Culture

How is 'Hamilton' dealing with scalpers? Just you wait

The UK production of the smash-hit musical "Hamilton," opening on London's West End later this year, has taken aim at ticket scalpers.

The cast of "Hamilton: An American Musical."

Bruce Glikas, Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

It's been near-impossible to score tickets to the two US productions, first based in New York and more recently Chicago, due to en masse sell-outs and an unfriendly secondary market for resales. To help combat scalpers the upcoming third resident production of "Hamilton," opening December 2017 on London's West End, will be doing away with tickets entirely.

The new measures, developed in partnership with Ticketmaster, are designed to remove these third-party resellers from the equation. An entirely paperless ticketing system -- the first of its kind to hit the West End -- relies on the payment card used to originally purchase the tickets. Instead of issues with a ticket or printable bar code, you'll swipe that card to enter the theatre at the time of the performance.

"By not issuing physical tickets in advance, we aim to dramatically reduce the ability to resell seats at a hugely inflated price," said Hamilton Producer Cameron Mackintosh in a statement to Billboard.com.

The London production will also set firm, affordable pricing on tickets for the show, starting at less than £40, with an upper end of £90 on non-premium tickets.

Scalping and a grossly inflated secondary market has plagued punters eager to see the Tony Award-winning hit musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and one-time star of the musical, called out the use of ticket bots last year. The automated software will buy tickets, often seconds after they go on sale, and then relist the now sold-out tickets with a massive mark-up on ticket reseller sites.

While this may be a boon for people eager to see sold-out hits like "Hamilton," it could spell more of a stranglehold for primary ticket sellers on smaller gigs by gutting the secondary market.

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