Ticketmaster under fire for reselling Lowlands tickets at even higher prices
Dutch parliamentarians are outraged by the “extortionate prices” Lowlands tickets are reselling for on Ticketmaster. They want State Secretary Gunay Uslu (Media & Culture) to take measures against the ticket reselling platform to protect the accessibility of concerts and festivals, AD reports.
Lowlands tickets were already more expensive than usual due to increased costs. The 60,000 tickets for the festival in Biddinghuizen cost 300 euros each and sold out within 15 minutes on Saturday.
A few days earlier, Lowlands banned the resale of its tickets on other channels like Ticketswap to protect the market and reliability of the ticket, Lowlands director Eric van Eerdenburg said. According to him, a platform like Ticketswap “may have a good reputation, but you don’t have 100% guarantee that you can enter with a ticket bought there.” Limiting resales to one platform - Ticketmaster - is “the least bad option,” he said.
But that left Ticketmaster with a monopoly position regarding Lowlands tickets. Lowlands ticketholders are only allowed to resell tickets through Ticketmaster, with a maximum of 20 percent on top of the purchased price. But Ticketmaster also charges over 40 euros in service costs per transaction without making clear what those service costs actually entail, according to AD. Lowlands tickets are therefore reselling for over 400 euros.
That left parliamentarians outraged. “Why does a ticket have to be over 100 euros more expensive? I’m not complaining about a few euros in administration costs, but about more than a hundred euros,” PvdA MP Mohammed Mohandis said to the newspaper.
The cultural sector must remain accessible to everyone, and that is certainly not the case when tickets sell for this much, CDA MP Lucille Werner said to AD. “Consumers must be protected against exorbitantly high ticket prices as a result of resale.” The CDA plans an initiative law if State Secretary Uslu does not take legal measures.
VVD MP Pim van Strien pointed out that Lowlands is working with Ticketmaster on this. “And Lowlands, therefore, has something to explain to Lowlands visitors.”
Uslu understands the concerns about ticket resale and high service costs, she said to AD. “It is a persistent, complex problem that affects music lovers, event visitors, and concertgoers.” She is currently looking at how other European countries took successful measures against this phenomenon and will submit a proposal to parliament by the end of March, she said.