your festival tickets.
But it’s just not as easy as that anymore and festival tickets are going on sale earlier and earlier. This year the V Festival tickets were even available in March – a full five months ahead of the event. But is this really such a good thing for the fans?
With amazing line-ups at this Summer’s festivals, including Radiohead at V and Coldplay at the Isle of Wight, there’s no way you’d want to miss out on a ticket. However, despite the advance availability of these tickets, the fans just are not getting the tickets.The moment the box office opens literally thousands of tickets are snatched up by buyers that are not even music fans and are simply out to make some money. Within hours of gigs and events selling out Ebay is overflowing with sellers eager to get these new tickets off their hands – often selling even before they’ve physically received the tickets themselves. This year there were V tickets going online for a starting price of £200. This clearly isn’t fair for the true fans that are unable to get tickets and are forced to pay these extortionate prices. It is not even just festivals that get this kind of treatment as tickets for gigs and other events increasingly appear on the online auction site. Oddly even Karl Kennedy’s sold-out appearance at the Cube last year prompted a few auctioned tickets.
A ban on Ebay ticket sales is not a solution as this would also hinder the real music fans that truly cannot make the events. It’s not that people haven’t tried to stop these things happening. Most sites limit the number of tickets that can be bought. Mr Eavis of Glastonbury fame also recently introduced non-transferable tickets printed with the buyer’s name and requiring ID for entry. There have even been rumours of a ‘lottery’ system for the next festival. So are we heading towards a world where we can only attend a gig if we book a year in advance, carry ID and relevant documentation and have a maximum of 4 friends? This is not what the summer festivals are about – they should be a chance to escape the bureaucracy and regulations of everyday life and enjoy yourself. The prices of festival tickets are high enough for a student budget to start with, especially once a few ‘convenience’ and ‘handling’ ch-arges have been added on, let alone the P&P and the VAT they forgot to mention earlier. Its just not fair that real (and now rather poor) music fans are being made money out of by these sellers on top of this.
For those that are lucky enough to get to the festivals this summer it should be, as ever, a fantastic, albeit expensive, experience. And for those that have been unlucky this time we’ll just have to see what Mr Eavis has up his sleeve for next year!