Glastonbury 2023: I didn't get a ticket, so I guess it's time to overthrow the music industry - Alexander Brown

I entered the fray well rested, focused and calm, with a quiet confidence having prepared intensively for the battle ahead.

Armed with two devices, a dream and a spreadsheet, this was a fight I knew I could win, having tasted sweet success so many times before.

I was also smart enough to know there is power in a union, especially of friends pounding the refresh button repeatedly to secure Glastonbury tickets.

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The only thing standing between us and five days without showers were the millions of other people who also wanted to use wet wipes instead of soap.

Liam Gallagher performs on the Pyramid stage on day four of Glastonbury Festival in 2019. Picture: Ian Gavan/Getty Images
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Most conflicts are not won through tactics or battle, but attrition, and never has that been more clear than staring at a page that won’t load for 45 minutes. Overrun by monsters who had the temerity to also want to do something I liked, the Ticketmaster servers crumbled, then collapsed, like a biscuit held too long in tea.

I began to lose hope as my morning slipped through my fingers for this most noble of pursuits; having a lovely time with the lads.

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The website would crash on my phone, then do the same on my laptop, only to load and fail again.

It got to the point that even getting into the queue was a cause for joy, like celebrating your team getting a throw in.

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But we lost, unable to get through and left unable to find solace or distraction in social media, where the victors gloated en-masse.

I’m a white middle-class millennial. I’m used to getting everything I want immediately, aside from, you know, affordable housing, my money being worth anything and a planet that isn’t dying.

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It totally sucked, with the only relief being you can’t sell a Glastonbury ticket to someone, so there’s no victory here for touts.

Because that’s what getting tickets to see most music is now – a race between people who like the band and total scumbags who like selling tickets for profit.

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Things are so bad in the industry there’s even ethical resale sites set up to ward off touts, who have managed to totally dominate live music purchases.

Harry Styles tickets were available for £5,000 within hours of selling out, and those who missed out on Sam Fender could get them on resale sites for a grand.

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Even festivals are being hit, with sites selling tickets to Creamfields in Cheshire for as much as £1,288 — more than three times the original price.

Resale sites are a parasite across the whole industry, and so prolific some bands, such as Rammstein, are legally forbidding their tickets appearing on them.

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Research last year, ahead of a $4 billion [£3.4bn] merger of Viagogo and its US-focused rival StubHub, found 10 per cent of resellers account for about 80 per cent of sales across both sites, which is rank.

It’s disgusting, immoral and exploitative, and makes music inaccessible to people who don’t have thousands to burn.

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Music is about bringing people together, and while I can probably afford to miss out on Glastonbury this time round, it’s time for a revolution to help those who can’t.



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