The Scalper's curse...
Exhilarating excitement is one term to use for the run-up to a concert. From the artist's announcement, all the way to waiting six hours in line to get the best spot next to the stage, the entire process is one long thrill. One of the most memorable moments being the anticipation while waiting in queue to finally see the long-awaited acts. However, one matter dividing a dedicated fan from finally seeing their favourite artist is the flood of scalpers who take advantage of these mainstream and well-known concerts. It goes without a doubt that every concert go-er has experienced the anxieties of ticket buying.
"Will I get the seats that I want?... Actually, will there be any seats at all?"
These were the thoughts running through my head during the 2018 sale of BTS concert tickets, and this event was unfairly raided by scalpers who wanted to make a buck from reselling tickets. Them snatching many tickets from teenagers and young adults and stealing their chances of getting a chance to see them, myself being one of them, caused a lot of uproar in the European K-Pop community.
BTS's world tour "Love Yourself" was announced in April 2018 and were stopping at many international cities, including London, for two nights on the 9th and the 10th of October 2018. This caused the British fandom, known as the "Army" to roar in excitement, as this was the first time the boys were visiting the UK, and as the O2 has a capacity of 20,000, it would be filled to the brim with screaming supporting fans, cheering on their idols, and shouting the well-known fan chant. But for many, this dream they wished to come true for years only remained a dream!
From only the four mainstream reselling websites, around 2000+ tickets were being resold, and that didn't include the ones that were already sold when I recorded these findings back in 2018. This could have been blatantly avoided if these first-hand sellers, like Ticketmaster, were able to identify scalpers, which could have simply been done by cancelling the orders of those who resell at horrendous prices online. Solo artist Ed Sheeran discovered that some of his fans had paid for fake tickets that weren't anywhere near face price through Viagogo, another reselling site. To combat this, he cancelled these tickets, so the customers could receive refunds from the secondary site and buy new genuine tickets. This whole system was entirely false and upsetting for many!
In the end, Ticketmaster began to cancel the Scalper's tickets and release them back out onto their website for base price. Because of this, I was able to get my hands on V.I.P standing tickets and experience one of the best nights of my life. Since then, Ticketmaster has made steps towards combating scalpers by kicking buyers with several devices on the same network, as it replicates suspicious scalper-like behaviour.