Category Archives: Music


I have a concert coming up in a few days at the Islington Assembly Hall. The ticketing, through a system called DICE, reminded me yet again of ticket touting.

Time was there was no Web and tickets had to be bought at the venue, at a ticket seller or by telephone. If necessary, it was posted, or you collected it, in a long queue, at the box office.

I remember going to see the Moody Blues at the Royal Albert Hall. The ordered tickets did not appear in the post, so we went to the box office beforehand armed with proof and got duplicates. Sitting in our seats, two gruff foreign chaps (not racist, just factual) turned up wanting the exact same seats. We could prove who we were, and since neither of these chaps was the female who had bought the tickets, they were marched off and dealt with.

People are trying very hard to stop ticket touting. It’s unfair to fans that there are no tickets to be had for their favourite performer except at many times the actual price. With people like Paul McCartney asking for £150 per ticket, you know the touts may be selling some at many times that. Buying from a tout is also dodgy – how do you know it’s a real ticket?

Nowadays, you go to a concert, the tickets are named, the named person has to be there, maybe you even need photo id.

This DICE system, and there may be others, allows you to buy on-line. You need their app. The ticket comes to your phone, but you can’t see it until two hours before the concert. Then, the QR can be scanned and al is good. Oh, and the DICE people can send you lots of advertising and, who knows, snoop on your device to see what you are doing…

Personally, I prefer print at home tickets. I do object to having to pay huge booking and service fees for booking the ticket myself, doing all the work, and then printing myself as well.

Will they stop ticket touting? No, they can try, but as ever, whatever system they come up with, someone will defeat it.

Fifty years on I

We do seem to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of so many things right now. Including Barclay James Harvest, rock band.

I wanted to share the back cover of their first album. I love this picture. It seems to encapsulate the late 1960s: