Join Insights West's Feedback Community to participate in meaningful research like this!Join


Almost nine-in-ten would welcome fines or jail time for scalpers who are caught using computer programs to purchase tickets.

Vancouver, BC – Three-in-ten Canadians who attend concerts have been unable to buy tickets to the performance of their choice, and a large majority favours enacting tougher legislation to deal with ticket scalpers who rely on computer programs, a new Canada-wide Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Canadians who have attended a concert or performance over the past three years, 28% say they attempted unsuccessfully to buy tickets through a primary ticket outlet (such as Ticketmaster).

Concertgoers in Alberta and British Columbia appear to be having a tougher time getting tickets to performances (35% in each province) than those in Quebec (20%) and Atlantic Canada (9%).

One-in-six Canadian concertgoers (17%) say they bought tickets through a secondary ticket marketplace (such as StubHub), including 25% in British Columbia and 23% of those aged 18-34.


One of the problems often cited with the way in which tickets are sold online is the predominance of “bots”—computer programs that are used to buy tickets online which then are resold at a higher price through a secondary ticket marketplace.

The issue became evident during this year’s concert tour of The Tragically Hip, when tickets offered through a primary ticket outlet were sold out within minutes, only to reappear at exceptionally inflated prices on secondary ticket marketplaces.

The State of New York is considering legislation that would contemplate severe fines or jail time for scalpers who are caught using “bots”.  Almost nine-in-ten Canadian concertgoers (87%) support enacting similar legislation in Canada.

One third of Canadian concertgoers (32%) say it is time to get back to the “old system” of exclusively lining up outside a venue to buy tickets for a concert or performance, including 43% of Quebecers.

“Canadians have always been respectful of the queue,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “The country’s concertgoers are definitely showing their frustration when they lose out to a machine and have to pay more than they should to attend a performance.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from July 6 to July 9, 2016, among a representative sample of 651 Canadian adults who have attended a concert or performance over the past three years. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.8 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Moyia Misner-Pellow