Ticket selling companies crackdown on bots at Nashville concerts

Fans complain are getting beat out by bots and scalpers, and are forced to buy tickets at a higher price on a resale website.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 9:06 AM CDT|Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 10:00 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Nashville is a top spot for musicians to host major concerts.

But snagging a ticket for that concert may be much more difficult than you expect.

News4 found attempts to keep the tickets out of the hands of bots and scalpers and in your hand may only help so much.

Dennis Adkins has seen his fair share of concerts.

“I usually save my ticket stubs for concerts I’ve been to,” Adkins said. “Some of these are so old you can’t read them.”

One big name he tried to see recently was Bob Dylan.

“I’m a big Bob Dylan fan and I heard that he was coming to the Ryman and I thought, ‘OK, I don’t want to miss that show,’” Adkins said.

He said the ticket company didn’t seem to play fair.

“They were being sold through AXS,” Adkins said. “I was ready the morning the tickets went on sale for the presale. I had some tickets in my cart and I was ready to pay for them, and so I hit confirm payment or complete purchase, and I clicked that button, and it says those tickets are no longer available.”

News4 found attempts to keep the tickets out of the hands of bots and scalpers and in your hand may only help so much.

He tried again when the tickets went out to the public and the same thing happened.

“Overall it was just a very frustrating experience,” Adkins said.

“Any given day we will see seven million bots try and get onto our site and we are successfully blocking them,” Dean Dewulf, a senior vice president with AXS, said.

“Why is this happening,” News4 asked Dewulf after sharing Adkins’ story.

“If he was unable to complete the transaction that probably means there were no tickets available,” Dewulf said.

It comes down to supply and demand.

At the Ryman Auditorium, for example, it can seat 2,400 people.

Dewulf said for a concert like Bob Dylan, 10,000 people could be waiting online.

Ticket companies said they take steps to prevent bots from gobbling up tickets and offer programs like Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan or AXS’ Fair AXS. This makes sure actual fans get tickets – no scalpers or bots.

“We see them coming in because of their inhuman behavior, if that makes sense,” Dewulf said. “We definitely see bots coming. They get blocked before they really can get a chance to do much. They get identified and them moved to the side.”

Take Blake Shelton’s Spring Blake event at Ole Red. AXS said it had 22,000 people register with Fair AXS, but only a few hundred – all real people – got tickets.

Adkins said he eventually found tickets to Bob Dylan at the Ryman on a resale site.

“Of course, I had to pay twice the price of the actual ticket,” Adkins said.

He hopes one day he will get access to AXS tickets.

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