Gary Flockhart: A Prince-ly sum to see singer now

Prince. Pic: Comp

Prince. Pic: Comp

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IF you were lucky enough to get tickets to see Prince’s first show on Scottish soil since 1995, then spare a thought for the thousands of fans who couldn’t get their hands on one – thanks, you guessed it, to the greedy touts.

Hoping myself to snare tickets to see His Royal Purpleness at the 
Glasgow Hydro on May 22, I logged on last Friday to Ticketmaster and was poised and ready to click ‘buy’ bang on noon, when the briefs went on sale.

Obviously, the wee man is a big draw, so tickets were always likely to disappear fast. And this they did.

I didn’t manage to get any, and you can imagine my rage when I went on to eBay to find heaps of tickets up for auction, at ridiculously inflated prices, within minutes of the gig selling out.

It’s an absolute joke that these faceless morons are still making a fast buck off genuine fans in this day and age.

If it was just fans selling to other fans when the babysitter backs out or whatever, then I’d have no problem with that. But what we have now in is ‘industrial-scale touting’ – it’s a market estimated to be worth more than £1bn a year in the UK.

Action must be taken now. Fans, promoters and artists must come together en masse and force the Government to legislate against tickets touts.

Which begs the question: How can the touts be stopped?

Well, when Tom Waits visited the Edinburgh Playhouse a few years back fans were only allowed to buy two tickets each. The holders’ names were printed on the tickets and photo ID was required to get in. Granted, the security measures were a bit onerous, but it successfully prevented touts from buying up all the tickets for the gig.

All gigs should adopt the system.

If you need to sell your ticket before the gig, then you should be able to do so, at face value.

The likes of Ryanair allow passengers to change the name on flight tickets, and there’s no reason why the likes of Ticketmaster couldn’t do the same, for a small fee.