Scarlet Mist Blog
Written on Wed 07 Dec 2016
People have whispered it for ages. Now its been confirmed. Promoters Live Nation - owners of Ticketmaster, GetMein and Seatwave - have confessed to supplying hundreds of tickets directly to ticket touts.
The revelation was made in an Italian TV documentary investigating touts. An undercover reporter traced a ticket as its price increased from €50 to €1,050. An anonymous employee claimed that the practice is widespread throughout the industry.
The company is very coy about how many tickets it passes directly to touts, though you can read their full statement on Music Week.
Scarlet Mist believes that there needs to be greater transparency in the ticket market, so that bands can decide whether to stick with promoters who support the touts.
Written on Thu 26 May 2016
The long-awaited government report into ticket touting makes some positive recommendations. And although we’d like to see it go further it’s a definite step in the right direction.
The report calls for a proper enforcement of the current law, with substantial fines for breaches of the law requiring tout sites to give proper information. And it calls for funding for the police to enforce this. We think this would be a positive step. The Consumers Association revealed this week that the current law is widely flouted.
But it stops short of calling for new laws to prevent touting. In particular it says that placing a cap on ticket price mark ups would be unenforceable.
It also calls for organisations to be set up to keep an eye on the secondary market, with a hint of future ramping up of legislation if the current laws do not achieve their goals.
A definite move in the right direction, and we look forward to progress at last.
Written on Tue 24 May 2016
The investigators at Which? have found numerous examples of tickets being sold in breach of the Consumer Rights Act.
Posing as sellers, they found that the law was regularly broken by the main four secondary sites. The information that buyers need to make decisions was not given.
Which? director of policy and campaigns Alex Neill said: ‘We’ve found evidence of tickets being sold unlawfully. This means people will struggle to find basic information on tickets, such as face value and seat location. ‘It is clear the protections put in place by the Consumer Rights Act aren’t being followed by some of the biggest players in the market, and no action is being taken against them.
Written on Sun 01 May 2016
UPDATE 25/05/16: The number of signatures passes 41,500!!
Not far off half way to the number of signatures required, where the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament and yet more major artists are adding their support
Final update before the government is expected to publish its independent review into the secondary ticketing market.
Chaired by Professor Michael Waterson, the review was originally announced as part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and has received submissions from promoters, primary and secondary ticket sellers and online ticket sites.
More artists and venues are adding their voices and giving more of an insight into how they feel about ticket touting:
“Enter Shikari has long been opposed to ticket touting. We’ve always tried to provide value for money with shows.. trying our hardest to keep prices reasonable, while putting on a show that we can be proud of.
so, when you see that “TicketsX” has sold out of face-value tickets straight away, but that mysteriously “TicketsY” has them available at vastly inflated prices, that gets infuriating. Especially when you know that “TicketsY” is actually owned by “TicketsX” too! (and don’t get us wrong; this isn’t about a couple of blokes knocking out tickets outside a sold out show… or fans moving on tickets that they can’t use - again, the ticket folks we try and use have a policy that they will help fans transfer over tickets when circumstances change - this is large amount of tickets being sold at double / triple / or even more the face-value price… so.. yeah.” Enter Shikari
“2 many fans are being ripped by touts and ticket resales, sign this petition so we can do something about it now 👊 M” The Script
“#ToutsOut sign and share!” James Bay
“Please do not buy from bootleg, touting or secondary ticketing sites. They are the scourge of our society.” The Fratellis
“Please sign and share this petition to crack down on industrial-scale ticket touting in the UK…thanks!” Fink
“Now, more than ever, playing gigs is the absolute backbone of what we do, so we always try hard to ensure that our fans have the best opportunity of getting into our shows, and at the right price. So we’re joining with colleagues across the music biz to support a petition that demands UK government to tighten up the legislation. Please sign it today, and share it around if you like. Big thanks.” Fink
“Support this petition to UK government to stop ticket touts ripping off fans. Get involved here” The Heavy
“An important petition to sign! Enforce the Consumer Rights Act to protect music, arts and sport fans from touts” The Village Underground
Please keep sharing.
UPDATE 12/5/16: The number of signatures hits 33,333.
One third of the way to the figure where this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament and yet more major artists and organisations are adding their voices:
“Please support changes to laws to enable us to protect music fans from ticket resale sites. Read more & sign at” Florence Welch
“#ToutsOut: Help us stand up to the ticket touts. Please sign this petition: gentlemenoftheroad.com/news/toutsout-…
Gentlemen of the Road
“Asking for the law to protect fans getting ripped off by touts and ticket resellers”
“We support this. We’re wanting tighter rules to help stop fans getting ripped off by ticket touts and resellers. Please have a look and lend your support.” Editors
“#ToutsOut: Help us stand up to the ticket touts. Please sign this petition:” Jess Glynne
“The plague of Ticket Touts who harvest huge volumes of tickets online and then immediately sell them at many times the face value must stop.” Royal Blood
“We don’t get to play if you guys don’t get to come. Please take a moment to read, sign and support this if you can x” Jack Garratt
“Music fans should get tickets at face value.Touts exist to fleece you. Stop them by signing the petition” Alison Moyet
If everyone who has signed, asked two equally ethical friends to sign, the petition would hit the 100,000 signatures target. Please keep sharing and please keep up the good work
UPDATE 9/5/16 : 20,000 signatures!!
The story of the petition is now running on the BBC and Sky News and making headlines in the United States. More major players are adding their voice and the number of signatures has just hit 20,000!!! Double the number required for a government response…. FANtastic ✌️
“Continuing the fight against ticket touts - we need your help” Iron Maiden’s call to action🤘
“Touts get in the way of music fans getting fair tickets 👎 Stop them & sign the petition petition.parliament.uk/petitions/1289… 🚫 #toutsout xx the girls xx” ... Little Mix
“We’ll be supporting this. Please take a look and if you agree, add your support too” Slowdrive
“Help us show the UK Government that something decisive must be done to get rid of touts and sign this petition!” Oh Wonder
The trolls are emerging from under their bridges to try and spoil the party with their negativity… Ignore them and they will go away ✌️
Please keep sharing ✌️
Number of signatures hits 10,000!!! The first magic number has been reached. FANtastic ✌️
10,000 have now signed the petition. That’s 10,000 who want the government to enforce the Consumer Rights Act to protect music, arts and sports fans from touts. 10,000 who are sick of being ripped-off by ticket resales. 10,000 who agree that The Consumer Rights Act has not changed things. 10,000 who demand that Parliament enact last year’s ticket resale amendment, which provides tougher sanctions for resale websites, and also requires ticket resellers to reveal their identities.
Now it gets interesting. The government will now respond to this petition.
If you have signed this petition or shared it, you should hold their head high as one of the good guys. You are changing the game.
“Stand up to the ticket touts. Please sign this petition. #toutsout ” Keane
“#ToutsOut: Help us stand up to the ticket touts. Please sign this petition:” Mumford and Sons
That’s the first target reached, now let’s push for the second. At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament. Let’s make the politicians work for what we all believe is important. Please keep sharing and promoting.
5000+ signatures! Half way to a government response to the petition. Outstanding effort everyone.
The last 24 hours have seen a rapid rise in the number of signatures on the petition, thanks mainly to some high profile artists continuing to add their voices to the cause on social media.
“Music fans should be able to get tickets fairly. Touts get in the way!
Stop them by signing the petition” One Direction
Fans getting ripped off by touts is not fair but still too easy. You can change it. Sign hereFans getting ripped off by touts is not fair but still too easy. You can change it. #givetoutsthefinger” Olly Murs.
Please keep up the good work and keep sharing ✌️
UPDATE 5/5/16 Less than a week since its launch and nearly 2000 signatures are now on the petition to Enforce the Consumer Rights Act to protect music, arts and sports fans from touts.
Artists are taking to social media to spread the word:
“If getting onstage is one of the best things about being a musician, seeing your audience get ripped off is undoubtedly the worst”, Laura Marling
“Fans have been ripped-off by professional ticket touts for too long. Please read & sign this petition” Graham Gouldman 10CC
Our good friends at Gig Addict are on board:
“We know there’s a need for a secondary market, but the market is broken. There’s no transparency at the moment, and it’s this lack of transparency which leads to fans getting ripped off – whether that’s artificially high prices, or counterfeit tickets.”
No response to our tweet to the candidates for Mayor of London, but I guess they are busy today asking for our votes to represent us in things that are important to us… like ticket touting perhaps?
Please keep sharing this…. its important.
UPDATE 3/5/16 —- EFestivals are supporting this petition together with a long list of figures from the music industry.
