Music News

Twickets wants to make ticket reselling ethical

What do Eric Church, The 1975, Muse, Queen, Ed Sheeran and Bryan Ferry have in common? Or Mumford & Sons, Spice Girls, George Ezra, Adele, Arctic Monkeys, the Pixies and Noel Gallagher?

They’re all working with Twickets to ensure their fans don’t pay ridiculous fees to see them in concert.

Twickets is a reseller that allows fans to sell the tickets they can’t use to other fans, at face value or less, without dealing with scalpers, without fighting bots, without getting screwed over.

“We list thousands of spare tickets every month for gigs, festivals, sports, comedy, theatre & the arts,” the company says. “You can trade tickets securely through Twickets, with payment and delivery agreed upfront. To prevent touts/scalpers from operating on our site, our dedicated moderation team checks through every ticket and monitors any suspicious user activity.”

Twickets launched in Europe several years ago and is venturing into North America now, offering concert goers another way to get the seats they want without having to deal with bots.

It’s working: With nearly a million users worldwide and some of the biggest names in music signed on and encouraging fans to utilize the site, Twickets could pose a solid option for people tempted by the secondary market but uninterested in paying more than face value for seats.

It’s also highly regarded and ranked by users.

Back in October, Twickets founder Richard Davies detailed the problems facing ticket sellers and brokers, from lawsuits and regulatory slaps in Europe to problems and complaints embarrassing Ticketmaster.

“These events have continued to shine a spotlight on the continuing issues surrounding the secondary ticketing market but in reality they are a distraction from what is really happening,” Davies wrote. “What the increasingly vocal reaction to these events actually highlights is a welcome pivot away from industrial touting and a significant move towards creating a fair and ethical resale environment. Artists, their representatives and real fans have long argued for this and are now standing up to the scurrilous practices of scalpers and the platforms on which they operate.”

It seems a really simple process: People who have tickets they can’t use list them on Twickets and are permitted to add up to 15% onto the face value of the ticket to cover original surcharges. Buyers can have their tickets mailed to them, sent digitally or arrange an in-person exchange. Funds are exchanged via PayPal or digital bank transfer.

Twickets doesn’t charge any fees to the seller; buyers are charged a 10-15% fee by way of service charges unless certain partners are involved, in which case the fee is waived.

It’s not the first time a new ticketing method, and one focused on beating bots at their own game, has been embraced by big names in music. Remember that Eric Church cancelled 25,000 tickets to his tour two years ago because they were sold in a way that made him unhappy.

At the time, he commissioned a proprietary technology that could scrub ticket sales several times in order to weed out shady purchases and cancel them immediately.

The Newport Folk Festival, the granddaddy of them all, also has partnered with EventBrite and Lyte to create a proprietary ticketing system and reselling infrastructure after fans were showing up with fake tickets and walking away in tears.

With scores of fans flat-out furious about, well, you pick: paying ridiculous prices on the secondary market; fighting with bots every time a big show comes to town; having to mark dates in their calendar up to a year in advance for a show they might not be able to go to; increasingly shady practices from Ticketmaster and other sellers and secondary market handlers – it’s refreshing to see yet another group stand up and say too much is enough.

It’s still in the early days for Twickets in North America, but a reselling platform utilized by fans, exclusively, on both sides of a transaction sounds like a good idea.

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

Amber Healy has 521 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

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