Online ticket marketplace Ticketmaster has upset Stray Kids fans after tickets of the group's second world tour sold out within minutes.
The K-pop group recently announced new American stops as part of their second World Tour, ‘MANIAC’. Though American fans of the group were excited, they were left disappointed as very few were able to get tickets.
Stray Kids is all set to tour USA
Tickets for the tour first went on sale on April 22. The shows sold out almost immediately, leading to protests from Stays. Giving in to popular demand, the organizers released additional dates for Newark and Los Angeles. The second sale will take place on sale April 25, 3 PM local time.
However, the first sale left many fans displeased with Ticketmaster's process.
The platform has a virtual queue, with buyers having to "line up" ten minutes before the sale. They are then placed in the queue randomly, which the agency claims gives everyone a fair chance at buying the tickets.
It is also mentioned that being in the queue does not guarantee a ticket, since they are based on demand and availability.
With these confusing metrics and systems in place, fans were already dreading the sale for the Stray Kids tour, and their low expectations were justified.
When the tickets finally went on sale, they sold out before the majority of the fanbase could even make it to the queue, leaving them disappointed.
While the queue was a source of contention for many buyers, the ticket price left several others stumped.
Live Nation had announced the prices a day before the sale, citing a reasonable range of $49.50 to $179.50 USD. Additionally, the company had also announced the VIP Package, which costs around $320 USD. This package includes a PL 1 seat, access to soundcheck, and more.
Surprisingly, when the Stray Kids tickets went on sale, the lucky few who made it to the queue noticed that not all the tickets were priced within the range.
Many were instead listed under Ticketmaster’s Official Platinum label, promising access “to some of the best seats in the house.”
The website describes them as:
"Official Platinum Seats are premium tickets to concerts and other events made available by artists and Event Organizers through Ticketmaster. They give fans fair and safe access to some of the best seats in the house."
These tickets, however, were priced at almost ten times the original price, leaving fans infuriated.
Many Stray Kids fans even assumed that Platinum tickets were being resold. Ticketmaster, however, clarified that was not the case.
"No. Official Platinum Seats were not purchased initially and then posted for resale; they are being sold for the first time through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster’s Official Platinum seat program enables market-based pricing (adjusting according to supply and demand) for live event tickets, similar to how airline tickets and hotel rooms are sold.
They further added:
The goal is to give the most passionate fans fair and safe access to the best tickets, while enabling artists and other people involved in staging live events to price tickets closer to the true market value."
The language used to describe Platinum tickets has also put off some fans. The notion that only “the most passionate fans” would buy the overpriced tickets upset many, who wondered why one’s passion has to be linked to spending money.
The nightmare with the ticket selling platform, however, did not end there. Shortly after the initial tickets were sold out, the resale tickets were made available.
What surprised many Stays was the fact that the tickets available for resale heavily outnumbered those sold in several places. Moreover, these resale tickets cost much more than the actual price of the tickets, discouraging many Stray Kids fans.
The originally lowest priced tickets, which cost $49.50 are being sold for around $400 in some venues.
The best tickets too have been marked up substantially, with $179.50 or $320 VIP tickets being sold for above $2000.
While scalpers are not new to the K-pop industry, the current situation has many believing that Stray Kids might have to perform to empty rows.
Many fans are now asking others to reconsider buying from high-priced resellers.
They believe that if no one buys high priced tickets, resellers will be forced to lower the price.
A group of fans have also approached Stray Kids' agency JYP Entertainment and Republic Records to try to resolve the issue.
This is not the first time Ticketmaster has rubbed K-pop fans the wrong way. Hopefully, something can be figured out and deserving fans will be able to see Stray Kids perform.