Government suggests photo ID to combat ticket touts

It's surprising it hasn't been considered before now, but perhaps no more so than somebody believing a mobile phone could brew coffee. The idiot. The Government is proposing a voluntary code of principles for ticket retailers, the most fundamental aspect of which would be buyers requiring ID to get into concerts and events.

As an example, the Government paper points to concerts by Tom Waits last year, in which names were printed on the tickets and photo ID was needed to verify ownership. It's one of several suggestions being put forward to stop touts ripping the arse out of other people's wallets. The Guardian quotes sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe as saying:

"Real efforts are being made by some event organisers to thwart the touts and ensure as many tickets as possible go straight to real fans. But most of the time, tickets go to whoever is quickest online on the day they go on sale - and too much of the time, that is touts who simply want to resell at a profit. The industry now needs to quickly build on these successful new approaches and ensure they become much more widespread."

Goodness. Labour government in moment of clarity shocker. Touting has been a recognised evil of the the event experience since the dawn of time; if a move as simple as printing an individual's details on the ticket would solve it, it'd mean I wouldn't have to spend a day of my life pressing redial and watching websites fall over, before being told I couldn't go. My continued happiness on this planet should be reason enough for ticket retailers to make this happen.

[The Guardian]


  • Dave
    Indeed, so then organisers can charge any face value they want and force you to pay that rather than selling in bulk at a discount price so to a middleman so that the tickets become more affordable, look for half empty stadiums up and down the country
  • Sid
    ID Cards through the back door - you have been warned !!
  • Noghar
    if venues wanted to stop ticket touts they should just make sure that no-one is able to buy more than four tickets at a time. Much as I loathe ticket touts I loathe more the idea of having to show my Papers to some ubergruppenfuhrer just in order to get into a gig I've paid for.
  • Noghar
    And Sid's right, it is ID cards through the back door. Since nobody is buying the lame argument that ID cards will prevent terrorism, the Govt is now trying to suggest it will make it easier and cheaper to see your favourite bands! Yippee! And then, in a little while, you'll need your Papers to prove you're entitled to a railcard discount. Then at the hospital to prove you're entitled to NHS treatment. Then in the street to prove to police that you actually do live in this neighbourhood and that you're not loitering with intent. Christ, where are we going? Does anyone give a toss?
  • Callum
    Or not. How you can think printing a name on a ticket is the Government bringing in ID cards through the back door is beyond me... Railcard discounts have your photo on them (if they are intended for 1 specific person) already, NHS is free for anyone - whether British or foreign.
  • Andy D.
    Shouldn't they be doing something about 'legitimate' ticket resellers like Seatwave. What exactly is the difference between them and any other kind of touts?
  • steve
    So you buy 4 tickets 6 months in advance of the event and give your and 3 names of your mates to print on the tickets. 1 or 2 of your mates later has to drop out you now have useless tickets. Can't see them re-printing or offering a sensible option. A better solution for the annual events like Glastonbury is to have a sign-up of attendees at the festival who get first option on next years gigs or at least a first round percentage of tickets. This will decrease opportunities for touts and give genuine fans a better chance of getting face value tickets. I'm sure theres plenty of insider trading for touts by the ticket agencies so they'll always get them. Why not have more tickets available to the genuine public in the first place? instead of hotel packages, vip experiences, sponsors tickets etc
  • Dan
    All this stuff with ID and a photo like for glastonbury is a pain, I know it stops touting, but, if you find friends are going to a concert and it's sold out and all tickets need ID and are non transferable then you can't go, ticket touting is there to give people who make a decision to go last minute, the opportunity not too miss out, fair enough you get ripped, but, that's the price you pay for being late, I paid double face value on a ticket and went with my girlfriend, I wasn't really a fan of the band, but, my girlfriend insisted I went with her, ticket touting gave me the opportunity to go and did have a really good time, ID cards and non transferable tickets, isn't the way to go.
  • Darren W.
