December 5, 2017 3:17 am

Eagles fans call on BC NDP to crack down on bots after concert sells out in seconds

A recent big-ticket concert that sold out in seconds has sparked more calls for the NDP government to follow up its words with actions and crack down on so-called ‘ticket bots.’ Ted Chernecki reports.

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Eagles fans like B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth found plenty of room at the Hotel Frustration last weekend after bots foiled their attempts to obtain tickets to the band’s May 2018 concert at Rogers Arena in May 2018.

The show sold out in seconds. And now concertgoers are calling on the provincial government to crack down on bots that are snapping up as many tickets as they can before they’re listed on reselling websites at massive markups.

They’re wondering, if Alberta and Ontario can advance legislation on bots, then why can’t B.C.?

WATCH: New polls shows Canadians want crackdown on ‘ticket bots’

“I think the NDP needs to step up and put their money where their mouth is and do the right thing,” said Eagles fan Veronica Franson who, like Farnworth, didn’t manage to snap up any tickets.

Eagles tickets sold out in Vancouver just after the Province of Alberta last week proposed new rules to ban ticket-buying software that sells out concerts before music fans have a chance to buy.

If passed, the legislation would force sellers to stop block purchases by bots and even cancel the tickets altogether.

READ MORE: Alberta government proposes tougher rules to help online ticket buyers shut out by bots

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Ticket sellers could then face fines of up to $300,000 if they don’t take action.

Ontario introduced similar legislation in October.

It’s a move that has gained the support of major artists like country star Garth Brooks.

“I don’t like people getting in between the artists and the people that allow them to be an artist,” he has said of ticket bots.

But it could be some time before B.C. passes any legislation to stop them.

“I think a realistic timeframe is probably the fall of 2018, because we want to make sure that what we do actually works,” he told Global News.

And tackling bots has proven a daunting task.

WATCH: Mayhem surrounding BC Place as thousands left outside U2 concert

At a U2 concert at Vancouver’s BC Place earlier this year, massive lines that lasted hours were blamed on an anti-scalping ticket system that was implemented by Ticketmaster.

Some fans were compensated after the lines forced them to miss opening act Mumford & Sons.

  • With files from Jill Slattery and Emily Lazatin

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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