Music fans frustrated as concert ticket prices soar on resell market
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - National concert ticket issues that sparked a federal investigation have now reached a local level as Wilmington music fans try to get their hands on tickets to local shows.
Most recently, many fans hoping to see the Dave Matthews Band this May weren’t able to score normal-price tickets through Live Nation, despite spending hours in an online queue. Their only option left is to buy resale tickets through third-party sites or Live Nation itself, often with prices far above face value.
“I had two different logins between two personal emails and was on plenty of time before and went on there and just nothing came about,” said Wilmington resident Matthew Weissman. “I just found that interesting that there wasn’t one lawn ticket available.”
The issues reached a national lens last fall when Taylor Swift fans took to social media, sharing issues they had trying to buy tickets to her upcoming “Eras” tour. The general sale of tickets was canceled because of insufficient amounts of tickets remaining, while some prices on resell sites reached thousands of dollars.
It prompted an investigation from the US Senate into “bots,” or automatic ticket buying programs, that snatch large numbers of tickets and resell them for far above face value.
“It’s supposed to be for the consumer, but they’re robbing the consumer and making them pay more,” Weissman said.
Now, local fans are joining national outcries for something to be done to benefit concert-goers and the artists they’re hoping to see.
Some Wilmington-area music fans even said they’d be willing to pay the extra cost if Live Nation hiked its prices based on the value of a ticket, as long as they knew they were getting it from a direct source and the profits would benefit those who make the shows possible.
“What’s happening right now isn’t quite working, typically, for the fans, and I feel like it’s the wrong people are getting the money,” said Wilmington resident Darren Weissbratten. If anyone’s going to get the money, it should be the artist. I really believe that.”
Until changes are made, though, local music fans say they’ll continue trying their luck at getting some tickets to shows happening in town. They said they plan to watch for prices to drop as the show dates get closer to Dave Matthews Band. If not, they might consider going out of town to see the artists they love.
“You’ve kind of got to play the game for these concert tickets,” Weissbratten said. “You’ve got to figure it out and you’ve got to keep trying.”
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