    on the M6 Toll gate they have this method of being able to to just pop in your card and it charges it straight away and off you go. now they should adopt this style with the tickets, you get a reservation ticket, so the ticket is issued free of charge, but when you get to the arena then you pay on entrance via a quick card payment like they do at the toll gates... Surely something like this would wipe out the need for photos, ID etc.... in the world cup didn't they print your passport number on the tickets and you had to produce that as well along with the tickets... However I dont see anything wrong in people charging what they want as they sell regardless anyway, so there are obviously people willing to pay that amount!
  • BoBo
    this is a great idea, now it pushes a market for my fake ID's as well! My mark up is going through the roof
  • bidrick
    I know, why doesn't the government make us all buy photo Id's at an extortionate price and then we will all be too poor to afford any tickets.
  • The B.
    Noghar - "Then at the hospital to prove you’re entitled to NHS treatment." Not likely, it'd be against your human rights, alhtough you'd need a government approved card to prove that you were human and thus had rights.
  • Fred C.
    For every 10,000 tickets sold there is one tickte that is touted. Surely it is more expensive to make 9,999 ticket holders to own a photo id compared with one ticket revenue lost? Besides once you have photo ids you have to deploy inspectors to inspect the tickets as well as to inspect the photos, this doubles the time for inspection and increase the inspectors' work force by 100%. And the infrastructure that supports the photo id has to be renewed every 5 years too.
  • Fred C.
    For example in my area parking control is needed for just a few hours each day for preventing commuters parking. But in order to increase the penalty revenue and profit to make the whole scheme viable the local authority has imposed 8:00 - 18:30 Monday to Saturday to prevent communter traffic ( we live close to a railway station). Now how many people do actually commute to work after 15:00 or even 18:00 .. it is daft. But in the name of controlling those few commuters 99% of us locals have to suffer in the afternoon with no freedom to park outside our own homes.
  • Andy D.
    In my experience, ticket touting (at least the eBay variation of it) allows people to buy tickets to shows a few days before they occur, usually at a reasonable premium of an extra tenner, or sometimes at a price below the ticket's face value. Because eBay is flooded with touts and they quite often get it wrong and buy more tickets than they're able to sell. It's the free market everybody. Get over it.
  • jaysexy212005
    I am sure ticket touts will find a way round it. Also voluntary codes never work.
  • Tickley T.
    Everyone assumes ticket touts make a killing on every ticket they buy, its swings and roundabouts, some you win some you lose, in the end they hope to make a profit when its all over. Leave the system as it is, many a time i have gone to a concert after it is sold out and the only option is to buy from a ticket tout or someone at the venue on the night desperate to sell their ticket as they cant go I agree with Andy its a free market, supply and demand. PS - always wear earplugs at a Motorhead concert....:D
  • Lol
    Just another killjoy government scheme to stop people thinking they have free will, ticket touts are great and a necessary evil, they provide a service, simple as..... Last year we bought 2 Radiohead tickets outside LCC at less than face value when it was sold out! not the first time it's happened either.
  • Steve M.
    Surely the idea is to get more people to go to more concerts, making it more difficult to buy tickets will not help with that. ID cards for all concerts would be like DRM was for the record industry. Ticket resale is a pretty efficient dynamically priced market. Only a small % of tickets for each show get traded with the majority being clustered around the major arena artists. While 50% of these are for a significant premium, around 50% get resold for face value or below - perhaps tickets should come with some extra small print - the value of your investment can go down as well as up, past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Disclosure - I work at Tixdaq, a research agency that monitors ticket resales prices and volumes.
  • OFI
    Fred Chan did you just pluck those numbers from thin air? Most venues in the UK can hold 30k TOPS are you really suggesting 3 tickets at most ever reach eBay? LOL Anyway I quite like the idea of this although it is not without its obvious flaws. For starters it would take a huge amount of time (and therefore money) to check IDs at the gates. To stop legit sellers would be a shame they would have to work something out with free refunds or something and put the tickets straight back into the system. How about.. apply a concert reference number to ALL tickets and for ALL ticket sales on eBay the seller MUST input the ticket reference number. Reference number links to a database and eBay sees what the face value should be, then apply a limit to any start bids or BIN options. That works a lot better imo...
    [...] The scope for these ID cards is beginning to creep before they’ve even been released. [...]
  • Band W.
    Wish my wedding is so good.:)

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