Ed Sheeran is coming to King Baudouin Stadium, and he doesn’t want you to pay too much for it. With a new app, the British singer is trying to sideline the ticket sharks.
Concert halls in our country have opened again, but the scramble for tickets has not been forthcoming for some time. Many expect the return of international artist tours to animate this instrument. With Ed Sheeran, one of those weightlifters is already hitting the mark. He announced a European tour that will stop at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Friday, July 22, 2022. There he will release his new album Equal Proposals to be released on October 29.
The past shows that things can go fast at a Sheeran party. At his show on the Werchter meadow in 2018, the Briton sold 60,000 tickets in forty minutes. But this also led to excesses: Sheeran tickets were then offered for more than double the original €75 price on resale sites like Viagogo. This was the work of ticket brokers, who prefer to buy tickets in large numbers and sometimes via specialized programs in order to make a large profit.
In 2019, the secondary ticket market was valued at $8 billion annually, compared to the $30 billion revenue generated by the worldwide concert industry annually. In this way, artists and organizers lose income, and fans also pay too much.
No more paper tickets
In Sheeran, sharks’ opposition to ticket loans grew after he saw hundreds of tickets to a British Teenage Cancer Trust concert appear for £7,000 instead of £75 in March 2017. That year, he, among other things, banned 10,000 tickets for his tour because it turned out that it had been sold at an exorbitant price via Viagogo. Then, his team helped the duped fans get their money back. This tactic was also applied by the Tele Ticket Service around that timeAntwerp Sportpaleis Group’s ticketing service.
In this roundup, Sheeran goes one step further, with a new digital ticketing system that will make illegal ticket resale impossible. “Fans buy their tickets as always through the official Ticketmaster and Eventim sales channels,” says Jan Degnev of FKP Scorpio, the office that organizes the Sheeran concert in Brussels.
But you will no longer have to print that ticket to come to the concert. Instead, you’ll need to download an app that associates the ticket with your ID and phone number via an SMS verification code. Only a few days before the show, an animated QR code will appear in the application, with which you can go to the concert. That should make it impossible to resell a screenshot, for example, let alone do it too long in advance.
Gifts are getting harder
Digneffe says this does not mean that ticket holders who have to cancel at the last minute are restricted to their ticket. Within the Ticketmaster and Eventim apps, there will be a system where you can put your ticket up for sale again. Only this will not be possible at a price higher than the original value. Less will be possible, for those who want it.
The new system also has some flaws. A maximum of six tickets can be purchased, but they are all tied to one phone number. This requires the entire group to enter at once. It will not be possible to resell tickets directly to friends: all transactions must be made through the official platform.
Giving a ticket as a gift has also become more difficult: you need the mobile phone number and ID of the person you want to gift the ticket to. And for people who do not have a smartphone, this digital ticket is also not straightforward. “It’s a shame, of course,” Degenev knows, too. There were also many discussions internally. But at a certain point, you have to dare to make choices if you really want to limit resale to additional costs – something that is already prohibited by law in Belgium. In the end, the sharks make this money out of fan affection, and that’s pretty ugly.
Ed Sheeran tickets will be available at King Baudouin Stadium from Saturday 25th September at 11am via Ticketmaster and Eventim. Prices range from €72.40 to €101. for more information: edsheeranbrussels.be.
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