Should Sheffield’s Music Scene Opt for Personalised Tickets?

Touts can’t re-sell tickets at a premium when they’re stamped with your name and photo, but a recent survey by Contact Numbers UK’s found that almost 75% of us aren’t willing to buy personalised tickets…

Personalised tickets are hardly a problem for musos seeking under the radar or local talent at The Rocking Chair, Maida Vale or West Street Live, where mainstreamers don’t know what they’re missing, but ticket touts have been a thorn in the music industry’s side for years, bleeding keen fans dry in their bid to see their favourite big acts live.

Cast your mind back to November last year, Mumford & Sons stopped by Sheffield Arena on their 2015 UK tour, but the band were so angered by touters scalping their fans that they posted 700+ words of warning online and personally met Professor Waterson at the UK’s Department of Culture, Music and Sport to tackle the issue at large.

“The activities of these touts are very sophisticated: they hire coders to try to break the software of the ticket companies that we handpick to sell our tickets in the first place (Primary Ticket sellers); they use multiple identities to buy several batches of tickets from the same ticket seller,” they said.

Mumford & Sons explained, “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.”

As criminal and shady as it is, touting is technically legal in Britain, where there’s no legislation against it. Yet the industry has started to fight back by selling personalised tickets which are all but impossible to resell, as they have your name and photo ID on – all checked when you make your way into the venue. Problem solved? Not quite.


A survey of over 500 people by Contact Numbers UK revealed that almost three quarters of fans rejected the idea of personalised tickets in favour of generic ones. As you’d expect, it’s not only touts who sell tickets on, but genuine fans like you who can no longer make the event. And that’s made many of you sceptical…

“If you can’t make the show/gig and you sell the ticket on or gift it to someone then it will have someone else’s details on.” – Tasha

Though some fans can see the bigger picture.

“If you can’t genuinely go for a valid reason, you lose money, but I think this is a minority and I agree with personalised tickets as it really makes me cross when people buy lots and sell them for ridiculous amounts.” – Lucy

Glastonbury tickets have been personalised for years, you need to show matching ID to get in, but are they really the silver bullet that can end touting?

Should Sheffield Arena or even Tramlines, the UK’s largest inner-city music festival, follow suit and offer them?

Let us know in the comments below…

Cover image & Hey Sholay copyright Tramlines Festival licensed for use under Creative Commons.


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