Ticket resale site StubHub has hit back at recent claims made by Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn saying more should be done to prevent ticket touts and resale sites re-selling tickets to fans. Benn cited the Olympic ticketing system as an example of a successful sales model.
Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, general manager of StubHub, claims that ticket resale sites add 'spontaneity' to festival attendances, giving fans the opportunity to make a last minute, impulse purchase to festivals and gigs.
"Secondary ticket sales also play an integral role in maintaining spontaneity in event attendance rather than stifling it, as Benn suggested," says Ricou-Bellan in a statement made to Gigwise. "Thanks to the deceptive sell-out nature created by the primary market, purchasing tickets often requires commitment months in advance, whereas through the secondary market fans can get tickets as little as hours before their chosen gig."
She also adds that the practice of ticket resales is a widespread and supported practice throughout the music industry, revealing that big name artists channel tickets directly for secondary sales (although stresses StubHub do not receive pre-allocated tickets.)
"In reality, the vast majority of music event tickets are funnelled to promoters, venues, fan clubs or select ticket brokers to be sold at a higher profit, by moving onto secondary resale sites," she continues. "As an example, leaked documents from Katy Perry's management company last year show that the artist reserved the right to hold back tickets from each concert to sell directly through ticket reselling avenues.
Ricou-Bellan is also keen to stress the difference between ticket resale sites and touts - saying that resale sites often offer less than face value offers for fans.
"Many users choose to sell tickets below face-value, presenting fans better value for money than the primary ticketing market itself. As we have seen time and time again imposing caps on a market does not work. You don’t remove the market, you merely drive it underground – back on the streets, paying cash in shady corners by a stadium for what could just as likely be a bus ticket as a front row seat."
"Having a robust, legal and competitive marketplace that is online with full consumer protections and guarantees is ultimately a better experience for fans. "We also fundamentally believe once a fan has bought a ticket it is theirs to do with what they wish – whether that is giving it to a friend or selling it if they can no longer make it. The fan then owns the ticket – not the organiser, and it’s not up to the organiser to dictate how it’s used or to try and employ technology or regulation to limit fan freedom."