As the government prepares to introduce ID cards to keep terrorists out of the UK, Glastonbury organisers are hoping a similar system will banish ticket touts from infiltrating the festival.
[r-zone1]The proposed ID card scheme is the latest attempt to stop illegal touts profiting from the 120,000 or so ‘gold-dust’ Glasto tickets by selling them on at extortionate prices. The new ID cards would include a photo and a computer chip carrying personal data which would be near-unforgeable.
Festival co-organiser Emily Eavis said: “Rather than a ticket, it will be like an entrance card, and it really is to try to limit forgeries and touting. As long as it’s approached in the right way, it might really work, it might really change the system.”
[l-zone2]The problem of touting has been an inherent thorn in the side of the Glastonbury Festival ever since the site’s ‘super-wall’ was introduced in 2002 to stop people breaking in. Suddenly demand soared as many festival goers realised they would actually have to start paying to attend the world’s most famous festival!
In 2003, the event sold out within days and, last year, all tickets were snapped up within the first 24 hours, leaving many people disappointed after they tried in vain to pay over the phone or internet, instead being held in queues for hours.
[r-zone3]However, despite leaving thousands of festival fans disappointed, the booking delays also meant that far fewer touts were able to get their hands on tickets, presumably because they simply couldn’t be bothered to wait – especially as the ticket allocation was limited to two names per booking.
A new rule was also introduced instructing all ticket holders to present ID at the gate which matched the name on their ticket, further reducing illegal profiteering – however some touts merely supplied fake ID with the tickets they sold.
Perhaps now, the new ID card scheme will prove the final nail in the coffin for the Glastonbury tout, although as yet the plans are merely a proposal and have not been set in stone.