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Iron Maiden Beat The Bots

DENVER, CO - APRIL 13: Iron Maiden performs at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado on April 13, 2016. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post)

Iron Maiden (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post)


This is the proof that this can be done if bands really want this to happen, so why isn’t it happening more often?

According to Loudwire, legendary metal band Iron Maiden got really successful at decreasing the number of tickets appearing on reseller sites. Thanks to their “paperless ticketing” system, the listings on secondary sites was decreased by over 95 percent!

As it is the case for any concert in high demand, ticket bots usually scoop up all the best seats before you are able to get a ticket, forcing die-hard fans to pay huge amounts of money to get a decent seats… did it happen to you? I bet it did.

I just had this too common experience on Monday morning, when I tried to buy a ticket for Bjork at the Disney Hall, and once again I could not even enter the waiting room for some long minutes, then I finally got an assigned place, something like # 2,900 (the Disney Hall doesn’t have even 2,900 seats), the show sold out, before I was able to have a chance. I checked VividSeat and StubHub a few minutes later, and of course some tickets were already on sale at astronomical prices, from $900 to $2,000. How many times have you heard this story? What about a hundred of times?

However Iron Maiden implemented a policy that required the purchaser’s credit card and ID upon entry to the venue, amongst other measures.

This is what was reported by Loudwire:

– In November 2010 when tickets went on sale eight months in advance for Maiden’s 10 date 2011 Summer UK arena tour, 6,294 tickets appeared overnight on three of the biggest secondary ticketing platforms (Viagogo, Seatwave, Getmein) compared with just 207 tickets in 2016, all of which were listed only on Viagogo. With secondary ticketing much more developed now, the difference is probably much greater.

– In 2010 Getmein and Seatwave accounted for 67% of the listed tickets. In 2016 both de-listed the Maiden tour at our request so no tickets were available from them. Stubhub also agreed not to list any Maiden tickets, so it was only Viagogo who decided to list and then, before tickets had even gone on sale to the general public, misleadingly stated there were only a few tickets still available presumably to justify the excessive pricing.

– Of those 207 tickets listed by Viagogo in 2016, most were identified as bogus and are now in the hands of the relevant authorities investigating criminal activity. The few genuine tickets which made their way onto Viagogo have been made null & void per our conditions of ticket purchase.

– Maiden’s promoter Live Nation confirms that overall sales are higher than the equivalent sales point in 2010.

– Live Nation also confirms that customer feedback has been excellent and Ticketmaster report that they have had only positive comments about the fact the artist is trying to restrict exploitative pricing via the resale market.

– Having our own dedicated support team helped our Fan Club’s ticketing experience be as seamless as possible.’

There’s no need to comment on each point, this is obviously a very significant drop and unless English bots have completely regressed for some reason this is a victory. Everyone seems happy of the result, the band and the fans, so why couldn’t this be done for each big concert?

Plus I have noticed the ‘Stubhub agreed not to list any Maiden tickets? That seems incredible to me but this Iron Maiden men are quite powerful

‘We are delighted that the paperless ticketing system and other measures we instigated here in the UK have proved a massive deterrent to touts and counterfeiters,’ says Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood. ‘We want to thank our fans for their enduring support and patience. We appreciate that our stringent policy has meant fans having to jump over one more hurdle in the ticket-buying process but the results speak for themselves and I think everyone can agree this was well worth it. On the first day of public sale, we sold over 100,000 tickets nationwide direct to genuine fans through the proper legitimate channels. This is an incredible achievement and victory for concert-goers, not least as this is a full 12 date UK tour we’re undertaking, not just a couple of dates in the bigger cities. We’ve calculated that around one million pounds worth of mark-up on tickets, is not sitting in the hands of touts, but instead the tickets are sitting in the hands of the fans at the correct price and we think that is a great result and makes all our efforts worthwhile.’

Should I conclude that Iron Maiden care about their fans, much more than everyone else  in the business ? Why can’t Radiohead do the same thing? Why should I pay several $ k to get a ticket in the pit? What I have witnessed before a Radiohead concert when Imam bought me a ticket through Vividseats was aan unbelievable ticket mafia I had never thought could exist. Some good money is made around these big concerts by people who have no connection with music, they are pure thieves.

Bands never benefit from this insanity, they just make their disappointed fans unhappy because they can’t get tickets, it’s just not good.

Couldn’t Iron Maiden’s experience teach a few things to other bands? It doesn’t seem that complicated.

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