Meanwhile, we have tweeted the leading candidates for the London Mayoral elections asking them for their views on ticket touting. @ZacGoldsmith @SadiqKhan @CarolinePidgeon @sianberry - which of you is campaigning to rid the London streets of touts and scalpers?
A petition has been launched, calling for enforcement of the Consumer Rights Act to protect music, arts and sport fans from touts.
Fans are being ripped-off by ticket resales. The Consumer Rights Act has not changed this. We demand that Parliament enact last year’s ticket resale amendment, which provides tougher sanctions for resale websites, and also require ticket resellers to reveal their identities.
On a commercial scale, touting deprives the Treasury of VAT, and performance copyright holders of royalties that should be paid on the mark-ups. It also denies artistes the ability to ensure their events are priced so anyone can attend.
If 100,000 people sign this petition it will go to Parliament. There are over 100,000 music, festival and gig-lovers in the UK, so please pass this on to your friends on social media.
Written on Thu 18 Feb 2016
In 2014 a scammer named Liam McMahon was jailed for 28 months for persistently selling fraudulent tickets. We hoped that spending time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure would somehow act as a deterrent to him from offending again.
So we were stunned to be contacted by a Scarlet Mist user who told us that he had been defrauded by someone named Liam McMahon (naturally he was scamming using a made-up name, and he’s even hiding behind the name Rachel, perhaps to make himself appear more credible).
And we were even more stunned to find that the bank account that he’s using (Sortcode: 11-73-61 Account No: 06168067) is the same one that he was using before he was scammed. Does anyone at Halifax bank take notice of this?
You can see what he looks like if you check his Whatsapp picture (his number is 07495234551) or you can look at his mugshot at http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/10986766.One_Direction_and_Olly_Murs_fans_targeted_by_ticket_scammer/
As always, Scarlet Mist will be cooperating with the police and other authorities to rid our community of scammers. And while people like this are on the prowl then we urge you to take care.
Following communication between Scarlet Mist and Halifax, they are now carrying out their own investigations.
Written on Thu 04 Feb 2016
As the political pressure to ban ticket touts increases, the team at StubHub have come up with the brilliant idea of running a petition to show the world just how much they and their ticket-touts are loved. In a tone slightly reminiscent of the ‘Give smokers a choice’ propaganda put forward by tobacco companies, and using the same mindless rhetoric about the government ‘restricting your rights’, their campaign calls for a ‘clear legal right’ for fans to be able to resell spare tickets without ‘restrictive terms’ being imposed.
So before anyone rushes to sign this, lets remember the basic facts. Tickets are not a freely-transferrable commodity, they are a contract (between the promoter and buyer), and therefore the promoters can apply whatever terms and conditions that they see fit. So many promoters might not want StubHub and their chums to profiteer, at the expense of genuine music lovers, and promoters might also want to ensure that the tickets that they sell for their events go to the buyers that they want to sell to, rather than to the highest bidder.
We think the existence of this petition is evidence that the secondary market is getting rattled. They know that their time is up. They know that more and more artists, venues and fans are getting sick of touts. This is a market which needs more regulation, not more greed.
We’ll give you the link, on the strict understanding that you won’t sign it, because we know you’ll love the comments.
Written on Thu 10 Dec 2015
Bruce Springsteen is the latest high-profile performer to put the boot in to ticket touts - and he’s called in the lawyers.
Tickets for his show in New York go on sale on Friday, but there are already tickets advertised for sale on StubHub and two other secondary sites. These so-called “speculative” ticket sales are likely to be advertised by people who don’t actually have a ticket for sale, but who plan on buying one.
According to a a report by Reuters News Agency lawyers acting for Team Springsteen wrote to the secondary sites asking them to remove them from sale, and have also asked the New York Attorney General to investigate the matter. The Attorney General seems to be taking it seriously, and they are aware that in many cases, consumers who purchase a speculative ticket do not receive the seats that were advertised and paid for.
A spokesman for StubHub repeated their feeble promise that if buyers don’t get their ticket on time they’ll provide better tickets (ha ha) or provide a refund. Which we think means that if you buy ‘speculative’ tickets then you should probably think twice before buying a flight or hotel.
A spokesman for one of the other secondary sites who was advertising speculative tickets said the company shared “the goal of ensuring a positive customer experience in ticket buying.”
We’re delighted that artists like Springsteen are taking positive action to stamp out the menace of touts. Undermining the secondary sites is a really spot-on approach. After all, if you laid out $5,000 for a Brucie ticket then the last thing you’d want is a refund.
Written on Mon 07 Dec 2015
We were asked an interesting question on Facebook today about one of the many news stories relating to the stance team Adele have taken on the subject of tickets being sold on the secondary market.
“But I thought Ticketmaster owned many of those secondary sites? - Adele tickets bought from touts will be cancelled”
Adele tickets bought from touts will be cancelled.
That’s what makes this one interesting. The stance taken is that all tickets sold on will be zapped. This will mean that all tickets sold through all resale sites, including those owned by or associated with the primary ticket sale companies, will be zapped. It may also include Scarlet Mist and the other ticket exchange sites (not to be confused with ticket resale sites) We imagine that any tickets bought at face value that are sold legitimately at face value close to the event, can be identified by the system so may not be zapped but only team Adele can confirm that. Those bought at face value and being sold for profit will be zapped Tickets sourced for less than face value, and sold at face value are being touted so should also be zapped so hopefully the system will also identify those tickets too.
This is why we talk about making the pedigree of tickets known, so everyone, from artist to fan, knows exactly where the tickets come from and how much has been paid.. A bit like a car log book
This could be a game changer, but only time will tell ✌️
Written on Fri 04 Dec 2015
Adele tickets have been very oversubscribed, and we know there is a great unmet demand for them.
So we think anyone advertising tickets for sale now is likely to be a scammer. We can think of no other possible explanation why anyone who managed to fight their way through the queue would want to sell their tickets so quickly. Unless they are fraudsters or touts. Or complete billy no-mates.
We will be permitting sales of Adele tickets three days before the events in order to allow for genuine sales.
Oh, and we’ve already had one attempt at a scam this morning.
Seller ID 40137
Screen Name maria080991
Real Name marie allen
Phone2 447521080134 ..
Seller lives:- Manchester
Seller bio:- Im into all kinds of music and I love to go an watch artists live,and also traveling around the world to watch differnt artists
The same scammer has tried to create another account
Screen Name marie12579
Real Name scanlon
Seller lives:- Manchester
Seller bio:- I love all kinds of music all kinds of bands!I love to travel the world
Written on Fri 04 Dec 2015
Given the popularity of Adele and the likely demand for her gig tickets this time then it was hardly surprising that ticket touts thought that they could make a killing. But they hadn’t reckoned with a full-frontal attack on the secondary ticket market, and one that could possibly lead to a seismic change in the music industry.
The first part of the attack on touts was to set up pre-registration, and then to scan the potential users for touts and ban them. The success of this can be judged by the number of tickets that have found their way so far onto the “Secondary Sites” (aka tout sites).
According to a survey on Music Ally which looked at the comparable bands on tour, the average number of secondary tickets (per gig) for Adele was only 54, compared to 1,548 for Rihanna and a whopping 2,939 for Coldplay gig.
But there’s more. According to an interview in Music Business Worldwide then the tickets appearing on secondary sites will be ‘zapped’. Invalidated. Legally they can do this because secondary ticketing breaks the Terms and Conditions of the sale (remember tickets are a contract, not a commodity). And legally they can find out which tickets are being sold through the secondary sites by enforcing the Consumer Rights Act.
Music Business Worldwide has revealed that so far over 100 tickets have been cancelled by Team Adele this way. Zero tolerance.
Despite this, the O2 Arena still has ‘important information’ on its website advising customers to only purchase tickets through authorised ticketing sites including AXS and StubHub - The Official Ticket Resale Marketplace of The O2. Those people buying tickets through StubHub, The Official Ticket Resale Marketplace of The O2 and part of the eBay group of companies, will find that every transaction made through the site is backed by StubHub’s FanProtect™ Guarantee. Which means that if the tickets are ‘zapped’ by the promoters then they should eventually get a refund.
Our reading of this is that the O2 is very much going against Adele’s wishes. We are delighted that Adele and her management team are taking a stance. We hope that other bands and their management teams look at this and figure out ways of making the process better and better. We think that the law could still do with some tightening up, to give promoters more power to deal with this problem, but its a great way to end the year. Best for Last.
Written on Tue 01 Dec 2015
He uses the names Liam Denis, Liam Denton and Dion Martin. Though we are fairly sure that those aren’t his real name.
His bank account details are
Sort Code 11-73-61
His phone number is 07481820631
If you google that number you will find lots of other tickets that he’s selling on Gumtree, as well as a link to his graphic design business and an ad for a TV he’s selling. Looks like he lives in West Bromwich ...
