Scarlet Mist celebrates its tenth birthday
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.
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