Ticket Scalping Comes to a Head with FON
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Written by Rodela Ahmed & Pridha Kumar
During the season of various festivities at Townsend Harris High School, many students become subject to ticket scalping. Scalping is a secondary ticket market where people sell tickets previously purchased at a low price at a much higher price.
This is based on the concept of supply and demand; when supplies are low, the demand is higher. Scalping is especially prominent in performances such as SING! and the Festival Of Nations. Tickets priced at $10 can be sold up to five times more than this original price.
Scalping is a major problem, not only in schools, but everywhere across the U.S. One major site where scalping takes place is StubHub. Even though there is no federal law against scalping, a handful of states have banned the practice. License taxes and mandatory registration for ticket brokers help control ticket scalping. Most states label the practice as a misdemeanor and people could be fined or jailed for up to a year.
Students at THHS would like to see action taken against ticket scalpers.
Senior Anna Cheng, who has participated in both FON and SING in the past years, is a witness to scalping. Tickets to school dances, that can range from three to five dollars originally, hike up $8 to $10 at the door. According to Anna, ticket scalpers take advantage of students’ desire to participate in the events and raise the price accordingly.
In addition, freshman Ishaq Chowdhury describe these increased ticket prices to be “disastrous,” as it discourages students who originally planned on taking part in an event to not engage themselves in it at all, thereby taking away from the high school experience. At FON, audience member sophomore Mohammed Fahim from Stuyvesant, said that he wouldn’t have come to FON if Ishaq hadn’t paid for him. He claims that he has seen ticket scalping go on at his own school and also adds that his classmates are becoming less and less interested in attending in-school activities.
Senior Nadia Khan recalled her experience, “I wanted to get my best friend a FON ticket, but unfortunately tickets weren’t on sale. If you are a performer you should be notified first of ticket sales. I posted on all the Facebook pages and on Thursday night there was an auction for the highest bidder. I paid double the price.”
Parent Meherun Nessa says that she’s encouraging her son to take part in other activities. However, junior Sangida Akter disagrees and argues, “The sellers have an event to plan based on an expected number of people. The more people that buy the tickets early, the easier it is for the sellers. That’s why they make the prices lower beforehand, as an initiative for people to buy.”
But is it really acceptable to raise ticket prices? Parent Ferdous Ahmed says, “Many things can happen, like students can forget or they may not be sure of going in advance, but to hold it against them and demand more money just for showing interest is not right, especially since they will still watch the same show.”
Although he said that he understood Sangida’s perspective, he added, “From a moral standpoint, the audience consists of many students who do not work. Therefore, students have to ask their parents for prices that