If you have any more information about this person then please let us know.
Written on Thu 26 Nov 2015
Recently Scarlet Mist received a request to set up an event alert for a Liverpool Football Club European tie. We had to decline this request but thought it would be fair to explain why we had to do this.
In the UK the resale of football tickets is illegal under section 166 of The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 unless the resale is authorized by the organiser of the match. This restriction was introduced by the Government to prevent hooliganism. By working with the Premier League clubs to obtain official authorization, some clubs have set up partnerships with resale companies. Other than in the case of football tickets, there is no legal restriction against reselling tickets in the UK
The following three pieces of legislation deal specifically with ticket touting or resale for football matches:
• Section 166 of The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/33/contents
• Section 53 of The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/38/section/53
• The Ticket Touting (Designation of Football Matches) Order 2007 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/790/contents/made
Written on Thu 26 Nov 2015
Another wee personal message from Niall.
So, this morning I got my ticket for the Cure at Wembley Arena for December 2016 after frantically filling out my details in the on-line presale, with shaking hands because I was a tad excited about the prospect of getting a ticket, despite the fact the gig being over a year away! I can now relax, or so I thought! I am now shaking with annoyance and frustration rather than excitement…
Out of curiosity I had a look on Viagogogotof*ck.. surely they wont have tickets, it’s the presale today!.. Once more, within minutes there are 100+ (and growing) tickets for Manchester ranging from £90 to £199, 200+ tickets (and growing) for London ranging from £75 to £273 (My ticket cost me a fairly reasonable £58 including booking and postage!!!) Once again the ticket resale machine will have you believe that these are genuine resale tickets, offered by honest punters and you are paying extra for the security and protection they offer… security and protection appears to be very expensive these days! They will try to convince you once again that they do not condone inflated resale prices! They will have you believe that masses of people got up this morning, joined the online queue, got their tickets then realised they couldn’t go to a gig 12 months away so put them up for resale!!!... Call me cynical but…!!
This is not ticket resale! These are primary ticket sales and this is what new government legislation should be tackling. Clarity is what they promised and as far as we are concerned, the distinction between the Primary Market and the Secondary Market has to be clarrified. Most of us are not as gullible! We know when we are being conned and we know when we are being lied to!
I’m off to have a coffee and as my good friend has just told me, “calm the f*ck down”...it may take a wee while!
Written on Tue 17 Nov 2015
The Government is carrying out an Independent review to discover the effectiveness of consumer protection measures in the online ticketing marketplace.
We have responded, and our response is copied below, but individuals can also respond up until 20th November 2015 - more details at
Here’s our response:-
Review of Consumer Protection Measures relating to Online Secondary Ticketing Platforms - Response by Scarlet Mist Ltd.
Scarlet Mist was established in 2004 as a free service providing a face-value ticket exchange service for music festivals and gigs. It provides a function that the entertainment industry is unable or unwilling to provide. It generates income through advertising. Scarlet Mist does not take ownership of the tickets, nor does it take part in the financial arrangements or transactions between buyer and seller, and merely functions as a ‘noticeboard’ to introduce users to one another
What has been the impact of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 protections for individual consumers buying from the primary market (the organiser) or the authorised agent; or for those buying via an online secondary ticketing marketplace, or from an unauthorised secondary ticketing facility?
The Consumer Rights Act introduced a series of new measures - in particular:-
* Greater clarity of the descriptions of tickets on the secondary market
* Regulations governing ‘blacklisting’ of re-sellers
* Duty to report criminal activity
Chain of Sellers and Veracity of Tickets
We feel that the relationship between promoter, Secondary sites (such as Viagogo, Seatwave, GetMein etc) and any intermediary sellers is still insufficiently clear.
We think that potential buyers should be able to determine the ‘pedigree’ of a ticket and the identities of all previous owner(s). In particular, buyers should be able to see whether the original ticket sale was to a third party or whether it was directly to a Secondary site, and whether the chain of sale was contractually legitimate at all stages.
What is the range of perceived impacts, both positive and negative, for events and event organisers of the secondary market?
Restricting profits of the Secondary Market
We recognise that the Secondary market exists, that secondary selling is not without risks and that a fall in demand can cause financial losses, and that individuals have a right to buy tickets at inflated prices if they so wish.
However we support a change in the law to cap the mark-up at 10%, and in particular we support the legislation proposed by Sharon Hodgson MP which would create this cap.
Fan-to-Fan or Professional Profiteer
Some tickets find their way on to the Secondary market because the original purchaser genuinely finds they are unable to attend an event. But we believe that a significant proportion are sold by sellers who have purchased the ticket with the express intention of making a profit.
We are concerned that the professional profiteers operate in a largely cash-based unregulated manner, and that they may evade paying appropriate taxes. We would like to see this properly addressed by the relevant authorities.
Covert increase in ticket prices
When there is over-demand for an event then the existence of the Secondary market allows event organisers to effectively increase the price of tickets without making this obvious to consumers. They can do this by covertly selling tickets to secondary sellers (or selling them via ‘premium routes’), often at greater than the original face-value price. Several promoters have confessed to this practice.
The existence of the Secondary market also facilitates a very rapid selling-out, which indirectly increases the price and apparent popularity of the event.
Anti-consumer impact of non-exchangeable tickets
When there is insufficient demand for tickets, and the event is not a sell-out, then the existence of the Secondary market has the effect of reducing overall ticket sales, since potential buyers may be able to source a ticket at below face value from the secondary market. We cynically believe that part of the attraction to promoters of non-exchangeable tickets is to plug this resale and to force buyers to pay the full price. We do not think that this is in the interests of consumers. Where non-exchangeable tickets are used then promoters should offer some sort of exchange or refunds system at a nominal cost unless this is explicitly made clear at the time of purchase.
Fraud and Forgery
A seriously negative impact of the Secondary market is that it greatly facilitates the risk of buying forged or non-usable tickets (eg invalid e-tickets).
Has there been any apparent change in the demand for and supply of tickets on the primary and secondary markets?
We believe that the existence of a flourishing Secondary market creates an increase in the demand for popular events. It leads to market conditions where the prices are raised, ultimately reaching their true ‘market value’. However there is inherently a degree of consumer deception as a part of this.
Are the new 2015 Act rules known and understood, being applied properly by event organisers and ticket sellers, and perceived to be fair?
We believe that the rules are fully understood by event organisers, but the secondary market operates with a less formal adherence to the law. We also believe that ticket buyers are not fully aware of their rights, and that in their eagerness to buy tickets for a popular event they are pressurised into agreeing to unfair conditions.
What views do consumers express on the effectiveness of existing/new transparency measures in providing clearly understood choices and terms?
Consumers are baffled at the rapidity with which tickets for popular events sell out. They are unaware that tickets are syphoned directly to the Secondary market, which they perceive as being very unfair.
How can prospective purchasers verify tickets as genuine?
The only way to ensure that tickets are genuine is to buy them directly from the official supplier. In practice it is difficult to be sure who the official supplier is, and the complex nature of the primary market makes this harder, particularly for the casual ticket-buyer.
What are the prices, costs, charges and commissions associated with tickets on the primary and secondary markets?
The price of tickets on the Primary market is very confusing, since it is made up from the ‘face-value’ price and a ‘handling fee’ and ‘delivery charge’.
We recognise that postage and printing of physical tickets can be expensive, especially if the ticket is a complex design to minimise counterfeiting. But the costs of postage are sometimes excessive.
The practice of charging £1 for print-at-home tickets is a cheek.
The price of tickets on the Primary market should be quoted as an on-the-road price, and any separate per-transaction handling charges should be clearly stated on all advertising.
The Secondary market price comprises the initial ticket price, the mark-up of the secondary seller, and further handling and delivery charges. We think these should be explicitly listed.
How well is the market minimising illegal activity (e.g. by countering illegal botnets, but also by using other methods such as staggered release of tickets, release directly to the secondary market etc.)?
Release of tickets directly to the Secondary market is legal, but we consider it to be deceptive practice.
We believe that the industry is trying to clamp down on botnets, and we feel the use of a Captcha must help with this, but we also recognise that Captchas are very difficult for some consumers to use.
We remain concerned that the Secondary ticket market attracts a small but not insignificant criminal element who may advertise non-existent tickets, or who may issue invalid or forged tickets. Our impression is that a number of criminals are active and that the disparate nature of the market, combined with their adoption of multiple names and identities, makes it hard to trace these individuals. Individual victims cannot easily find out whether these criminals have committed the same crime many times. We would welcome further development of national initiatives to help coordinate and centralise intelligence on this.
Written on Tue 10 Nov 2015
We’ve had a series of reports about a scammer, using a series of name:-
and others. He advertises tickets for sale, then takes the money and disappears.
