Yesterday fan club only pre-sale tickets became available for a few select shows Brandon Flowers is playing in the States. As usual it became a bun-fight as fans fought against touts to get tickets, which were gone in minutes and on eBay at extortionate prices with the hour.

It really makes me angry that these people are able to infiltrate the fan club, get their hands on these tickets and sell them at ridiculous prices before they have even gone on general sale. Touts annoy me at the best of times, but when they take tickets that are meant to go to the diehard fans, one of the little perks the band gives out to thank them for their loyalty and support, it really, really angers me, especially when I see my friends disappointed and upset because they couldn’t get tickets.

Unfortunately there appears to be little can be done about it, the fan club can’t vet each member, and it’s hard to prove who they are in order to ban them. While people are still desperate enough to pay the prices, the touts will stay in business, and unfortunately in some cases, it’s not even touts, but so called fans that are selling the tickets for a profit.

Of course part of the problem here is that Brandon is playing much smaller venues than he could fill, so demand is much greater than the supply, even without the touts, people are going to be disappointed, which forces the prices up even higher on eBay.

This week the Arctic Monkeys announced two huge dates in Sheffield, billing them as “for the fans” they have gone to great lengths to try and ensure that tickets can’t be sold on. Only four tickets can be bought per billing address, each ticket will have the last four digits of the card used to purchase them printed on it, and the cardholder must be present with the card on entry to the gig. How effective this will be remains to be seen, these are huge gigs with 10s of thousands of ticket holders, it seems doubtful that every ticket holder will be checked.

The only way we will ever stop touts from ripping off fans is when people stop buying from them, so don’t buy from the touts kids, you might miss out this time, but in the future everyone will have an equal chance of get a ticket at a fair price.

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