Ministers say scalping not their problem - but Ladyhawke says it's 'definitely unfair'

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Ministers have backed away from weighing in to the ticket scalping debate - but Kiwi artist Ladyhawke says the practice is "definitely unfair".

She's also released a new song called Sober as she gears up for a world tour that begins in Manchester in September.
Source: 1 NEWS

Tickets for Lorde's New Zealand tour in November sold out in minutes yesterday and very shortly afterwards many were available to purchase online for exorbitant prices.

One set of eight tickets seen by 1 NEWS, purchased for a total of $760, was being scalped for $460 each - a total price of $3680 and a profit of $2920 for the scalper.

Kiwi songstress Ladyhawke told 1 NEWS via Twitter: "It's definitely unfair if fans of an artist miss out on tickets because people just looking to make a buck get in quick, and buy loads, then sell for way more."

Buying tickets to events and then selling them on to others for profit is not illegal in New Zealand, but complaints often are received TVNZ shows such as Fair Go around the issue.

Tickets to one of Lorde's New Zealand concerts being offered for sale on Ticketmaster at a hugely-inflated price - the face value was $95 each.

Tickets to one of Lorde's New Zealand concerts being offered for sale on Ticketmaster at a hugely-inflated price - the face value was $95 each.

Source: 1 NEWS

Minister of Consumer Affairs Jacqui Dean says she is focused on ensuring consumers like ticket buyers are not being misled or deceived while buying the tickets, but the practice of scalping is not her domain.

"Any concerns around automatic buying of tickets is an issue for the distributer and promoters of events," she said in a statement.

"They have choices as to how they sell the tickets to their events."

The office of Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Maggie Barrie first referred 1 NEWS to Ms Dean's office, and then declined to comment on the issue when pressed.

Under the Major Events Management Act 2007, certain events can be designated by the Economic Development Minister and the Governor General as being of national significance, which makes the resale of tickets to those events for more than their face value illegal.

Former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard recently wrote about software which exists to purchase tickets automatically as soon as they go on sale.

"Brokers have written programs that blaze through the checkout experience of a ticketing site faster than any human being ever could ... they grab the best seats and let the broker decide whether to buy them," he wrote for The Ringer.

Companies like Ticketmaster say they are attempting to combat this practice using technology like Captcha codes but the reality is, Hubbard writes, "you can't win".

"It's like your dog sitting underneath the table waiting for a little bit of your sandwich to fall ... It's gone before it hits the ground ... You don't have a chance."

Ticketmaster now also offers an official re-sale platform which people can use to on-sell their tickets at any price they choose, and they collect a fee based on that price.

A Ticketmaster spokesperson said "it can be frustrating for fans when tickets appear on resale quickly" but said the proportion of tickets sold via Ticketmaster's resale platform was small compared with the total number sold.

"Resale tickets made up just one percent of the total tickets that Ticketmaster International sold in 2016," they said.

In terms of high resale prices, the spokesperson said "prices on the resale market are dictated by supply and demand ... these tickets might not sell for that price, and we often see prices drop to face value or less nearer the time of an event".

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