He uses the bank account with
sort code 08-90-88
and the reference JJ252571D
One of the IP addresses he uses is
He also uses Sky Broadband.
We’ve reported this scammer before, just over a year ago (see http://www.scarletmist.com/index.php/blog/david_tyler_and_ben_rule_scammer_alert/) but he hasn’t stopped.
Someone must know who he is.
Written on Fri 23 Oct 2015
Research by Which? has revealed that listings on some well-known ticket resale websites are in breach of the law.
No surprise there!
The Consumer Rights Act requires that key details be given at the time of resale, including the face value of the ticket, seating area as well as any restrictions that apply.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘It’s unacceptable that these ticket resale sites are getting away with not providing fans with key ticket information, leaving them unsure whether their ticket is a good deal, where they’ll be seated or if they’ll even get in.’
They found that
- Seatwave, Viagogo and WorldTicketShop failed to display the original face value of some tickets.
- The face value for seats to a Six Nations Scotland vs England game - sold through Seatwave - was given as £0.00.
- Viagogo was selling tickets to a One Direction concert last month where the original cost was merely stated as being between £44.55 and £72.60.
- All of the companies were found to be reselling some tickets with no clear information as to where fans would be sitting.
- A single seat for the Rugby World Cup Final 2015 ticket being sold on Viagogo for £12,000, but – according to the event’s ticketing policy - the buyer could risk not getting past the turnstiles.
Which? also has produced a series of guides that help buyers to navigate through the murky and unclear waters of the secondary ticketing market.
More information is at http://www.which.co.uk/news/2015/10/ticket-site-listings-breach-consumer-rights-act-419463/
Written on Thu 17 Sep 2015
Michael Dugher, the new Shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport appointed this week, is supportive of plans to clamp down on ticket touts.
Earlier this year there was a debate in Parliament for a bill to restrict ticket touts. Michael called on the Government to introduce proposals to prevent the bulk-purchase of thousands of sports and music tickets and he voted in favour of these proposals in the House of Commons on 12 January. Unfortunately the proposed change in the law was defeated by the Government.
The vote had followed an open letter to the Government from prominent bands and figures in the music and sports sectors including South Yorkshire’s Arctic Monkeys, international rock band Iron Maiden and the Rugby Football Union, calling for action against ticket touts.
Mr Dugher, who is Labour MP for Barnsley East, wrote on his website that “As a keen sports and music fan myself, I’m sure people in Barnsley will be very disappointed that the Government has ruled out action to tackle ticket touting. It is incredibly frustrating for fans to be unable to buy tickets to see their favourite events when they go on sale and then have to pay massively inflated prices if they still wish to go. I voted to protect fans interests but this Government is only interested in standing up for a privileged few.
Scarlet Mist supports changing the law to make it harder for touts to exploit fans, and we hope he will use his new position to make this a reality.
Written on Fri 11 Sep 2015
A friend’s comical experience with Tom the Tout at Viagogo made us chuckle. Read the note from Tom, then read Dougs response below. I think you will get the gist of what happened from the note, but we do love his response
Thank you for your note. Well isn’t this a strange situation? I have to admit this has been a significant dilemma for me.
On one hand I want to keep the ticket and sell it to recoup the £25 I paid you over the asking price for it. You obviously had no problem selling the ticket onto me for a profit. Ohh how the tables have turned (laughing evilly and stroking my cat).
I want to give you a little background into my situation. I already had a ticket for the Foals, but I bought this ticket for a friend to come along with me. That friend can no longer come so the really ironic thing is that I now have two spare tickets and I didn’t need to buy the one from you in the first place!
Now with the gig being on valentines day, two tickets are far easier to sell than one because most people will be out with their partners. But fear not young Tom, my moral compass is pointing in the right direction, so please find enclosed your ticket.
You’ll also be pleased to hear that I found someone else to give my other spare ticket to.
I do not expect anything in return for giving you this ticket back, as Winston Churchill once said “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”. So Tom please let this be a lesson to you.
As an aside I really hope you’re not actually some sort of tout. If you are indeed a tout my only remorse is that I can I take comfort in the fact that you are not a very good tout! And if you carry on like this your touting days are numbered sonny!
Also Tom, why are you asking your mum to do your dirty work? You’re obviously old enough to go to the Foals on your own so I think it’s time you step up. Your mother is obviously very kind and I hope you didn’t give her a hard time over these tickets, bless her.
Finally Tom, just a little message about reselling gig tickets for a profit. Touts are killing live music! You should have been selling your ticket at face value through the website Scarletmist.com the ethical ticket exchange website. I hope that in the future you’ll be less greedy and use this website. Now you may say that I’m also part of the problem because I bought the ticket from Viagogo and that it takes two to tango and all that, but I really didn’t have a choice. I had checked scarletmist and they didn’t have any. My hands were tied.
Now with my karma levels well and truly topped up I’m fully intending on having a cracking evening on Friday, I wish the same for you.
Over and out.
Written on Fri 11 Sep 2015
Scarlet Mist is midway through a major rebuild. Our new team has been working to bring you a new and better way of exchanging face-value tickets in the Mist. We are very interested to get your opinion on the things that you like and the things that you don’t, and we’re keen to get your views on features and changes that we could make. Are we doing enough about security? Does the site give you enough information? How do we match up with the other ticket exchange services? And we’d like to hear your opinions on some of the new features that we are introducing.
It would be really boring to do this by asking you to fill out an online survey and we thought it would be much more fun to do it using online group video calls, using Google Hangouts (see https://plus.google.com/hangouts if you’ve never used these before). We’d like to do this with 8 Scarlet Mist Users and two of us, so we can get a discussion going about and find out what you really think. And it will be nice for us to talk to some of you.
We have planned to do this on three occasions - the dates we have in mind are
Sunday 20th September
Tuesday 22nd September, and
Sunday 27th September
all starting at 8pm and all lasting for an hour max.
Really looking forward to hearing from you
Mark Niall Pete and Richard.
Written on Thu 27 Aug 2015
Scarlet Mist takes a firm line with scammers who advertise fake tickets and steal the money. But we usually credit them with having a modicum of intelligence. So we were gobsmacked to see a scammer dumb enough to create three different accounts with three different names and three different email addresses, but with the same phone number for all three.
We have suspicions that there are connections with another scammer (see http://www.scarletmist.com/index.php/blog/113 ) and we are investigating this.
Scarlet Mist cannot completely protect you from rogues like this, and we do advise you to take care. We recommend you meet in person or use the escrow service. We also recommend that you look to see what other tickets they are selling (displayed on the ticket sale page).
Written on Mon 20 Jul 2015
We have set up a Google+ page for Scarlet Mist. Its a bit bare at the moment, we’ll be adding to it soon.
Written on Mon 22 Jun 2015
We would love to meet any Friends of the Mist who are going to Glastonbury this weekend. Olly and Richard will be proudly wearing their Scarlet Mist tshirts (under our raincoats) so keep an eye out for us.
We thought we would arrange a meet up for anyone who supports the website on Thursday evening at 10pm, at the bar next to the West Holts stage. We won’t have any merchandise to sell you, but we’d love to have a beer. If you can’t find us then call out ‘Scarlet Mist’ at the top of your voice and we’ll come running. Sort of.
Written on Mon 22 Jun 2015
Monday 22nd June 2015
We are overjoyed to announce that Scarlet Mist, the ethical face-value ticket exchange for gigs and festivals, has been relaunched. Three saviours have helped to get the site back online, and just in time for the summer festivals.
Scarlet Mist provides a free service for music fans with spare tickets for an event. It lets people trade tickets with one another at face value or less. It represents a community that resents ticket touts, a community that believes in collaboration and mutual help, and a community that campaigns and seeks change in the law to prevent profiteering and greed.
The four-strong team have relaunched the site as quickly as possible. A full rebuild and a redesign is planned. The team consists of:-
• Peter Main, a business consultant in finance and also director of a not-for-profit children’s community nursery.
• Mark Vick, a web developer with twenty years experience - a man of ethics who was actively involved with the Hackney housing cooperative movement back in the day. He is a keen guitar player and has played in a number of bands over the years.
• Niall Barclay, by day a structural engineer, pays the bills, but by night, his real passion is live music. He attended 15 gigs last month and with a projected figure of 100 gigs for this year alone, much of Niall’s time is spent in the battle to secure tickets, often, in the past, with the help of Scarlet Mist. Niall has strongly held views on ticket “resale” sites and profiteering at music fans’ expense - views that aren’t suitable to be expressed in polite company!
• Richard Marks, who founded the site in 2004, and works as a hospital doctor. Richard is passionate and enthusiastic about everything that Scarlet Mist stands for.
