Ed Sheeran. The slick fingered, smooth talking, demi god. He stole the show at this year’s Brit awards, and has systematically stolen the hearts of women across the world since 2011; with his voice like liquid gold, and hair the colour of an Arizona sunset.
It’s no wonder then that the internet exploded in to a fanatical frenzy when he released, not one, but two, new songs. Namely because, after almost a year of silence, Shape of You and Castle on the Hill signified his return to music – but it also marks the release of his long awaited 3rd studio album, Divide (due for release on the 3rd of March).
So, of course, there’s going to be a tour. *Cue fangirling squeals*
Starting on the 12th of April, right through to the 3rd of May, Ed will be travelling across the UK and Ireland, guitar in tow, to grace our eardrums with his sweet, sweet music. I don’t think I need to tell you how much this excited me.
Now, calm yourselves ladies, because this is where I disappoint you. All of the official ticket sites have sold out. They sold out within a matter of minutes. And, while some lucky ducks managed to secure themselves a slice of the Holy Grail, it was touts, and secondary resale sites that bought most of them and are now offering them at obscene prices, of anything up to £1000.
It’s a joke, right? I am an avid music lover, I have been all my life, and I have often ranted about the sorry state of the current industry. While I frequently insist that “There is no such thing as free music”, particularly in the digital age, it needs to be recognised that sites like this are making it difficult for fans to support artists.
Streaming sites like Spotify or Youtube, regardless of the publicity they provide, make music too readily available, and offer little to no capital to the artist. Similarly, Downloading takes away the revenue made from record sales.
Ticket touts are now making it practically impossible for some fans to afford to go to shows, sometimes selling tickets at as much as 290 times more than their face value. They are helping to suck the life out of the industry. Music needs to be experienced live, because I can unequivocally assure you, it will never sound better. But people are being denied this simple pleasure.
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More than that, however, musicians need to make money – because despite what some of you may think, art is not a right. You are not simply entitled to it. After all, you wouldn’t expect Jimmy Choo to design you a custom pair of shoes for free, would you?
Let me break it down. You go to work every day, and your employer pays you. The salary they give you comes from the money put back in to the company through consumerism. Art is the same. In this case, their art is their music, and music is their career, but the money that the record label pays them, comes from record sales, ticket sales, and merchandise purchases. So, in conclusion, just buy your music.
Alas, I digress. In 2015, legislation was passed by the House of Lords in a bid to stop resale sights making these extortionate profits, with threats of fines up to £5,000 for anyone caught. But clearly that has had little impact, as numerous acts continue to play to half empty shows.
But, there is a small glimmer of hope for all of us Sheerios out there. Ed has announced working in partnership with Twickets, his official fan-to-fan resale site, for the selling of tickets at face value. But be quick, it’s first come first served.