Much like all of you I am a huge Midnight Oil fan. When the band says they are concerned about scalpers and the secondary market, I take them at their word. When they say they want to do something to help the average fan, I feel confident they mean that, and are trying to do their best. But having said that, I'm not sure they know what they're doing, and they might make things worse.
The best example of this is with the pre-sale. Many of you have posted great articles about scalpers and their methods (thank you, by the way). Among them, is how much the pre-sale format plays into the scalpers hands. Pre-sales don't hinder scalpers, they magnify their impact. Yet Midnight Oil went ahead and conducted pre-sales, despite a clear concern about the impact of scalpers. This does not bode well.
In their latest news post, Midnight Oil acknowledges the scalper problem in general, but then offers the following statement: "Meanwhile fans everywhere are warned NOT to buy tickets from reseller sites. Such unofficial sites may currently be legal but they typically charge vastly inflated prices and sometimes even offer fake tickets." I get the spirit of this, and I appreciate that, but again, this shows the naivety of the band (or more likely management) around what's going on. The reason for most of these sell outs is scalpers. They are buying up most of the seats. In Oakland, I calculated that 70% of all seats are currently in the hands of scalpers. While the warning to buy from a scalper is a valid concern, what do they expect a fan without tickets to do? A more appropriate response would be to tell fans, 'hey, be careful out there'. But instead they come off almost lecturing fans about where to buy tickets. The problem is not with the fans, but with the system. I think that point is being missed a bit here.
Finally, I'm really concerned about this statement: "In an attempt to frustrate these scalpers, discussions are currently underway to possibly shift some North American shows to larger rooms." This could go one of three directions, and two are not good. First, there may not be enough demand to fill a larger venue. Flooding the market with unwanted inventory would hurt the scalpers, as it would drive market prices down. But that could come with less-than-filled music halls. That's a risk that can hurt the atmosphere of their shows. Second, there may be plenty of demand for those additional seats, which would just fall into the scalpers hands as it has so far. If that's true, this would have no impact on the problem at all. Third, is in between. There's enough demand to buy most of the extra tickets, but market prices are still driven down. That's the best outcome. But it comes with a lot of disruption. I, for example, have made my plans around the location of the current venue, and have good seats. I could get worse seats in the process, or have difficultly getting to the new location (e.g. proximity to public transportation).
Personally, I think the band's' heart in the right place, but they are taking on something they aren't equipped to deal with. Best to let the market work as it does, and not make any changes. Feel free to add a new show here or there based on demand, everyone wins when that happens, but don't change anything else. In the longer term, work with industry experts on what techniques work, and lobby publicly for changes that will make a real impact. Some of the articles that have been posted highlight techniques that actually work. It's too late to use them this time around, but maybe next time.