To be able to go to a live concert of your favorite artist is probably a dream that every music fans want. However, the concert tickets are getting more difficult to get. Money is not the issue anymore. Recently, Yuchun Li (Chris Li)’s fans have gone through an exam in order to buy a ticket to her concert.
On February 28th, Chris’s “Chris Lee Tour 2018” did a simulation for tickets on Yongle Tickets. Fans have to get a full score on a quiz about Chris in order to proceed to seat selecting. Some of the fans said “Chris has been doing quizzes for fans to get tickets for a couple years. I’ve always felt like I’m not a real fan when I was answering the questions”.
According to question bank for Chris’s WHY ME concert 2015, the questions come from everything that relates to Chris including her music, variety shows, habits, and childhood, etc. for example, one of the question is “which of the following lyrics in ‘Cool’ is the one that Chris sang incorrectly in 2014 Macau China Music Award”, “which of the following animals never share screen with Chris”, and “which of the following is Chris’ biggest fear as a child”, etc. The Weibo account owner “Chris-LEE Weekly” even posted a fan version of SAT study guide (all you need to know about Chris) along with a whole question bank for the fans to study and practice before the tickets go on sale.
It’s not really a surprise anymore to see artists put out quizzes for the fans as a prerequisite for tickets. The Taiwanese band Soda Green included a quiz in their “Endless Story movie premiere concert” in December 2016. Only those who can answer all five questions correctly are eligible to purchase concert tickets. About the quizzes, Soda Green said that they wanted to prevent scalpers from taking the tickets from real fans.
Some fans of MayDay said, “I’ve answered questions on advanced math in order to get a ticket to their concert”. In the online forum of MayDay’s, there is a question bank specifically for tickets. Some of the questions are “what’s the theme of MayDay’s 2003 reappearance concert”, “how many times has MayDay received the award of Best Band in Golden Melody Awards”, and “How many times do Ashin and Monster get rejected by taxi drivers in the movie ‘Mayday 3DNA’”, etc.
Not only do Chinese artist request quizzes for fans to purchase tickets, many popular artists from other countries have also added quizzes into their ticket selling process. For example, Big Bang from South Korea had a tour in China in 2016. Due to their popularity, many concerts sold out only seconds after the ticket selling gates opened. Many fans had to go to the scalpers for high-priced tickets. In their later concerts, the sponsors had to add quizzes to prevent the same condition from happening again.
It’s obvious that artists and their concert organizers want to maximize the satisfaction that the concert can bring to the fans. Scalpers usually profit from these popular artists’ concert tickets.
Although the quizzes can eliminate those who are not real fans from the ticket competition, some of the fans still go against the added quizzes. They believe that it’s not fair for those who just simply want to spend money on an ordinary concert to answer all the tricky questions correctly, and the quizzes may eliminate some potential fans from a chance to see a live concert.
When fighting the scalpers, artists have pulled out all their tricks.
For example, if you are a music fan in Japan, you better pray for your luck to successfully buy a concert ticket to see your favorite artist. In Japan, only those who are in the fans club are eligible to be added to the lottery system. Even when you’ve won the lottery and got a ticket, the seating could be very different with the same ticket price. The lottery system has minimized the chance for scalpers to resell tickets. In 2016, Japanese band Arashi introduced a face recognition system right before entering the show. Only the one who purchased the ticket can enter. Although it gave the scalpers no chance, some fans complained that they also lost their last hope to buy a ticket from a scalper once the show is sold out.
In the U.S., Taylor Swift collaborated with Ticketmaster and launched the program of fans authentication in order to identify the real fans. However, their decision to put out $1,500 VIP tickets to prevent scalpers also got many attacks online.
The Chinese policy has adjusted and leaned on more protection on legal ticket selling and preventing scalpers. The Ministry of Culture announced notification in 2017, requesting all shows and concert sponsors, venues, and ticket offices to mark their price clearly. It also said that the number of tickets on sale cannot be lower than 70% of the amount of allowed audience in the venue. It also encouraged all provinces and cities explore the possibility of using real-name registration system for major show venues and concert halls.
Scalpers need to be stopped from the regulation of policy and market. Right now in China, scalpers are still every populous. It will be a long-term project to protect the rights of the artists, the fans and concert sponsors, and to maintain the healthy development of the show business market.
Translated by Paris wu
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