QUEEN’S PARK – Music fans have been subjected to suspicious price spikes since the Ontario government lifted restrictions on the ticket resale industry, according to Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith. Recent tour dates for acts like Bruce Springsteen, Adele and The Tragically Hip have resulted in tickets being resold at more than ten times the face value.


“This week the outcry from music fans has been deafening as thousands of Hip fans went online to buy tickets, only to find them sold out seconds after they were supposed to go on sale,” Smith told the House during Question Period. “What they didn’t know was that last July, the government changed the ticket resale laws to make it easier for big ticket resellers to gouge customers.”

In July of 2015, the government changed the regulations regarding the reselling of tickets for the first time since 1914. By changing the scalping law, Smith argues, the government opened the door for price gouging on the resale ticket market.

“For years these corporate giants have been going to legislatures around the world trying to change scalping laws so that they can turn the screws on consumers,” Smith added in the House. “At the time the government changed the law, John Karastamatis of Mirvish Productions said this change catered to big ticket holders like Ticketmaster, StubHub and MLSE. Karastamatis stated, ‘That’s what this new law was all about — to allow these corporations to be able to legally use same techniques that the so-called street scalpers use.’”

Smith had at least one theory for why music fans are getting hit so hard on the resale market. He informed the House that Ticketmaster and its parent company had donated $52,700 to the Liberal government around the time the regulation was changed.

“I think the Hip said it best,” Smith stated. “The secret rules of engagement are hard to endorse; when the appearance of conflict meets the appearance of force. “


For Video: