Are Personalised Tickets Worth It?

Not according to our independent survey of over 500 ticket buyers, nearly three quarters of whom reject personalised tickets in favour of generic ones.

In the UK, we are regular ticket buyers with more than half of us buying tickets once every six months.

Our survey revealed that music tickets were the most popular type of ticket bought online. However, personalised tickets are also common for comedy gigs, theatre performances and sporting events.

We found that people are incredibly sceptical about having their name and photograph on their event tickets. Only just over a quarter of people said they’ve ever had a personalised ticket before.

The aim of personalised tickets is to stop ticket touts and bots bulk buying tickets and selling them on for a much higher price.

This May, Radiohead tickets sold for up to 100 times their face value, while seats for Adele’s tour were scandalously advertised for £25,000 on secondary selling websites. And these scare stories are far from uncommon. Beyond the music industry, it affects the arts such as theatre performances and sporting events too. No one, neither the fans waiting for last minute tickets nor the acts themselves, wins – only the pesky touts.

Over 80% of the people we surveyed haven’t ever bought tickets from another person or ticket tout. Most tickets were bought online with 86.97% of people saying they bought tickets from Ticketmaster.

In a bid to clamp down on them, amendments were made to the Consumer Rights Act of 2015, insisting you provide your seat number, the face value cost and other details when trying to resell your tickets.

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Personalised tickets make it near impossible for anyone to resell tickets at an eye-watering cost and therefore pointless for touts to harvest tickets in their thousands using ‘bots’.

Glastonbury tickets have been personalised with photographs and names for years. To enter the festival, you must show ID which matches details on the ticket, you can’t give it to anyone else, because they’ll simply never make it through the gates.

Despite the obvious advantages of personalised tickets, our survey brought up several recurring reasons why event-goers aren’t so keen on personalised tickets. Aside from worrying that their identity will fall into the wrong hands if they lose their ticket, fans are annoyed that, like the touts, they can’t resell their tickets for genuine reasons.

“If you can’t make the show/gig and you sell the ticket on or gift it to someone then it will have someone else’s details on” – Tasha

“Great as a keepsake, but in my opinion they are not worth the extra money and they are harder to get rid of if you can’t make the event. If it was at no extra cost, I would prefer it as I would probably keep it, however, if I had to pay extra I probably wouldn’t bother – tickets are expensive enough anyway!” – Lanta

“If you can’t genuinely go for a valid reason and you lose money, but I think this is a minority and I agree with personalised tickets as it really makes me cross when people buy lots and sell them for ridiculous amounts.” – Lucy

Ultimately, fans who suddenly can’t make it for legitimate reasons can lose out if they have a personalised ticket – 29% of the people we surveyed say they’ve had to change their plans last minute. Aside from the financial repercussions if you can’t go, you spend longer queuing outside while everyone’s ID is checked.

And it’s not just festivals where personalised tickets are already in action. Adele fans faced a strict ticket screening process to get into her gig – name changes on tickets were forbidden, guests had to enter the same time as the lead ticket buyer, and they had to present photo ID which matched the information on the ticket.

The saving grace in this instance, however, was that these personalised tickets could be sold for face value or less through a vetted ticket exchange platform – Twickets, which bypasses ticket touts without punishing the fans too. Should more events follow suit in future and allow fans to do this?

While 38% of the people we surveyed thought that personalised tickets were a good idea, 73% of people would rather have a generic ticket when given the choice.

We’re sure more acts will move towards personalised tickets in the future and hopefully issues such as selling your personalised ticket if you can’t make an event will become easier.

For now, it’s best to steer clear of ticket touts and to sign up to pre-sales for the acts, festivals or events that you’re especially keen to attend – to ensure you’re the first to know when tickets go on sale, and maximise your chances of bagging some.

7 Music Festivals You Can Still Make it To 2016

You can’t waste another minute if you’re to end up in a muddy field with your favourite tunes ringing in your ears this summer. It’s time to grab your mates, pick a music festival and finalise your plans, before you miss out altogether!

