Wednesday 16 October 2019

'We’re shutting down Seatwave' - Ticketmaster announces closure of resale website

Music Festival (stock image)
Music Festival (stock image)
Ticketmaster to shut down resale sites Seatwave and Get Me In (Ben Birchall/PA)

Kathy Armstrong and Kevin Doyle

TICKETMASTER is to close down its resale websites Seatwave and GET ME IN! in the wake of criticism that it is facilitating online ticket-touting.

The company announced that people will not be able to sell tickets on the site from today.

It comes just weeks after the Government confirmed it is to introduce legislation to clampdown on the selling of event tickets at massively inflated prices.

The music giant revealed that they will replace the re-selling service with a new fan-to-fan website, which will allow people to buy or sell tickets at the original price or less.

They said in a blog post this morning: "We’re shutting down Seatwave.

"That’s right, we’ve listened and we hear you: secondary sites just don’t cut it anymore and you’re tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit.

"All we want is you, the fan, to be able to buy tickets to the events you love.

"So, we’re launching a fan-to-fan ticket exchange on Ticketmaster where you can easily buy tickets or sell tickets you can’t use at the price originally paid or less."

The new website is set to be rolled out across Europe early next year.

Meanwhile, while existing events will remain on Seatwave, no new ones will be added from today.

"We’re excited about making ticketing simpler. All you need to think about are those incredible experiences you’ll never forget," the statement said.

In a statement Keith English, Managing Director of Ticketmaster Ireland, indicated the decision is not a direct reaction to the Government’s plans. He said it was part of the company’s “long term plan”.

“It’s not just in Ireland, it is happening across Europe,” he said.

“Our new Ticketmaster ticket exchange lets fans sell tickets they can’t use directly through their Ticketmaster account, for the price originally paid or less. Selling tickets through Ticketmaster is really simple: we do all the hard work and outline the maximum that can be charged for the ticket – and it doesn’t cost fans a penny to sell them.

Read more: Tanya Sweeney: Closing of Seatwave is welcome news for both genuine music fans and artists alike

“We’ve also put all the tickets in one place to make buying tickets simple and convenient. Fans will find all ticket types clearly marked on the same seat map, whether those are standard, Platinum, VIP or face value resale tickets, with the total price to pay clear from the start,” Mr English said.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, who worked with Fianna Fáil’s Stephen Donnelly to introduce the anti-touting legislation, said today’s move by Ticketmaster was “no coincidence”.

 “As recently as May 2017, Ticketmaster described any legislation banning touting as being ‘ineffective’. Ticketmaster’s conversion to my point of view on the scourge of touting is better late than never.

“Stamping out ticket touting is good news for match goers, concert goers and consumer protection in general,” he said.

The Dublin North West TD said the closure of Seatwave is not a reason to stall the legalisation as other operators could still establish themselves in Ireland.

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