Radiohead: “Secondary Ticketing Is Wrong on So Many Levels

There are two sides to this argument: one says that if fans are willing to pay insanely high prices, they should be charged that price.

The other says that fetching the highest bid is ultimately bad for bands, and corrosive to their fan relationships.

Guess which camp Radiohead is in?  After getting sick of staring at an overcharged audience every night, the band has decided to do something about it.  On their upcoming, UK-based tour, Radiohead is embracing a structure that prevents huge secondary price-hikes.

Let’s see if it works: through a partnership with The Ticket Trust, Radiohead fans can resell their tickets at face value using the Trust exchange, with transfer charges capped at 10 percent.  The Trust was formed by the UK Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) and merchandising and ecommerce company Sandbag to create a more ‘ethical’ post-sale exchange.

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The Ticket Trust comes into play on any tickets purchased through Radiohead’s w.a.s.t.e. merchandising store (  Which is absolutely huge for the Ticket Trust, and could encourage buy-in from more heavyweights with seriously-dedicated audiences.

The question is whether these dedicated audiences can get burnt out, especially if they’re feeling ripped off every time.  “Radiohead are fortunate enough to have a loyal and passionate fan base cultivated over many years,” the bands’ management explained.  “Their live shows are well anticipated and rightly create a tangible sense of excitement through innovative staging.  In recent years however, the band’s enjoyment of their own shows has been marred by the knowledge that a great many of their fans have been obliged to pay well over face value for their tickets.”

“Secondary ticketing is wrong on so many levels and as management, with ultimate responsibility for the welfare of the band, we must ensure that their fans are treated fairly. This is why we are happy to work with The Ticket Trust.”

18 Responses

  1. morna

    it’s a step in the right direction but it fails to address the key problem of scalpers buying up chunks of tickets and reselling them at a huge profit. This is great if it works cause fans are conditioned to panic when they can get a hold of tickets and a lot of us over buy and find ourselves stuck with tickets that we can’t use for a plethora of reasons. It’s mortifying seeing precious radiohead tickets going to waste when we know how many fans out there want them. Ironically the measures in place to try to thwart scaplers are responsible for fans being unable to sell even at a loss,and we see many empty seats at the gigs. At least this will mitigate this one aspect of the problem. The bigger issue involves money and greed and the lack of ethics in the populace and I don’t see a way around it. I appreciate radioheads efforts greatly and I wish them luck in combating this nasty and disappointing reality of the music biz.

    love you

  2. think of the children

    Poor consumers who are forced by bands at gunpoint to buy tickets they don’t want. Poor, poor consumers.

    • mdti

      You are taking about the ones that can’t afford ?

        • can't afford?

          If they can’t afford the ticket, maybe they should spend less on their mobile phone bills. It is called “priorities”.

          • mdti

            I don’t know if one can compare a 99USD (or euros for what I know) unlimited calls+internet phone subscription with a ticket for madonna or celine dion which seems to cost 3 to 4 times more ?

            The phone is more useful , madonna doesn’t remind me to call granny for her bday, nor she helps me with my meetings, friends, (future ex) girlfriends, maps and gps when i’m on trips, and so on 😉

            But your remarks seem to be based on phone habits and prices of years ago ??? (no pun intended, I just found it weird to compare like you did)

    • Anne-Marie

      Really? No, poor me who has to stay the fuck home!!

    • Anne-Marie

      Really? No, poor me who has to stay the fuck home!!


    It is very easy to stop “secondary ticketing” – the technology is there. The truth is that Bands,Manager,Agents,Promoters and ticketing companies run this rip off. Long gone are the days of the “Anyone want got tickets “touts this is is plain and simple greed by the mostly fat cat acts and their lackies.

    • Big Swifty

      It’s not called show friends…you know the rest

  4. Christian

    Radiohead probably has good intentions with this, but, honestly, it does nothing to address the real problem. If you really want to address this issue, you gotta go to the point of sale. Scalpers buy as many premium seats as they can electronically; once they buy in bulk and eat up most or all of the good seats, they resell said good seats at a much higher price. Some artists are using technology to combat this, but most know that selling tickets in bulk is good for their bottom line, and it sells out shows faster. This is probably why you’re not seeing much of a change in the way business is done. Artists have the advantage of simply blaming the scalper and walking away with the dough. What Radiohead is doing here is like putting a tiny bandage on a gaping wound.

  5. @dtmmedia

    Good on Radiohead for fighting back against the people abusing their fans.

  6. pricey

    Tickets for their upcoming UK tour are a meagre 65 pounds (before booking fees). Not so glorious now.