London venue is first to eradicate touts with digital-only tickets

Jamie Rigg
Touts are something you'll no longer see roaming the pavements outside of London's Islington Assembly Hall.

Touts are something you'll no longer see roaming the pavements outside of London's Islington Assembly Hall. The music venue has become the first in the UK to commit entirely to digital tickets, all of which will be sold through mobile app Dice. Tickets are inextricably linked to the Dice app, so they can't be posted on resale sites or flogged to touts. That works in your favour, of course, because you'll only ever pay list price. Just make sure you don't drain your battery organising pre-drinks with the squad.

That's not to say you can't offload your ticket if something comes up and you can't make the gig. Earlier this year, Dice introduced a simplified refund feature for sold-out gigs. Dice effectively buys back the ticket and sells it on to another fan on the waiting list for the same price. The plan is to expand this option to all events in the future, sold out or not. In addition to giving touts the finger, Dice has other fan-friendly features such as no booking or payment processing fees and the option to send mates their ticket via the app so you don't have to wait for them at the gates when they're late.

Touts are unnecessary middlemen, inflating ticket prices purely to create a cut for themselves. Gig-goers hate them, artists hate them, and the government isn't too keen either. The use of automated online bots to hoover up tickets (that are later listed on resale sites with a mark-up) is set to become a criminal offence thanks to the Digital Economy Act. The government has also implored venues and resale sites to address the ways they might be enabling touts. Sure, we might be lose the stub souvenir, but can we just make digital-only ticketing mandatory and kill all the birds with one stone already?

Dice