Earlier this week, pre-sale tickets went on sale for The Tragically Hip's final tour. After learning that Gord Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer last month, many Hip fans were understandably upset when pre-sale tickets instantly sold out and appeared on reselling sites like StubHub at up to 10 times the original cost. Well, today tickets were made available to the public, and surprise surprise, what little hope fans had left was crushed as they once again sold out in minutes, seemingly snatched up by the same resellers.
When scalpers are controlling the supply of tickets to this extent, clearly there's a problem. In a press conference this week, the Prime Minister of Canada himself was asked whether the federal government would be willing to assist in the battle against scalpers. His answer was very hastily delivered due to someone passing out in the audience, but he did manage to somewhat address the issue.
According to Trudeau, "the industry should be able to police itself at this point without government intervention." Not exactly a promising answer, but he did add that the issue would be something that he would follow up on. Yeah, sure, the industry should be able to police itself, but Ticketmaster's total lack of transparency on the issue suggest that they don't really want to play fair.
When asked about the same problem of ticket scalping this week, Ontario's attorney general Madeleine Meilleur expressed her desire to crack down on resellers. "I'm very sorry for the [fans] of this group that they will have to pay a great price to go to this concert," she said. "I want to fix it."
So, unfortunately it seems like people are out of luck for the time being, but hopefully some regulations can be put in place to prevent this kind of thing from going on any longer. Some Tragically Hip fans who didn't manage to get a hold of tickets for their final tour are urging the CBC to broadcast the group's final show in Kingston, a proposition the CBC is apparently considering.