Scalpers Reportedly Made $1M On Resold Fred Again.. Tickets So No Wonder Half Of Us Missed Out

Hundreds of people were reportedly involved in a mass-coordinated bot campaign to scalp Fred again… tickets last month, in case you needed proof those tickets were even harder to buy.

The iconic British producer caused a buying frenzy when he announced a surprise show at the Sydney Opera House in February, posting an announcement on his Instagram just minutes before tickets went on sale.

What followed was a mad rush that left many fans disappointed, but some say thousands of Fred again tickets were bought by scalpers, who combined could have made as much as $1 million in profit.

What happened?

According to Triple J, a private online community with at least 500 members discussed using bots to buy mass amounts of Fred again tickets, in order to sell them on for hugely inflated prices. We don’t know exactly how many they bought, but experts say it could be as many as 35% of all tickets sold.

“We see about 17,000 or 18,000 of them up for sale [via] this method, and that’s probably an undercount in reality because there’s incentive not to flood the market,” cybersecurity company founded Sam Crowther told Triple J.

The tickets went on sale for $179.90, and were later listed on various sites for up to $400 each. Crowther said some scalpers could be raking in as much as $15,000 in profit.

“The cost base of all of these tickets comes to about $3.5 million and we’ve just taken what’s the average resale price on top of the retail, and that literally comes out to just over a million bucks,” he said.

The online group also provided advice including which shows to target, the likelihood of reselling, recommended price mark-ups (spoiler: as much as possible) and potential risks to resellers.

More than 100,000 tickets were sold to Fred again’s Australian shows. Image: Getty/Frank Hoensch.

Like most things, the exact rules vary state to state.

Most states have a ban on how much a ticket can be re-sold for, capped at 110% of the original price. However, in some states such as Victoria or New South Wales, this limit only applies if the state government has declared something a major event (like for Taylor Swift).

Since Fred again was not declared a major event, scalpers could sell tickets for just about whatever they wanted.

Further, a lot of the risk falls on the fan. As Ticketek policy says that tickets must not be bought with “robot, spider or other devices or processes”, any ticket bought from a scalper is at risk of being cancelled at any moment.

It begs the question: how are scalpers still a thing? Why have we not cracked down on them more? And for the love of god, can we please find a better way to sell tickets? Our wallets (and stress levels) need it.