Ticket resellers often charge well above face value, and Mumford & Sons and Elton John are speaking out against the practice. As Billboard reports, Mumford & Sons shared a post entitled "To all our Fans Around the World: Help Us to Stop the Ticket Touts," which urges fans to join them in the fight.
"Many tickets on secondary sites are being sold by touts who are simply in the business of ripping off the fan by charging an extortionate amount for sold out shows," the British group wrote, adding that the resellers are "very sophisticated" and use deceptive practices such as breaking software codes, multiple identities and pose as individuals rather than businesses when reselling the tickets. "We want fans of the band to be able to get into our shows for the right price, to feel that they've got value for money," they continued, adding that the inflated resale ticket prices "hurts our fans and it's a problem for all artists."
The group estimated that around 6,000 tickets from their tour were available via secondary ticket platforms, and while they acknowledged fans may sometimes need to resell their tickets, they suggested using face-value-only sites.
Mumford & Sons wrote that they've employed several different ways to combat secondary ticketing, including holding ticket lotteries and canceling orders that looked dodgy, but they maintained it's not enough. "We need your help to win this battle. We urge you again to use face-value only secondary ticketing sites either to sell or buy tickets."
Elton John also addressed the issue during a BBC interview on Wednesday. "I think it's extortionate and I think it's disgraceful," he said. "The fact that they're willing to pay that [amount] is fantastic, but I just think I'd rather they save their money and not come."
In 2013, Ticketmaster joined the secondary ticketing market with its TM+ resale program, which artists can participate in, but not everyone is opting in. "Tom Waits doesn't believe that the wealthiest people should get the best seats. He believes that the people that want to see the show the most should be able to get the best seats," Stuart Ross, tour director for the singer-songwriter, told Rolling Stone. "We don't want to take all of a person's disposable income just to go to one show. If we do, we're harming the industry."