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News

Average black market premium of 64% for event tickets

G4S Secure Solutions (UK And Ireland) : 01 June, 2009  (Technical Article)
The ticket tout index from G4S reveals the lengths Britons will go in order to secure sold out event tickets with high levels of associated fraud dangers
G4S Events' annual Ticket Tout Index reveals event tickets purchased via unauthorised websites cost on average 64% more than the original face value. Europe's leading events security provider warns that music enthusiasts, theatre goers and sports fans are risking their safety and security, by purchasing black market tickets as well as paying highly inflated prices.

Sports fans are prepared to pay the highest premium for black market tickets, paying an average of 71% over the face value to their secure seats. Touts are laughing at comedy fans that are prepared to pay a 56% premium on tickets to see the likes of Jimmy Carr and Michael McIntyre. Ricky Gervais' fans have especially deep pockets, as one fan paid double the asking price to see The Office star's 'Science' stand-up show at the Manchester Apollo in November.

Music fans pay on average 53% over the face value of a ticket to see their favourite artists, including Green Day, Oasis and Take That. While Oasis pride themselves on their devoted fan base, it is Take That's post-adolescent supporters that are prepared to pay more for tickets on the black market. Gary Barlow fans are prepared to pay 10% more than fans of the Gallagher brothers for a ticket to their concerts.

Mark Hamilton, Managing Director G4S Events, commented: "Despite the introduction of legitimate sites for the resale of event tickets, thousands of tickets can still be found for sale across the internet on unauthorised websites. Many of these tickets are 'phantom' tickets and do not even exist, as touts prey on the public's desire to secure 'must have' tickets for sold out events. Purchasers of second-hand tickets may find that they are denied entry to events such as Glastonbury, if the ticket holder is not able to produce a credit card or identification matching that of the original ticket purchaser."

Fans paying huge premiums for sold out concert tickets for the likes of Michael Jackson, could be left short-changed and unable to get into the venue. When concerts are rescheduled as in the case of Michael Jackson's O2 gigs, or cancelled, monies are refunded to the original purchaser of the tickets. The fan that paid £1,020 for two tickets with a face value of £168, a mark-up of 507%, could find themselves without a seat in the venue and severely out of pocket.

The mark-up on tickets sold by touts in the secondary market has remained consistently at over 50% for the last four years and although black-market sales are slightly down from last year, the figure is still very high, showing fans are still prepared to risk purchasing non-existent or exorbitantly priced tickets from unlicensed sources, where there is little or no legal recourse.

It is not all plain sailing for touts however; one seller offering tickets to the musical Wicked made a loss of 76% when selling two tickets worth £120 for just £28 on a high profile online auction website.

Hamilton continued: "Crowd segregation at sporting events is particularly important to avoid dangerous incidents occurring between rival supporters. Fans buying tickets on the black market could find themselves sitting with opposing fans, putting their health and safety at risk and they could find themselves ejected and barred from a stadium. Supporters should also note the unauthorised resale of tickets for top flight football matches in England is illegal."
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