It really is too bad that hundreds of Foo Fighter fans failed to gain entry to last night’s show at the O2. No one should have any sympathy for them.
A close friend who attended said it had been made clear by the band from the outset that photo ID would be required to gain entry to the gig. Anyone who bought a ticket through official channels would have known that. I am told that e-mail reminders were made to everyone. If people simply forgot to take ID, well the best you can say is that it’s a shame. If they bought tickets through touts or “secondary sellers” (which to me is the same thing) this is what happens.
The O2 made it clear last night that those who had bought tickets through its “secondary partner” Stubhub, might not be able to get in. My reaction is simple: why is a supposedly reputable company using a secondary partner? The Foos are one of the few acts who make strenuous efforts to ensure that real fans get the tickets and don’t get ripped off. They should not be criticised for this: they should be held up as a positive example for other bands.
Touts are parasites. They do not provide any kind of service. They hoover up as many tickets for concerts as they can and rip off the punters. The band gains nothing from touts but the touts gain loads of money from the fans.
It is no kind of argument to say that the Foos can afford to make a stand and others can’t. Yes, the Foos are incredibly and deservedly successful, as well as being fabulously rich, but theirs is a point of principle. They could easily stand to one side and allow their fans to be screwed or make a clear statement that they won’t allow them to be. In fact, they stand shoulder to shoulder with every band on the planet. Music is not a lucrative business for most, for many, musicians. They deserve to get paid like anyone doing any kind of job. Goodness knows how much money is stolen from artists by way of illegal downloading. It’s worse still that some people seek to exploit love performances.
There is a simple solution for those who don’t want to turn up at a gig and be refused entry. Buy tickets from the official vendor, don’t buy tickets from touts of secondary agents. If you choose to do either of the latter, it’s your own fault.