Scarlet Mist brings members of the community together, but right now we need to inform the community that we are back. Please help spread the news in any way that you can.
Welcome back to the Mist.
Written on Sat 13 Jun 2015
We are making two changes this year for the popular festivals.
Firstly we are going to delay the date from which tickets can be sold until 6 weeks before the date of the event. This is to reduce the risk of fraud, since we have found in previous years that fraudsters sell their (non-existent) tickets very early. We take the whole problem of fraud very seriously, especially for these high-value tickets. And we do urge you to be safe, and to either meet face-to-face or to use the Escrow service that we provide.
If you want to buy a ticket for one of these festivals you can register for an alert straight away. The date on which tickets will start trading is displayed against each festival.
Secondly, we have previously listed all tickets (individual days and full weekenders) all together. This year we are listing day-tickets and weekenders separately.
We are interested to hear how these changes work out in practice, and would appreciate your feedback either here or on our Facebook page.
Written on Tue 25 Nov 2014
Watch out for a scammer called Tom Pain.
This one uses made-up email addresses to contact people, and then asks for the money to be paid into “my friend Tom’s” paypal.
He also uses this bank account
Sort Code 60-23-35
Thats the Nat West in Weymouth .....
Written on Tue 04 Nov 2014
One of the scammers who had been using Scarlet Mist has been in touch with us to apologise. They spoke to us at great lengths, and were very aware of the wong that they had committed.
To everyone that this concerns,
I am writing this letter today to express my deepest apologies for what has happened on this site over the past couple of years. The site should be a safe, reliable place for people to exchange excess or surplus tickets with one another without the risk of being conned into losing their hard-earned money.
People make mistakes in their life, and I regret mine sincerely and I am going to do everything in my power to redeem myself, and prevent this happening to others.
I would encourage everybody who is owed money from anyone on this site who has scammed you to get in contact with the moderators on here, and if I have anything to do with it, I will be returning the money back with immediate effect.
I look forward to helping this site combat fraud, and hope that my new ambitions help to protect the people who I unfairly prevented from enjoying themselves.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this letter, and remember if you believe you have been scammed, get in contact with the site and the police!
Sorry once again, I really am.
Written on Wed 27 Aug 2014
We have been struggling over the last 24 hours to deal with a scammer who has used the following identities
The bank account he uses is
Sort code - 08-90-88
Account number 67008362
(Coop bank, Barnsley)
His IP address is 188.8.131.52 (which is Orange Internet)
He has been advertising non-existent tickets for Kasabian, Kate Bush and other popular events, then pocketing the money.
Because he has created so many accounts we are finding it difficult to block him. We think he is also creating accounts using free or disposable email addresses.
Please read our warnings about avoiding scammers at http://www.scarletmist.com/index.php/info/#FAQ26
Written on Thu 14 Aug 2014
A couple of years ago we warned you about a scammer named James May. Turns out that he’s back. Beware!
Written on Thu 24 Jul 2014
We have had two reports recently of scams carried out by a man called Mr Pegg.
We think his bank details are
sort code 08-90-88
account number - 67008362
Written on Wed 09 Jul 2014
TOUT OUT! End The Plague Of Secondary Ticketing
Responsible department: Department for Culture, Media and Sport
This petition calls on the government to make illegal the re-sale of tickets to cultural events for profit. The findings of the 2007 Select Committee on the benefits of the secondary ticketing market in the UK are not, for the most part, in question. However, the suggestion that competition (in the secondary market) leads to lower prices for consumers is absurd and quite incendiary. Regrettably, it is now inevitable that ‘big’ cultural events sell out in a matter of minutes on the primary market only to appear for re-sale on the secondary market at obscene mark-up. This parasitical practice is wholly exploitative: in an era when pressure mounts on governments worldwide to pass anti-piracy laws, NOTHING is being done to prevent big business and private individuals from ‘ripping off’ performers and YOU, the fan, for THEIR OWN material gain. Enough is enough.
Written on Mon 21 Apr 2014
We’ve been warned about a scammer called Tony Sims, who has used multiple identities. He gets his friends to sell tickets “on his behalf”.
Mr Tony A Sims
09-01-27 (Santander in East London)
Written on Mon 31 Mar 2014
We are very concerned about the possibility of Fraudulent sales for Kate Bush tickets. We have therefore introduced a restriction that will only permit them to be traded in the five weeks before the concerts.
We appreciate that this will be an inconvenience to some people, but we are worried that the huge unmet demand to see her will prove too much of a temptation to scammers and crooks who want to make an easy “sale”.
Please also remember that there are restrictions on entry for these events, and that you will need to meet the ticket seller at the gig in person. And please also remember to never ever send money to a stranger by bank transfer or similar. We do provide an escrow service which will protect you if you cannot meet face-to-face; we provide this to you as a service and we don’t take any profit from these transactions.
Written on Tue 25 Mar 2014
He has been asking his victims to pay him by Paypal, and to use the Family/Friend option (since this makes it harder for Paypal to cancel the transaction).
Beware of this crook.
Written on Sun 23 Mar 2014
He has been texting people and asking them to pay money into his bank account.
Account number 02143632
Sort code 80-46-35
Please be careful - don’t pay money by bank transfer to strangers.
We would love to hear from anyone working for the Bank of Scotland in Frederick Street - maybe you could look into the activities on this account .....
Written on Thu 06 Feb 2014
The law has finally caught up with McMahon, who thought he had got away with more than £2,000 in scams.
A judge described him as a “persistent fraudster and thief” when he was jailed for 28 months at Southampton Crown Court.
McMahon, 28, of Stafford Road, Southampton, admitted five counts of fraud and asked for 20 others to be considered.
He also pleaded guilty to 12 charges of making and distributing indecent pictures of children.
Prosecutor Tim Compton described how a United States child protection team contacted police after images had been downloaded on McMahon’s computer at an address in London.
Written on Sat 14 Dec 2013
Once again, the Government (this time in the shape of Maria Miller, The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport) has declined to act against ticket touts.
In Parliament yesterday Sharon Hodgson MP pointed out to them that tickets for the Rugby World Cup Final are already on sale on Viagogo for more than 10 times face value, and that is before tickets have even gone on sale to the general public.
She also pointed out that the Rugby Football Union is keen for tickets to be protected so that ordinary fans can enjoy the sport, and asked why the Government does not take the action necessary to protect ordinary fans?
Mrs Grant replied that fans would still enjoy the tournament, but that she believed it is right for organisers, promoters and ticket agents to deal with access to events and tickets. Successive Governments have concluded that regulation should be the last resort.
You can read the full debate in Hansard.
What will it take to reach the last resort?
Written on Tue 19 Nov 2013
We have had complaints about a seller who is advertising Arctic Monkeys tickets here. He has used two different names, and has asked people to pay money into his bank account.
The names he has used are Matthew Burns and Paul Henry.
However we think his real name is Liam McMahon - a scammer that has been reported to us many times before.
He has asked for money to be paid in to this bank account
Sort Code 20-03-84 (Barclays, Banbury)
We strongly discourage payment by bank tranfer because of the risk of fraud.
If there are any Scarlet Mist users working for Barclays then we would appreciate finding out what sort of security checks you take out on your customers.
Written on Sun 06 Oct 2013
We saw Public Service Broadcasting at Hyde Park playing with the Rolling Stones, and thought they were fantastic. Check them out.
Written on Sun 07 Jul 2013
In order to combat fraud we are now making it compulsory for users to either meet face-to-face or use an escrow system for transactions over £100.
Please note that FRAUDSTERS ARE ACTIVE ON SCARLET MIST and that we are providing the escrow service for your protection.
Written on Sun 09 Jun 2013
Scarlet Mist advises users to meet face-to-face, but we appreciate that sometimes that cannot happen. We are very concerned about the potential risks of fraud, especially for high-value festival tickets.
We have now set up a link with Tranpact.com who provide an escrow service. An escrow service holds the money from the ticket buyer safely until the ticket seller receives the ticket.
We have set this up as a voluntary feature, but we intend shortly to make it mandatory for any transaction over £75 where the buyer and seller cannot meet up. We are hoping that this will help defeat the scumbags who advertise non-existent tickets and then pocket the money and disappear.
We would welcome any comments that you have. There is much more information on our Transpact Escrow Information Page.
Written on Sun 07 Apr 2013
It is exactly ten years ago that Scarlet Mist went live on the internet. Since then it has led the way in providing a free face-value ticket exchange service for festivals, gigs and other events.
Scarlet Mist was originally set up in 2003 to help a slightly slow-off-the-mark friend obtain a ticket for Glastonbury (in those days the tickets were freely exchangeable). The site was originally to be titled ‘Glastonbury Ticket Exchange’, but changed this just before launching to a name that conjures up the ethereal nature of the internet, the anger against ticket touts and the warm glow of helping your fellow music-lover.
