Two of the U.K.’s biggest music stars — Elton John and Mumford & Sons — have become the latest artists to join an ever-increasing chorus of disapproval directed at the secondary ticket market.
In a blog post published on Mumford & Sons’ website entitled “To All Our Fans Around The World: Help Us To Stop The Ticket Touts,” the British band says it has “done everything we can to keep our tickets from finding their way on to reselling sites” and that the majority of tickets on secondary sites “are being sold by touts who are simply in the business of ripping off the fan.”
The Grammy award-winning band goes on to say that, according to its own estimations, approximately 6,000 tickets from its most recent U.K. tour were being sold on secondary ticketing sites, including 1,500 for each night at London’s 20,000-capacity O2 arena.
“People may argue that those tickets have already been sold and we’re getting the money anyway. But that’s not how we see it,” the band goes on to say. “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. We want every seat in a sold out show to be filled with a fan. Why do we care so much? Because it’s not right, it hurts our fans and it’s a problem for all artists.”
In response, Mumford & Sons is urging its fans to use only face-value sites such as Twickets and ScarletMist to either sell or buy tickets. “We need your help to win this battle,” says the open letter, which is signed by all four band members and manager Adam Tudhope.
Those sentiments were today echoed by Sir Elton John, who told the BBC that he would “rather have empty seats” than fans paid inflated prices for his shows.
“I think it’s extortionate and I think it’s disgraceful. 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,” John told the BBC in an interview to promote his forthcoming new album Wonderful Crazy Night.
John joins a growing list of artists speaking out against the scalping sites. Recently, Adele’s management worked with Songkick to vet people who pre-registered for the singer’s 2016 U.K. tour and eliminate potential touts.
Last month the U.K. government welcomed comments on the secondary ticketing market. Coldplay was among a number of high-profile U.K. artists, agents and managers who signed a joint letter to the government, campaigning against “the increasing industrial-scale abuse and insider exploitation of tickets for music, arts and sports events by ticket touts, and their online associates and facilitators.”
“Tens of thousands of fans have been ripped off by people who exploit fair ticket prices via so-called ticket marketplaces,” continued the letter, which was also signed by Richard Griffiths, Harry Magee and Will Bloomfield of London-based Modest Management (One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer), Ed Sheeran’s manager Stuart Camp and Iron Maiden’s long term handler Rod Smallwood, among others.