Unlike Glastonbury not all music festivals sell out in seconds. You can still find some festivals which promise cracking tunes, fun and mud galore, away from Somerset’s hallowed fields. From the country’s biggest gatherings to quirky events that fly under the radar, it’s not too late to grab genuine tickets and dance in the rain.

Latitude Festival 2016, 14th – 17th July 2016

Now this line-up has certainly delivered the goods! With The Maccabees, British Sea Power and The National on the bill, among heavy weight comedians like Al Murray and Josh Widdicome, it’s a mighty surprise that you can still grab weekend passed on See Tickets.

This year, the magical little corner of Suffolk boasts a sit-down restaurant, yoga and whirlpool baths. Or take a shower-beating dip in Henham Park’s lake for the first time in its 11 years.

Secret Garden Party, 21st – 24th July 2016

There are better kept ‘secrets’, but you won’t hear 32,000 music fans complaining! Pick up a weekend ticket for less than £200, descend on the landscaped gardens in Cambridge’s Mill Hill Field, and you’ll soon see why.

It’s a crazy quirky garden party on steroids, next to a river and a lake, with a ‘Gardener’s Guide to The Galaxy’ theme. Enrol at the Astronaut’s Survival School, before losing your mind to Primal Scream, Submotion Orchestra and The Temper Trap, among others.

Wildnerness Festival, 4th – 7th August 2016

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Another event that does precisely what it says on the tin. Wilderness prides itself on combining art with nature. You won’t find another festival on a private nature reserve, with camping spots still available by the spring-fed lake! That’s for sure.

However, you will spot the likes of Robert Plant, and Glass Animals on the Main Stage, live theatre in deep in the oak forest, and debates on topics like ‘Has Boris Broken London?’ among yoga classes. If you’re after a purist music festival with a social conscience, you’ve found it.

Boardmasters 2016, 10th – 14th August 2016

Chase & Status, Catfish & The Bottlemen, and Deadmau5 are bringing the beats to Cornwall this year. But they’re not the main draw for Boardmasters. That’ll be the BMX and skating, or the local and professional surfers battling at sea for a hotly contested spot on the World Surf League tour.

The UK’s biggest surf extravaganza comes complete with intimate gigs on Fistral Beach and photography classes. Children under seven can go for free, but you grown-ups can still pick up day passes.

V Festival 2016, 20th – 21st August 2016

You can hear the fangirls crying for Justin Beiber already! If you’re a pop fan worth your salt, or partial to a little Kaiser Chiefs, Rita Ora, or Years & Years, then you’ll make your way to Chelmsford’s Hylands Park or Weston Park in South Staffordshire.

V Festival runs simultaneously at both places. So there are plenty of tickets left, just waiting to be snapped up by last-minute musos, like you. Grab two of your mates, and go VIP – bell tents are still going for a cool £2,100.

Leeds Festival & Reading Festival, 25th – 28th August 2016

Finished your exams? Time for your final rite of passage. Leeds Festival and Reading Festival mean double trouble for your August bank holiday. With Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fall Out Boy and other hard-core rock acts waiting to burst your ear drums, they’re pulling no punches.

Whatever you do, make your way to the smaller stages. Leeds lads Eagulls and Pulled Apart By Horses are on the up-and-up, so catch them before they’re big. It’s easy. See Tickets have Sunday passes and weekend tickets for the festival up north, and plenty of passes for Reading as well.

Creamfields 2016, 26th – 28th August 2016

Spend your Friday and Saturday nights in clubs, losing it to Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix or Fat Boy Slim? See them in the flesh while you still can! Creamfields is a mecca for fans like you, and it isn’t too late to pick up standard weekend passes, with or without camping.

A ‘vanity van’ is on hand to help you get dolled up, before you get down to DJ’s earth-shattering beats with 70,000 like-minded souls… or go crazy in the infamous fancy dress tent.

Once you’ve booked, run your eyes over this fool-proof festival survival guide, while your tickets wing their way over to you.

Cover photograph of Secret Garden Party copyright Angel Ganev licensed for use under Creative Commons. Wilderness Festival image copyright Gunter Creasey licensed for use under Creative Commons.