You can see early versions of the site at the Wayback Machine.
Almost a thousand Glastonbury tickets traded hands through the Mist, and there was widespread support by users and the press. The service expanded to cover other events and activities.
The site underwent a major rebuild 2 years ago. It now has over 16,000 members and receives over 100,000 visits a year. One of the key new features is ‘Scarlet Mates’ - selling your spare ticket to somebody who can come with you to the gig and spend some time together. Why buy a ticket from a tout when you can enjoy the company of a Scarlet Mist user?
We have campaigned against ticket touting and dishonesty in the secondary ticketing market, and shared a platform with Sharon Hodgson MP at the Music Tank Ticketing Summit (Richard is the one wearing a tie). Ticket touts provide a service to their clients - as do prostitutes and bookmakers - and they are not breaking the law. We recognise that market forces must inevitably be reflected in ticket prices, but we would like to see the incestuous relationship between touts, promoters and the ‘official channels’ subjected to close scrutiny. We also believe that the law should be changed to make touting an offence.
Scarlet Mist has stuck to its ethical principles. The site remains free to both buyers and sellers, and has resisted suggestions that it should charge a membership fee. It is funded by advertising, user donations and good will. It also works hard to protect the safety of users - fraudsters are outed to the public and their bank and personal details are listed.
We will be having our traditional party at Glastonbury this year on Thursday evening, close to the West Holts stage, and look forward to meeting our users old and new.
Happy Birthday Scarletto.
8th April 2013.
Written on Thu 14 Mar 2013
We’ve been notified about a devious fraudster who is probably called Tim Murphy. At least, thats the name on his bank account with Barclays in Liverpool.
Sort code 20-51-01
and phone number 07503655746
His IP address 184.108.40.206
Written on Thu 07 Mar 2013
We have been notified about a possible fraudulent seller who is asking for payment using UKash. We don’t know for certain that he is a fraudster, though there are plenty of good reasons to suspect him. He calls himself Joseph Ennis yet doesn’t know how to spell Joseph. So it seems pretty dodgy to us.
If you want to talk to Joseph Ennis about his exploits then you can contact him on 07742 706 290. He registered on Scarlet Mist with a different phone number, but this seems to be the one that he uses.
UKash transfers are secure in themselves, but nonetheless we do not recommend any form of electronic payment methods because of the risks that you are dealing with a fraudster.
Written on Sat 02 Mar 2013
Three cheers for Reading Council! The ‘Reading Borough Council Act’ was passed by Parliament, and has given them new powers for the better control of street trading and touting.
The main powers that the Act will give them are:-
- Allowing the Council to regulate services offered on the street
- Empowering council officers, the police and community support officers to seize goods and equipment when they believe a street trading offence has been committed
- Empowering courts to order the forfeiture of such goods and equipment
- Allowing the council to regulate touting
- Enabling council officers, the police and community support officers to serve fixed penalty notices for street trading offences.
Scarlet Mist is delighted to see that the Council has succeeded with getting this legislation passed.
You can read more about the Act here
Written on Tue 19 Feb 2013
The Met has published its Problem Profile on Ticket Fraud.
In their report they recommend that:-
- Consideration must be given to introducing legislation to govern the unauthorised sale of event tickets. The lack of legislation in this area enables fraud and places the public at risk of economic crime.
- The primary and secondary ticket market require regulation to ensure transparency, allowing consumers to understand who they are buying from and affording them better protection from ticket crime.
- Law enforcement needs to strengthen relationships with website registrars and hosting companies across the world so that requests to suspend websites are complied with immediately and without the need for a court order.
- All victims of ticket fraud need to be encouraged to report to the authorities so that the true scale of this crime can be gauged.
- Action Fraud needs to be better publicised as the primary reporting agency for ticket fraud.
- As Operation Podium closes, the ticket industry needs to build relationships with search engine companies, UK Payments, the British Bankers’ Association, website hosts and website registrars, so as to prevent and mitigate against ticket crime.
- Tax investigation by HMRC may be a viable way to target ticket fraudsters and touts with unaccounted wealth.
- To disrupt fraudulent websites a range of tactics need to be employed, including removing merchant facilities, suspending websites, terminating websites’ email addresses and telephone numbers, and requesting that search engines relegate fraudulent websites to the bottom of their page rankings.
- Event organisers should include a ‘website checker’ on their websites, where members of the public can check to see if websites are official ticket sellers.
- The public need to be reminded by promoters when tickets are released for events to only buy tickets from official sites (and these sites need to be publicised).
- Merchant acquirers should be encouraged to delay how quickly ticket companies can withdraw funds from their merchant accounts, giving them more chance of recovering funds if tickets are not supplied.
- Law enforcement should seek to have banning orders or serious crime prevention orders placed on known ticket touts, so they are excluded from areas close to venues and from engaging in ticket related activity.
Scarlet Mist welcomes this report and hopes that the government will implement it in full. You can read the report in full here.
Written on Sun 10 Feb 2013
What is it with scammers? We make it clear on Scarlet Mist that we expect people to meet face to face. And we make it clear that you would normally expect someone with a spare ticket to live near the event.
This man is not only a complete tosser but he is illiterate too. Here is what he put on his Registration:-
age:22 job title: tecnichan hobbies: listening too music an attending gigs, associating with friends an family, spending timewithmy wife and kids…
I live in Suffolk Devon
I have 4forsale# floor level seats email me if interested or leave your number thanks..
Quickly googling his details revealed a blog post giving some of his details
mr j richards
sort code: 600111
acc num 43247547
Other phone number is 07554149030
Surely someone out there must work for Nat West, and surely someone out there must want to investigate this.
Written on Wed 12 Dec 2012
Kraftwerk tickets went on sale today and were extremely popular. So we are very worried about the potential for fraudulent sellers who attempt to sell non-existent tickets and disappear with your hard-earned cash.
The Tate website mentions that
Tickets will be for collection only on the night, and only the person booking will be able to collect with the payment card used to make the purchase. All concert attendees must be present at the time of ticket collection to be issued with a wristband and 3D glasses. The wristband must then be worn during the concert. Tickets can be collected up to two hours prior to the concert start time from specific ticket desks in the café entrance on Level 1.
Please be aware of this, and of the potential for crooks to leave you stranded.
Written on Thu 29 Nov 2012
Next Wednesday evening (5th December) there is a music industry summit on ticketing.
Scarlet Mist will be on the panel in the second session. The session is entitled ‘Regulation’, and will look at what can be done to protect ticket customers from a legislative perspective. What sort of regulation, if any, does the industry and consumers actually need and, given government intransigence to date, how are we going to achieve it? We will hear from PRODISS, the French live music trade organisation that led successful legislative change over the Channel. The summit will raise some serious questions, but importantly, will suggest answers that are practical and possible. Given the cut-throat economics of the live business, are those ‘at the coal face’ in a position to enact significant change, especially at the most sought-after arena shows, where demand far outstrips supply? Is Government legislation and price-capping the only way forward? And if it is, how will policy-makers and their advisers be convinced of some fairly well-trodden arguments?
Keynote: Aline Renet - PRODISS
Ben Turner - Association of Independent Festivals / Bestival
Sharon Hodgson MP - Shadow Education Minister / FanFair Alliance
Richard Marks - Scarlet Mist
Caitlin Graham - Which?
Keith Harris - Keith Harris Music Ltd / MusicTank Chair / Director of Performer Affairs, PPL
We would welcome any Scarlet Mist users to attend (and we have a small number of free tickets - please contact us if you are interested in attending).
We would also welcome your views and comments on the question of regulation. Please post them on our Facebook page.
Scarlet Mist believes that ticket prices are subject to the economic laws of supply and demand, and that pressures from fans might inherently push up prices for popular events. And we recognise that ticket prices are deliberately maintained at a below-market-value price because of the need to retain the core audience/ To this extent, the market is slightly distorted, which allows touts to prosper.
It has become apparent that some promoters (and bands) are prepared to condone and support this, and they will covertly sell tickets through the secondary market, or though restricted processes, at above face value. Regulation might drive this into the open, and result in openly-declared higher prices. We cannot see how this can be prevented.
But we consider that the market should be transparent and that consumers should understand the pricing structure. And that if bands choose to sell the best seats through ‘premium channels’ then that should be openly declared in advertising and promotion.
We do not support the notion of ‘non-exchangeable tickets’ unless there are adequate mechanisms in place to facilitate refunds.
We support the idea that selling tickets at significantly greater than their face value should be restricted by law.
Please post your thoughts and comments on our Facebook Page.
Written on Fri 23 Nov 2012
The Supreme Court has ruled that Viagogo will have to disclose the names of people who sold tickets to England rugby matches via its website to the Rugby Football Union. Outing their names and identities might be a major blow against the culture of ticket touting.
In the run-up to the autumn international rugby matches in 2010 and the home matches for the six-nations tournament in 2011, the RFU monitored various websites, including Viagogo and it conducted a series of test purchases. It discovered that Viagogo had been used to advertise thousands of tickets for the seven games that were to be played at Twickenham. Tickets with a face value of £20 to £55 were being advertised for sale at up to some £1,300. On making these discoveries, the RFU’s legal advisers wrote to Viagogo seeking information about the identity of those involved in the sale and purchase of the tickets. This was resisted. The RFU therefore took legal action.
The RFU won in Court but Viagogo appealed the decision. The case went to the Court of Appeal (where they were thrashed) and now has come to the Supreme Court (where once again they were defeated).You can read the verdict at in legalspeak.
You should be aware that ..... viagogo may disclose your financial or personal information if required to do so by law, court order, as requested by other government or law enforcement authority, or in the good faith belief that disclosure is otherwise necessary or advisable….
Written on Sun 04 Nov 2012In the last 24 hours a seller using the name Katie Bevan has placed the following tickets on sale on Scarlet Mist.
|Mumford And Sons O2 Arena Millenium Dome London||40.00 pounds||I have 4 tickets for sake basically. Purchased via ticketmaster and came in the post today. They are standing tickets, and Im selling for £40 each, but cheaper if you buy all 4|
|Vans Warped Tour Alexandra Palace London||40.00 pounds||3 warped tour tickets as can no longer go :( due to holiday|
|Black Keys O2 Arena Millenium Dome London||34.25 pounds||Block 102 Row Y Seat 55 and 56|
|Rolling Stones O2 Arena Millenium Dome London||400.00 pounds||4 Rolling Stones tickets for sale. Brought them with the view of going with a few friends, however turned out they werent interested and have no intention of going alone!|
|Killers O2 Arena Millenium Dome London||45.00 pounds||I can post them out or have them collected|
|Mumford & Sons O2 Arena Millenium Dome London||40.00 pounds||I have 4 tickets for sake . Purchased via ticketmaster and came in the post today. They are standing tickets, and Im selling for £40 each, but cheaper if you buy all 4! Can post or be collected|
|Mumford And Sons Arena Manchester||40.00 pounds||4 tickets for sale for mumford and sons at the MEN , can post or be collected|
She uses the email address Katiebevann@hotmail.co.uk
She also use Katiebevan13@hotmail.co.uk and firstname.lastname@example.org
How can one person have so many tickets to sell?
AVOID THIS PERSON.
If you have any idea who they might be, or have any information about them, please post it here.
Written on Fri 17 Aug 2012We have had reports of a dodgy Seller named Sarah (she uses the names Sarah Broadmoore, Samantha and Sarah Broad).
Her bank account details are:
Secure Trust Bank
Sort Code 23-54-51
Sort Code 20-27-17
07531 970 263
She claims to live in Wales, but has tickets to sell for events in London.
We strongly advise you not to pay for tickets by bank transfer, you have no protection if the seller doesn't deliver the tickets. If you cannot meet face to face then find another seller, or ask them to send you the tickets before you pay.
Written on Mon 09 Jul 2012
Scarlet Mist is now open for buying and selling tickets for major Summer festivals including Leeds, Reading and V Festival, via our ethical, fan to fan exchange. We’ve disallowed this until now as a precautionary measure as most genuine fan to fan ticket transactions are more likely to occur in the run up to events, rather than immediately after tickets go on sale for the first time.
If you are interested in buying or selling tickets to Leeds, Reading, V Festival and others then now is the time to do it. Be careful buying and selling tickets for these festivals, as historically they have always attracted most fraudsters. If you are not meeting in person please use the escrow service, which is the only way to guarantee you wont be ripped off.
We want to allow users to buy and sell tickets without profit, safely removed from the murky world of ticket touts and the profiteering of the secondary ticketing market.
Written on Tue 05 Jun 2012
We have made some changes to the way Scarlet Mist handles Offers and Questions.
If you ask a question to a ticket-seller then your question, and their reply, will be visible to all users of the site. We have made this change so that other people can benefit from reading what the Seller has answered, particularly if it clarifies the ticket information or provides additional detail.
We have also changed the way that Offers are processed. Once you make an offer then you will not receive a reply from the Seller until he or she decides to accept or reject your offer. We have made this change because we have noticed some Sellers have been sending emails to Buyers asking for payment without formally accepting or rejecting their offer - this makes it hard for other Buyers to know what is going on.
Written on Sun 03 Jun 2012
Unfortunately we have been notified about a seller who has been acting fraudulently.
We are not sure whether this is one person with multiple names or a pair acting together.
If you are contacted by Gemma Chapman or Bret Dixon then steer clear. They have been using these bank account.
Scarlet Mist does not advise you to pay for tickets by Bank Transfer under any circumstances.
Written on Thu 24 May 2012
We saw this posting on Gumtree. Unfortunately the scammers have been using Scarlet Mist too.
Please be warned.
This is my 3rd post and I’ve got more information from you lovely Honest Gumtree users.
What annoys me is Gumtree were quick to remove my ad warning people of this scam, yet left thescammers ads live for 5 days!! In that time they’ve used these accounts to fraudulently scam us out of thousands.
I feel we should place a civil action against Gumtree for poor management.
Please be warned:
John May, Darren ‘PJ’ Lowdon and a Laura from Liverpool are all using these details to sell download tickets.
Mike Quest who is actually Mike Sneldon Cornwall is a new addition to the scam-clan. One gumtree user has told Lloyd TSB
A Liam from Hampshire is also reported as scamming with one of the mobile numbers
Gumtree need to contact the banks and the police and stop the accounts as this is the process, as I learnt via the police.
sort code: 11 04 66 A/C: 10263960
sort code: 20-68-72 A/C: 40551481
sort code: 876885 A/C: 80720668
07970154469 - Mike Quest/Sneldon
PLEASE REPORT TO POLICE and cc in lawenforcement[at]gumtree.com
My crime ref number is: 6011291-12
Live scams now (see link below) so thank you Gumtree reporters! You’ve helped remove the scam Only took 5 days, but we’ve done it!.
http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/1-x-adult-ticket-for-download-weekend-arena-3-nights-camping/102924855 - Mike Sneldon - Cornwall
Scarletlist and Craiglist immediately removed the posts - Gumtree are poor.
But keep reporting to me and I’ll do my best to protect the innocent buyers!!
WE WILL ROCK DOWNLOAD AND MAY WE SHOVE THESE FRAUDSTERS TO THE JAILHOUSE ROCK!
Please remember that Scarlet Mist tries to protect you against fraud by witholding the name/number of the seller until you agree to buy from them. And please read our advice at http://www.scarletmist.com/index.php/info/#FAQ26
We do not recommend that you send money by bank transfer to a stranger.
Written on Thu 15 Mar 2012
It’s not necessarily brokers or scalpers buying up those tickets early on. Those tickets are just never made available, period. What you end up seeing are backdoor deals where the promoter, venue and artist either sell those tickets to brokers as a way of guaranteeing themselves some income, or they list it on the secondary market themselves.
….. only 13 percent of tickets ever went on sale to the public. There’s a vibrant business — with the promoters, venues and artists — on our website. I can tell you for a fact that I know a number of artists and promoters list substantial amounts of tickets for their tours through StubHub, because that’s probably what they want to charge for a ticket, but can’t do so publicly.
These words come from an interview with StubHub - the massive American secondary ticket site.
We should study them carefully. Because this week StubHub launches their UK site.
At least we admire their honesty.
Written on Mon 27 Feb 2012
Channel 4 Despatches has done a great job in exposing some of the less salubrious practices in the ticketing industry. But an important question remains unanswered - how much of the profit from the inflated ticket prices are going to the bands and promoters?
The simple fact is that some bands and events are just too popular, and there are more people who want tickets than there are tickets available. And, as anyone with a GCSE in Economics will know, the market response when demand exceeds supply is for prices to rise. As the price of tickets continues to rise then fans will simply shake their heads and walk away.
But this ruthless market-driven approach has a major drawback. It means that many music and sporting events are destined to become solely available for the very rich. Is this what we want? The Rugby Football Union don’t think so, and they have gone to great lengths to keep their sport open to a wide section of the public (and they have successfully challenged Viagogo in the High Court). Glastonbury Festival has also tried very hard to keep a broad audience.
