The stink over ticket presales for the Tragically Hip tour has kindled some powerful forces, including an announcement Wednesday that the Attorney General's office in Ontario is willing to investigate the murky world of online reseller businesses.
According to new revisions to Ontario’s Ticket Speculation Act in 2015, the selling of tickets greater than face value is legal as long as the reseller offers a money back guarantee or proves the ticket’s authenticity.
Entertainment lawyer Daniel Goldenberg tells Global News that the revision to the law “enabled larger entities, first party sellers, to sell tickets directly to the public.”
Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur told reporters on Tuesday that the government was lobbied to make the change and the intent was to keep prices from rising.
Meilleur said she wants to fix the problem, but would not reveal any plans.
Just how and where the resellers obtained tickets is the million dollar question, but none of the Tragically Hip tour planners has responded to phone calls or e-mails to shed some light on the matter, or address fan concerns.
The public relations debacle so far hasn't had any blowback on the band, but someone with a satiric touch at Canadian humour magazine The Syrup Trap posted the following story online earlier this week. It is now trending on Facebook.
Stephen Harper accepts new job as Ticketmaster’s director of pre-sales
TORONTO (The News Desk) — Citing his passion for limiting access to arts and cultural events, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper revealed that he had recently accepted a new role as the head of ticket pre-sales for Ticketmaster.
“As a longstanding supporter of being not particularly helpful to artists, I’m eager to improve obfuscation and inefficiency in this role,” Harper said, adding that he hoped to let the free market drive access to tickets by enabling ticket-buying bots and ruthless scalpers to obtain most pre-sale tickets for highly anticipated cultural events in order to drive prices up.
“Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of supply and demand will understand that, for especially popular concerts, not everyone who wants tickets will be able to get them in the pre-sale stage, which means the very wealthy will be totally fine.”
“I also look forward to taking the fun out of attending arts events as well.”
Harper noted that he began transitioning into the new role a few weeks ago, and added that he couldn’t wait for Neil Young to announce his last-ever cross-Canada tour.