Cameron Mackintosh Declares War on Hamilton Ticket Resellers

News   Cameron Mackintosh Declares War on Hamilton Ticket Resellers
He's determined to find a way to stop them from depriving ordinary ticket buyers.
Cameron Mackintosh
Cameron Mackintosh Joseph Marzullo/WENN

British mega producer Cameron Mackintosh says he is declaring war on ticket resellers and is determined to prevent them from gobbling up tickets to his forthcoming production of Hamilton.

Noting that the American productions of Hamilton have been plagued by ”ticket bots”—software that allows ticket resellers to buy up swathes of tickets to prime theatre, music and sports events within seconds of their going on sale and then reselling them at hugely inflated prices—Mackintosh told the Telegraph newspaper, ”I’m putting all my efforts into finding a better way of ensuring that the price originally set for a ticket remains the price you actually do pay. We’re going to stop resale except in genuine circumstances where someone is ill or can’t come and the only permitted resale will then be via the theatre.”

Mackintosh did not specify what strategy he will use to do that. In the U.S., the use of ticket bots has been banned in New York. A similar law is working its way through Congress.

Whatever the cause, “it’s horrible and it has got to stop,” Mackintosh said. ”In the old days, with Cats, you knew who the touts were. You’d pick them out of the queue and tell them to hop it. Now you’ve got these sophisticated computer programs hoovering up tickets – and you’ve also got members of the public tempted by those inflated prices trying to sell tickets themselves.”

The London production of Hamilton is scheduled to open in fall 2018.

In the same interview Mackintosh said he supported Brexit—the campaign to take the U.K. out of the European Union—saying a weaker British pound would be good for British theatre. He said it has already had a beneficial effect. “It has brought an influx of people to the West End—so we’ve had a better summer than we did last year—and last summer was good. We’re going through a time of reinvention.”

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