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Ticketmaster Strategy to Clamp Down on Scalpers in Olivia Rodrigo ‘Guts’ Concert

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Amid the expected chaos of the on-sale for Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts” tour is an unusual caveat: In an attempt to crack down on scalpers, purchased tickets will only be issued 72 hours before the concert takes place, regardless of when they were purchased — and they will only be available electronically. The decision was taken by the tour’s operators as ‘as an added level of protection’, with Ticketmaster facilitating the strategy. 

In a statement, Ticketmaster told Good Morning America: ‘Delivery delays are commonly used by artists to allow for a thorough review of the sale and to ensure all ticket purchasers have adhered to ticket limits and terms.’

While the 72-hour rule may appear novel to many, insiders suggest that it has been employed previously for tours by artists such as Ed Sheeran, Jack Harlow, and Doja Cat, among others. Nonetheless, it remains unclear how this measure will effectively address the issue of ticket scalping, especially considering that secondary ticketing platforms often trade in “speculative” tickets (a concern Live Nation has been trying to tackle through the FAIR Ticketing Act). Additionally, there is the potential for a frenzied rush in the secondary market once the three-day limit elapses. Despite the addition of 20 extra tour dates, all available slots have already been snapped up.

This action represents the most recent effort made by the major ticketing company to confront the exploitative secondary ticket market. It follows a series of significant issues experienced by fans when attempting to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour last autumn, including server malfunctions and fans enduring long online waiting times, often with no success. Ticket prices on the secondary market even reached five figures, leading to such a significant outcry that Joe Berchtold, the Chief Financial Officer of Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, was summoned to appear before Congress.

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