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Get your tickets here! For a small (actually LARGE) fee, of course.

W. K. Lis

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Used to be, to get tickets for an event, you or your friend had to get to the venue's box office to buy a ticket or tickets.

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You had to line up, wait in line, a purchase the tickets at the box office window. For cash.

Nowadays, for the "convenience" of not having to do that, you can do that on-line, using your credit card. Except that, usually, the tickets would be "SOLD OUT"!! But, (surprise, not really) they are available elsewhere, at a higher price, of course. If you were able to get the tickets, extra fees were usually added on. See TicketMaster on Wikipedia, at this link.

How the government made ticket-scalping legal in Ontario

Tragically Hip fans feeling burned by scalpers while last year, the government made it legal to resell tickets online for a profit. Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur says she is looking into improving ways of regulating online ticketing industry.

See The Star, at this link.

After listening to the woeful cries of Tragically Hip fans who feel burned by scalpers, Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur says she’s looking into ways to regulate the online ticketing industry better.

“First of all, I feel sorry for those fans of the Tragically Hip who wanted to go to a concert and have to pay these prices,” Meilleur said during question period on Thursday.

But just a year ago, the government quietly opened the floodgates to allow scalpers to resell tickets online when it changed regulations in the Ticket Speculation Act in the summer of 2015.

Scalping tickets — reselling tickets for above their face value — had always been illegal in Ontario.

But on July 1, 2015, the regulations were changed to allow resellers to make a profit — if the tickets were authenticated.

The changes came as a surprise to many who had campaigned against the secondary ticket market for years.

“I don’t think the government did any due diligence at all, certainly no one spoke to us,” said John Karastamatis, the director of communications for Mirvish Productions.

Representatives from the Attorney General’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment on how the regulations were passed, or how the office might change the regulations in the future.

The government says it consulted with industry and the public in the fall of 2014, before amending the regulations.

But Karastamatis, who says his company has spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in legal fees trying to stop scalpers, says he was never consulted, and learned about these changes after they came into law.

He believes resellers such as Ticketmaster had caught the ear of the powers that be.

Representatives from Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, did not return repeated requests for comment.

In question period on Thursday, the opposition grilled Meilleur on the government’s role in the whole Hip fiasco.

“So it’s okay, then, to rip off consumers if it’s online, but not face-to-face, according to this government,” said Ontario PC MPP Todd Smith.

Smith accused the Liberal party of accepting $52,700 in donations from Ticketmaster.

A search in the Elections Ontario database shows that Live Nation donated $32,350 between 2012 and 2015, while Ticketmaster donated $13,850 in 2014.

The government did not address the donations during question period, instead; it defended the purpose of the changes to the law.

From the Attorney General’s perspective, opening the doors to authenticated or guaranteed ticket reselling could only help consumers. Instead of turning to the black market, where they were often ripped off, consumers could go to legal, legitimate resellers who could provide assurance that the ticket they bought could get them in the door.

The problem, many Tragically Hip fans say, is that these resellers seem to have access to tickets they don’t.

Within minutes of being offered for sale on Friday, tickets open to the general public were snapped up.

Almost instantly, tickets were being offered for sale on StubHub or other resellers for sometimes more than $1,000.

A New York Attorney General report found that ticket-buying “bots” and industry insiders were often able to siphon off tickets from the general public, and resell them for sometimes as much as 10 times their face value.

Fans’ sense of outrage was loud enough to elicit a comment from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

During a press conference, Trudeau was asked whether the federal government could take steps to address fairness in concert ticket sales, given the controversy over how many Hip tickets have been snapped up for over-priced resale.

He says the music and ticket industries ought to be able to police themselves, but that the government would be willing to follow up on the issue.
 

narduch

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This really isn't new news. Its just that it took the Tragically Hip having a final tour to make Canadians finally give a shit about this issue.

I wish Stub Hub would die though. Why can't they charge us in Canadian dollars? Its bs that you have to convert to American dollars. Really wish some Canadian upstart would supplant them, at least in Canada.
 

Skeezix

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Is there any jurisdiction to have brought in rules which created some sanity in the world of concert/event ticket sales?

(this isn't rhetorical sarcasm - I am actually asking the question)
 

narduch

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Really? WTF is that about?

They are an American company that is in bed with all the major sports leagues and concert promoters.

I learned the hard way last year with the Jays playoff run. It was so insane I looked on Kijiji instead for tickets.
 

Skeezix

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I'm not sure why their being an American company matters. Lots of American companies do online business in local currencies, especially involving events and transactions occurring in that country. God, StubHub is owned by eBay, which itself manages to deal in local currencies.
 

narduch

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I'm not sure why their being an American company matters. Lots of American companies do online business in local currencies, especially involving events and transactions occurring in that country. God, StubHub is owned by eBay, which itself manages to deal in local currencies.

Forgot they were owned by Ebay.

Well, I guess they are just preying on desperate concert goers and sports fans.

Its still bs that you cannot pay in Canadian dollars.
 

doady

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This is capitalism. Right and wrong is determined what is profitable and unprofitable. So these so-called "scalpers" are doing the right thing. That's the free market in action. Would you rather have communism?
 

GenerationW

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This is capitalism. Right and wrong is determined what is profitable and unprofitable. So these so-called "scalpers" are doing the right thing. That's the free market in action. Would you rather have communism?
It's not capitalism if, as some believe, sports teams have been colluding with "professional" scalpers.
 

Skeezix

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This is capitalism. Right and wrong is determined what is profitable and unprofitable. So these so-called "scalpers" are doing the right thing. That's the free market in action. Would you rather have communism?

Ha ha. I'm sorry, but that last part is silly. The choice isn't limited to the current system or communism. It's hardly anathema to the free market to suggest that consumers be better protected and informed, and arguably the free market functions better in circumstances when consumers are protected. Reasonable people can disagree on what type of reform, if any, is appropriate or needed, but it is unreasonable to suggest that the only alternative to what exists today is communism.
 

Johnny Au

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Under (true) communism, watching sporting events and concerts should be free (or if they have a fee, it would go into the community, as sports teams and musicians would be community-funded).

Read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbes'_list_of_the_most_valuable_sports_teams

Just by looking at the most valuable sports teams would make amateur youth leagues seem perpetually impoverished.

Watching Toronto Maple Leafs baseball live at Christie Pits is free. None of its players are millionaires, unlike the average Major League Baseball player.

No, consumer protection is not necessarily communism. Many capitalist societies flourish with comprehensive consumer protection. Bleeding consumers dry is not sustainable in the long run, as consumers often have a limited amount of disposable income.
 
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TOareaFan

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have never understood the angst over scalping.....it is an entirely discretionary spend...nothing special about it yet some would want a world where tickets to events were the only item (that I am aware of) that we can buy and then have restrictions put on how (or if) we can resell it.
 

PinkLucy

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I stopped going to concerts ages ago because of events being sold out within seconds and the only way you can get tickets is to pay a premium on top of the already high price. I'm old enough to remember phoning in on a rotary phone, trying to get through (I didn't live close enough to line up). It felt like an accomplishment when you scored tickets.
 

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