Forum: Concert organisers can do more to combat ticket scalping

With the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in Singapore, live concerts and events are returning quickly. Singaporeans can look forward to performances from international superstars like K-pop girl group Blackpink and Irish pop group Westlife.

While a significant proportion of customers buy tickets from official partners for their own use, there is also a large group of scalpers who purchase tickets with the intention of reselling them at a much higher price on websites like Carousell and Telegram channels.

Although most official ticketing merchants indicate that reselling tickets is prohibited, people are not adhering to this rule. It has been reported that VIP concert tickets for Blackpink are being advertised for up to $3,500 on Carousell, many times their initial price of $398.

While there is currently no law that prohibits people from reselling concert tickets at a marked-up price, and people who choose to buy tickets from such resellers are advised to do their own due diligence, organisers should step in and enforce stricter measures to stop scalpers from making a profit from these popular concerts.

For instance, the organiser or venue owner could do identification checks before it allows people to enter the venue. Singer Ed Sheeran’s team did this for his 2019 concert in Singapore – the name of the ticket buyer was printed on each ticket, and there were identification checks at the entrance.

Having measures to reduce scalping would give genuine fans a higher chance of seeing their idols on stage, and reduce the number of scams. In cases where fans have bought tickets but are unable to attend, organisers should give them a full refund before releasing the tickets back into the market. 

That being said, there are still loyal fans who would be willing to pay high prices for tickets to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch their idols performing on stage. In such cases, I urge fans to exercise greater caution when buying tickets on the resale market, and take steps such as meeting the seller or requesting a physical ticket.

It is important to not let emotions cloud your judgment and cause you to fall prey to scammers due to desperation. I hope to see this situation improve, and encourage people to report scalpers or possible scammers to event organisers if they come across any. 

Lynn Neo Si Jie

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