Frank Turner has always made a point of enabling people to exchange tickets for his shows at face value (#Fthctickets) and now he’s taken part in a programme for Radio 5 Live to discuss the ticket resale market.
“I can understand the economic reasons for it existing,” explains Frank during the interview. “If you have shows that are sold out far up in advance and you’ve got people who want to exchange tickets, there’s a place for that to take place. That’s not something I object to, fundamentally. The problem is that this has developed over time into people cornering the market on shows, buying up tickets en masse when they’ve got no intention of going to the show and then selling them on for vastly inflated prices. That’s problematic because as an artist, for me the primary way I engage with my audience, the most direct way I engage with my audience is things like ticket prices and t shirt prices and that kind of thing. I spend a lot of time thinking about how much it costs to get into my shows and making it equitable and fair. When you’ve got people who have no other involvement with the show and are making a ton of money and making it more difficult to get into the show, that’s pretty frustrating for me.”
“It’s not something I can completely police and at the end of the day, if somebody sells it for a couple of quid extra, that’s not the end of the world,” he continues, talking about people exchanging tickets. “I’ll get over it. But generally speaking I feel that all the people who want to come to a show have at least one common interest. Maybe this makes me an incorrigible optimist but I feel that actually you’ve put people together and people can deal with it in a friendly way. It doesn’t have to be this whole thing with touting and secondary sites, it can be people interacting as human beings.”
There’s an argument that if people are willing to pay much more than the face value, then the ticket price is just too low to begin with. “As I said at the beginning, I understand the economics of the situation completely and I’m not necessarily in favour of draconian legislation controlling the situation,” Frank replies when this is mentioned. “The ultimate solution to the problem in the long term if actually for me to play venues that are appropriate to the number of people that want to come, which of course we always try and do but it’s difficult to guess in advance.”
“What I would say to that fan is don’t buy (overpriced tickets from secondary marketing sites). Instead get onto twitter, get onto the forum on my website of go down to the queue and make friends with people. I like to think my audience is quiet a friendly audience. As a last resort, my email address is on my website. People email me and I put them on the guestlist all the time to sold out shows because I’m a big softy.”
Frank Turner is currently on tour (as always). The full list of dates is available here.