[This was my weekend column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]
Over the last couple of years, I’ve become something of a student of the event ticket industry, largely because buying tickets remains such a frustrating and maddening consumer experience.
The current tsunami of kvetching began with the final Tragically Hip tour in the summer of 2016, when over 2 million people competed for 400,000 tickets. Fans who were unsuccessful stroked out when they discovered these tickets for sale on the secondary market for many, many times their face value.
Cue the outrage. And cue the populist response of politicians.
First up was Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands with Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario Liberals. She put forth a bill that would have outlawed bots (high-speed ticket-buying software) and required clear disclosure of the original selling price as well as the imposition of a markup restriction of 50 per cent on tickets resold by brokers. But before the law could be enacted, the Wynne government fell. Meanwhile, Alberta and B.C. have pieced together their own ticket-selling regulations.