Musicians, new tools fight back in war against ticket bots

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Music is life for Derek Frazee. And his pile of concert ticket stubs proves it.

"Probably 30 to 40 events a year."

But catching his favorite artists live is becoming a battle for Frazee when ticket prices go through the roof.

"It's almost like they're gone before they ever go up for sale. And it's like you know that a third-party re-seller swooped them up," he complained.

Ticket bots have long plagued the entertainment industry. According to the Federal Trade Commission, these bots are computer programs used by scalpers to quickly buy up the best seats so those tickets can be resold on a second-hand market for more money.

And we're talking sky-high prices. It can mean the difference between a fan seeing their favorite band or missing out and staying home.

"It does prevent people, including us, from being able to access tickets in the general on sale like that," said Mike Peduto, President of local ticket broker Circle City Tickets.

His business is among those that have promised to never use ticket bots to purchase tickets. He's hoping a new law banning bots might be the solution fans have been waiting for.

"I think eliminating the bots would go a long way," said Peduto.

Musicians are fighting back too. Some are teaming up with Ticketmaster's new Verified Fan program. It puts fans through a rigorous test to make sure they are human and then uses a code to invite them to buy tickets.

Country singer Eric Church took it to another level this year, when he and his team canceled 25,000 tickets suspected of being bought by scalpers.

Garth Brooks is taking a different approach. The country music legend told us he'll perform multiple shows in each city of his tour to flood the market with supply and reduce demand for scalped tickets.

"We'll put out more tickets, more seats than there is a demand for it," said Brooks. "There's nothing like looking out in the crowd and seeing a vacant spot and hoping that's a scalper that couldn't get rid of his tickets, because there's just too many of them."

On top of that, some musicians and venues require fans to bring proof they purchased the tickets.

In all this, Peduto said, there needs to be a balance.

"How do you make it so that some fan legitimately can sell tickets and get out of them if something comes up, but at the same time you're not making it so that somebody can dominate it like the bots do?"

Time will tell.

For now, at least fans like Frazee know people are fighting to protect him. Not long ago, he spent nearly $600 dollars on a single concert ticket. He said he'll never do that again.

"It's frustrating."