Iron Maiden have revealed that the series of anti-tout initiatives undertaken for their upcoming UK arena tour have proven to be a huge success. Compared to their arena tour in 2011, listings on secondary sites have been reported to be down by over 95%.
The heavy metal band introduced a paperless ticketing policy for the dates to their May tour, and worked to ensure that all other available tickets would carry the name of the purchaser and require credit card and ID proof upon entry. In doing so, Iron Maiden have drastically reduced resale opportunities – something that led to over 100,000 tour tickets being sold on the first day of sale, and all at the intended price.
Reg Walker, Operations Director, The Iridium Consultancy (ticket security specialist) has praised the band’s initiative, saying: "Iron Maiden have shown what artists who genuinely care can do to protect their fans against being ripped off by touts. These measures are the gold standard for the industry and other artists should consider doing the same. The most successful anti touting operation I have seen in recent years."
Speaking about the anti-tout measures, Iron Maiden’s manager Rod Smallwood said: “We are delighted that the paperless ticketing system and other measures we instigated here in the UK have proved a massive deterrent to touts and counterfeiters. We want to thank our fans for their enduring support and patience. We appreciate that our stringent policy has meant fans having to jump over one more hurdle in the ticket-buying process but the results speak for themselves and I think everyone can agree this was well worth it. On the first day of public sale, we sold over 100,000 tickets nationwide direct to genuine fans through the proper legitimate channels. This is an incredible achievement and victory for concert-goers, not least as this is a full 12 date UK tour we’re undertaking, not just a couple of dates in the bigger cities. We’ve calculated that around one million pounds worth of mark-up on tickets, is not sitting in the hands of touts, but instead the tickets are sitting in the hands of the fans at the correct price and we think that is a great result and makes all our efforts worthwhile.”
Continuing on the subject of ticket touts, Smallwood added: “Secondary ticketing sites operate a billion pound profiteering industry offering little to the consumer in return for their hugely inflated prices. There have been many instances highlighted in the UK media recently about the reselling of tickets for corporate or personal gain so we very much welcome the excellent work of the FanFair Alliance and the fact that the Culture, Media & Sports Committee recently re-opened the debate in the House Of Commons on this ongoing problem and trust that common sense and good judgement will prevail.”
The industry has been quick to praise the tour’s success in combatting touts.
Nigel Adams MP, chair of the APPG on Music, hailed the victory, saying: "Iron Maiden and their management should be commended for their innovative approach to tackling touts. For too long, genuine fans have been fleeced by professional, well organised and greedy large scale touts who use secondary ticketing sites to profiteer. With both industry and government beginning to take action against the touts, I am hopeful we will see a fairer ticketing industry sooner rather than later."
Also commenting was Andrew Parsons, Managing Director, Ticketmaster UK.
“Iron Maiden has been clear from the beginning: eliminate resale and get tickets directly into the hands of fans,” said Parsons. “We’re proud that our Paperless ticketing technology has been able to achieve this for the band, their team and the fans.”
“The plan put in place to help Iron Maiden minimise resale has been a huge success,” added Andy Copping, president of UK touring at Live Nation. “It’s great to see so many fans get behind the band and understand what they were aiming to achieve. I look forward to the tour in May.”