KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has admitted that his band is struggling to prevent scalpers from getting their hands on KISS concert tickets and reselling them at exorbitant prices. He tells the BBC: “I don’t like it, but capitalism is capitalism. If you buy a piece of furniture, you’re allowed if you sell it for a profit. But we do try to limit that sort of shenanigans. You try to do the best you can but it is a free market system.”
He continues: “The nature of money is that people tend to abuse it and when there the chance to make hideous sums on somebody who really wants something, people will take advantage of people.”
In 2008, Simmons appeared to support the resale of the band’s tickets, telling Ticketnews: “There is no secondary market — there’s only the market. That’s the reality, and everything else is political jumbling. If somebody wants a ticket, they’ll buy it or they won’t.”
The office of the attorney general of New York released a report in January that that found abuses preventing consumers from buying tickets at affordable prices or sometimes not at all. The report was harshly critical of the practices of ticket brokers, which, it claimed, drive up the cost of live entertainment by controlling most of the tickets released to the public. These brokers have come under increasing scrutiny for snapping up many of the tickets through a variety of means, including the use of “bots,” which are computer programs used to purchase concert and sporting event tickets online at rapid speed. Ticketmaster reportedly estimated 60% of the most desirable tickets for some shows on the secondary market are bought by bots.