These past few weeks, ill health has caused me to miss three Manic Street Preachers gigs that I had bought tickets for, and was greatly looking forward to. Luckily, I was able to sell two of the tickets to other fans, meaning that I got some of my money back, and those fans were able to enjoy the gigs that I couldn’t attend.
This week, tickets for Suede’s upcoming tour went on sale. I’d eagerly signed up for the fan presale and was all set to buy myself a ticket on Wednesday morning – until I saw this on Suede’s website:
LEAD BOOKER MUST PRESENT PHOTO ID TO GAIN ENTRY INTO THE VENUE
The name of the lead booker will be printed on each ticket.
The lead booker must be in attendance and photo ID checks will be made on entry into the venue. If the ID does not match the name on the ticket, entry will be refused.
If you are booking more than one ticket your guest must arrive at the concert at the same time as you. Failure to do so will result in the guest being turned away.
Failure to adhere the terms and conditions may result in the customer’s order being cancelled.
There are no exceptions to this rule.
These kind of rules are coming up increasingly frequently when buying tickets for big-name bands. And I fully understand the need to block the scourge of tickets being resold at inflated prices. But this kind of policy penalises the fans almost as much as it does the touts.
I have multiple health issues that can flare up at any time. I have no idea what my health is going to be like when Suede’s October gig comes around. So, despite the fact that I’ve eagerly anticipated Suede’s next tour since I last saw them in 2016, I’m not buying a ticket for this gig. If these ID policies become the norm, people like me have to weigh up the risk of losing often upwards of £50 should our bodies decide that a gig day is in fact a curled-up-in-bed-with-the-hot-water-bottle-day. And it’s not a risk I’m willing to take.
But it’s more than that. This policy means that parents can no longer give their teens the greatest possible birthday or Christmas gift – a ticket to see their favourite band – unless of course said parent is going to tag along to the gig too. It means that a whole group of friends has to miss out on a gig just because the person whose name is on the tickets is suddenly ill, or has a family emergency, or has to work late.
What galls me most about Suede’s note above is the final, officious line: “There are no exceptions to this rule.” I am pretty disgusted that absolutely no attempt has been made to make allowances for people with circumstances like those I’ve described. At least the Arctic Monkeys, who issued a similar policy for their upcoming tour, are allowing resale through Twickets – not a perfect solution by any means, but at least it shows they’ve thought about the ramifications of this policy for the fans. The fact that Suede clearly haven’t thought about this disappoints me greatly.
Surely there can be a solution to this which doesn’t penalise the fans? Can it be that hard to devise something like an official form that a ticket holder can fill in, declaring that they’ve passed their ticket on to someone else? Because to me, it seems pretty awful that fans should potentially miss out on gigs purely because of the actions of touts.