Unfortunately many other promoters have chosen to adopt the maxim “Money talks and bullsh*t walks”. So they have looked at ways of raising their prices, without making it too obvious, and they have adopted a market model called ‘Premium Primary Ticketing’. Put simply, this means that the best tickets in the house get sold at higher prices. And as the demand rises then more tickets can get sold for more cost. In their statement following the Despatches programme the Concert Promoters Association acknowledged this model, and they added:-
We are sure that those fans who use the secondary market for convenience and are prepared to pay a premium would be happier that the premium went to the artist via the promoter rather than went to a tout.
What sticks in our throats here is the deceit. If the promoters decide that a premium ticket pricing model is going to be adopted then they should state this up front. They should acknowledge that certain seats are unavailable at the regular price, and should give clear consumer information to fans and ticket-buyers that they are doing so. They should be taking the flak for this scandal, rather than the secondary sites that they themselves gave the tickets to.
And what about the bands themselves? They have been remarkably quiet over this. But the CPA statement seems to acknowledge that the bands are in on the whole deal and are also taking a slice of the action. Are they conniving with the whole process? Or do they deny that this is happening?
Sharon Hodgson’s Proposed Law might not be able to stop the ‘Premium Primary Ticketing’ model, but it would give an air of transparency to the whole process. If bands wanted to charge £1000 for the front-row seats then they could still do so. But at least they would have to be honest about it.
Written on Thu 23 Feb 2012
Channel 4 show Dispatches has defeated an attempt by ticket reselling website Viagogo to get a High Court injunction against it.
Dispatches, which will air on Thursday, 23 February at 9pm, went undercover inside one of the UK’s biggest ticket reselling websites - Viagogo - and found that major promoters allocate hundreds or even thousands of tickets to be sold through their website at well above the face value.
Tickets for recent gigs and tours by Coldplay, Rihanna, Westlife, Take That, and V Festival have been allocated by the promoters in this way.
Dispatches sent reporters undercover inside two major ‘fan-to-fan’ ticket exchange websites to investigate who is selling via their websites and why so many tickets appear at over the face value so soon after the box office sells out.
A Channel 4 spokesperson says: ‘We are pleased that we can now broadcast in full a programme of important public interest. It is disappointing that having provided Viagogo with a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations uncovered by our investigation several weeks ago, they chose instead to seek an injunction which would have effectively stopped the broadcast of our programme.’
Written on Fri 20 Jan 2012
A report from the American AntiTrust Institute has called for a government investigation into ‘restrictive’ paperless tickets, which it argues ‘unjustifiably limit consumer choice and depart from bedrock competitive market principles’.
The report looked at the practice of issuing tickets that require the purchaser to present their credit card when they arrive at the show. Ticket companies claim that they do this to prevent touting (scalping). But, the report argues, the real reason is to enable the companies to capture the lucrative secondary market for tickets to their events and ensure that this market does not face competition from independent re-sellers and resale marketplaces. Controlling the secondary market also enables Ticketmaster and its clients to impose price floors on resellers, thereby ensuring that the secondary market does not undermine sales of unsold primary market tickets for the same event.
The report concludes that, by constricting consumer choice, chilling consumer freedom to transact freely with others, and violating reasonable consumer expectations, the adoption of the broad transferability restrictions undermines a free, fair, informed, and competitive market. As the use of restrictive paperless tickets increases, the resulting consumer harm will become even more substantial. And it calls for the US Government to investigate.
The American Antitrust Institute is an independent non-profit education, research and advocacy organization.
You can read the full report at http://www.antitrustinstitute.org/~antitrust/content/aai-white-paper-restrictive-paperless-tickets
Written on Thu 22 Dec 2011
The Rugby Football Union has won an important victory in a Court battle with the secondary ticketing agency Viagogo. The RFU won an appeal ruling, which forces Viagogo to reveal the identities of profiteering touts who had sold tickets for matches at Twickenham.
In March this year the RFU first took Viagogo to Court. The legal summary explained the case very well.
RFU could, if it chose, issue tickets at prices designed to maximise profits. But it does not do this. .... Its main object is not to make profits. It does use its right to issue tickets to raise the revenue it needs to operate the Stadium ... It keeps ticket prices at an affordable level to encourage interest and involvement in the sport by a wide section of the public.
RFU has taken steps to try to prevent the resale of tickets at prices above the face value of the ticket….Viagogo carries on business for profit, and has no other responsibilities.
The RFU argued that when the touts had sold their tickets at a profit then they had committed a wrong, and that Viagogo had facilitated their wrongdoing. Viagogo therefore had a duty to assist the RFU in correcting this, by giving them the names and addresses of these touts.The RFU won the case initially, but Viagogo then appealled.
In the Appeal hearing Viagogo attempted to protect the names and addresses of the ticket-sellers. They cited the ‘fundamental rights’ of the individuals, But the Appeal judge agreed that arguable wrongs had been committed against the RFU, and that it was necessary for Viagogo to reveal their names and addresses. He added that there can be no reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of data which reveal such arguable wrongs and Viagogo’s own conditions of business point out to their customers that there may be circumstances in which their personal data will be passed on to others.
We are delighted to hear this news. We think it sets an important precedent. And we hope that the RFU will pass on the names and addresses of the touts to the Inland Revenue, who might also be interested in their affairs.
Written on Thu 15 Dec 2011
In July we had a number of complaints from users that they had been defrauded by a ‘seller’ of Adele tickets. This rogue was using different email addresses and names, which made it harder to trace him, but his greed and stupidity gave him away.
We were delighted to receive an email today from Mersey Police:-
Just wanted to give you a quick update in relation to offences of fraudulent ticket sales on your website Scarletmist. Due to your assistance all the victims that you gave me details for were willing to give evidence and assist. The male offender has now been arrested and interviewed in relation to 9 x Fraud by False Representation. He has admitted to 7 of these offences, however there are links with another 3. A further offender is being looked in to and will be arrested.
We always cooperate closely with the police when we receive reports of fraud. Our terms and conditions make it clear that we will do this. We also publish names, bank account numbers and other details, in order to warn users of other websites.
Written on Thu 10 Nov 2011
MP Sharon Hodgson has been trying to bring a Private Members Bill before Parliament which would severely dent ticket touts. It would also help clean up some of the worst excesses in the Primary ticket market - a market noted for its bizarre practices and obscure charges.
The Sale of Tickets (Sporting and Cultural Events) Bill aims to tackle the problem of ticket touting for popular live entertainment events, such as gigs and sports games, by allowing event organisers to prevent their tickets being resold by unauthorised retailers for a price greater than 10% above the ticket’s face value. We strongly support the introduction of this bill. And we encourage our friends and supporters to give the Bill some support, by writing to their MP’s.
Writing to your MP is not difficult - and they do respond to lobbying. You can find out more at Sharon Hodgson’s website
Written on Wed 05 Oct 2011
Initially I had high hopes that I could find a partner to help redevelop Scarlet Mist.
The site has needed a complete rewrite for some time, and I had made several abortive efforts to rebuild it. I was hampered by lack of time - but I had a working prototype with most of the functionality that the site needed that could act as a template.
I had meetings with seven or eight people, most of whom were web designers that had used the site and were keen to see it up and running again. But it didn’t really work out with any of them. I guess its quite a big ask for someone to invest a lot of time and effort into a site that has no income! But they all had fantastic ideas about how the site should work, and the features that it should offer.
In the end I realised that the only way forwards would be to do it alone. The coding needs to go on.
Written on Thu 22 Sep 2011
On the 10th of September I opened my inbox to a torrent of complaints from victims of fraudsters. In every case it was the same story. A too-good-to-be-true offer of face-value tickets for a highly-popular even - which turned out to be a complete con. The victims parted with their money - and that was the last they heard. Scarlet Mist had been set up to bring joy and karma to the world, but instead it was bringing grief and misery. I felt that I was partly to blame, and that the only honourable course of action was to shut the site.
The following day I opened my inbox to a torrent of complaints from loyal users. I was overwhelmed with the level of support, affection and enthusiasm that the users had to the site. For example:-
You ... provided a service to meet a lovely bunch of strangers and restore a little faith in humanity.
I feel like I have lost a friend
Absolutely devastated that you’ve gone, thank you for helping me get to all those gigs ticketmaster couldn’t help me with. Please come back soon. From Heartbroken of Woking
As the emails continued to come in then I realised that the site needed to be reborn - but with as much attention as possible paid to preventing fraud.
And to my surprise I had a couple of emails from Big Players in the ticketing industry, who wanted to look at ways that we could work together. Interesting!
I had been working on a redevelopment for the previous 2 or 3 years, but never seemed to have the time to finish it. Now perhaps, with the day to day running of the site suspended, then it might be possible. I am an amateur programmer, and what I really need is a colleague or partner to work with.