Scalpers Slow Springsteen Ticket Sales
Ticketmaster says its website was attacked by scalpers as tickets went on sale for Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming concerts in Newark and the Meadowlands on Friday morning according to the Star Ledger.
Using sophisticated computer programs that generated 2.5 times the traffic Ticketmaster had seen for any major sale during the last year, users were delayed and timed out as they used the Ticketmaster website and apps to purchase tickets.
The sophisticated programs, known as “bots,” outwit online ticketing services restrictions on the number of tickets an individual can buy to a specific concert. By flooding the ticketing service at the start of the so-called onsale, the programs essentially block out consumers and buy up the inventory at lightning speed.
Ticketmaster was able to clear up the problem by the time tickets to Springsteen’s Madison Square Garden dates went on sale later in the day. A Townsquare Media NJ employee attempting to buy tickets using her iPhone for one of the Garden shows experienced delays but successfully purchased 2 tickets.
“Big acts mean big fan interest. Unfortunately this also means that scalpers are out in full force,” Ticketmaster said in a statement. “Scalpers were using sophisticated computer programs to assault our systems and secure tickets with the sole intention of selling them in the resale market.”
Springsteen noted the delays on his webiste, brucespringsteen.net. “We know that many of you have been having trouble getting tickets on this morning’s on-sales,” the statement said. It was followed by an early explanation from Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticketing service.
In a statement, 8th Congressional district representative Bill Pascrell (D) said he is preparing to reintroduce the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act, more simply known as the BOSS ACT. He has been meeting with stakeholders and drafting the bill, which was originally introduced on June 1, 2009.
That version of the BOSS ACT would have brought a basic level of transparency to the ticket industry so that fans have a fair chance to purchase tickets on the primary market. It also sought to protect consumers who choose to use the secondary market to purchase tickets.
“We’ve got to take a very, very careful look at the use of high-tech computer programs. While many fans were unable to get tickets today, many brokers were able to get their hands on good seats … and put them up on secondary ticket sellers’ websites,” said Pascrell, who will re-introduce federal legislation to improve oversight of the ticket industry.
Tickets for concerts in Tampa, Fla.; Boston; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Buffalo, N.Y.; Albany, N.Y.; and Cleveland go on sale today.