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一起听英语 253 黄牛党售票






Rob: Hello, welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Rob.

Neil: And hello, I'm Neil.

Rob: Today we're talking about ticket touts. The verb 'to tout' means to sell

tickets for an event such as a sports match or concert for more money than

their real price – or face value. And the people who do it are called touts.

Now, be honest Neil, have you ever bought a ticket from a tout?

Neil: No, if I don't get a ticket from an official source I tend to just miss the event.

Rob: Fair enough. Well, I've never been that desperate to see a show that I've

needed to buy a ticket from a tout – but I guess, if a must-see match or a

concert was a sell-out and there were no tickets, then I might be tempted.

Neil: It's a dodgy – or dishonest – and unreliable business and it’s a big problem

which we'll be discussing soon. But first, have you got a 'dodgy' question for

me Rob?

Rob: Nothing dodgy here Neil, just a good honest question about ticket sales.

Now, we know tickets to see a pop singer or band can sell out very quickly.

But according to the Guinness World Records, which singer sold the most

ever tickets in one day for his 2006 World Tour? Was it…

a) Robbie Williams

b) Bob Dylan

c) Justin Timberlake

Neil: I'm going to go for Justin Timberlake, c).

Rob: OK. We’ll find out if you're right later on. Let's talk more now about ticket

touts. These are people who sell tickets dishonestly. Tickets can be bought

honestly – or legitimately – through an official agent, sometimes on a


Neil: That's right but sometimes agents add on commission – an extra charge for

processing the tickets. Plus there's sometimes a fee for credit card

transactions. I find that really annoying.

Rob: Yeah, me too. And of course the best place to pick up a ticket is usually from

the box office at the venue – the place where the event is happening. Then

you get to pay the genuine price.

6 Minute English ©British Broadcasting Corporation 2014

Page 2 of 4

Neil: And even then ticket prices can be really high. Some people pay hundreds of

pounds for the best tickets – possibly for front row seats.

Rob: Not me Neil. Being a cheapskate, I go for the cheapest seats, usually up in

'the gods' – I mean, the seats high up at the back – that's where you can get

a bargain – even if you get a restricted view and you can’t see too well!

Neil: Well, when even these seats have sold out, some people give in to the

temptation of the ticket touts. These are the guys who stand outside the

venue just before the event starts – or they operate online. But the tickets

they sell are not always the bargain you think they are.

Rob: No. Sometimes they charge inflated prices – or high prices for the basic

ticket for the sort of seats that I sit in. And sometimes they sell a fake ticket

– so not a real one – for a seat that's already booked. It leaves you out-ofpocket

– you lose your money.

Neil: It's a big problem in London and other cities around the world. It's especially

a concern for theatres that are subsidised or receive money from the state.

Rob: Yes, such as London's Royal Opera House. Let's hear from its Chief

Executive, Alex Beard. What is the solution to the problem – and what advice

does he give for avoiding the touts?

Alex Beard, Chief Executive, Royal Opera House:

People have been wrestling with this issue now for decades, and no one's come up with

the perfect silver bullet, as it were, to take the touts out of business. There are,

however, authorised agencies that sell tickets, and they are listed on websites. And I

would recommend anyone who wants to get a last minute ticket to look at those,

because they are reputable, they will charge a fair price and won't be effectively misselling


Rob: Some interesting words. He says there is not a perfect 'silver bullet' for

stopping the touts. A silver bullet means one simple answer to completely

solve the problem. So what does he suggest?

Neil: He says use authorised agencies – so companies that have been checked and

approved by the venues. These are reputable – so people have a good

opinion of them and they can be trusted.

Rob: Yes, and they will charge a fair price too. You won't be – as we sometimes

say – ripped off.

Neil: In many cases reselling tickets and making a profit is not allowed, and if

someone is found doing it, the tickets they're selling become void – or not

valid, so the buyer can’t actually use the tickets they've paid for.

Rob: A BBC investigation found one website was offering two tickets to see the

play Coriolanus at a London theatre for £2,015. The face value was originally

£20 to £35 each.

6 Minute English ©British Broadcasting Corporation 2014

Page 3 of 4

Neil: Well, luckily for me, I couldn't afford that kind of price so I would wait for a

genuine cheaper ticket to become available.

Rob: Or, if that doesn't happen, choose another play to see. There's plenty of

choice in London's West End!

Neil: Good advice there Rob, although it's harder to get tickets for a band or singer

who's performing in your city for one night only.

Rob: A bit like buying a ticket for one singer who holds the record for selling the

most ever tickets in one day. But who was it?

Neil: I said c) Justin Timberlake.

Rob: He is very popular isn't he, but not as popular as Robbie Williams was. He

sold 1.6 million tickets in 24 hours. Did you buy one of them Neil?

Neil: No I didn't!

Rob: Before we go, Neil, could you remind us of some of the vocabulary that we've

heard today?

Neil: Yes, we heard:

ticket touts

face value








inflated prices



silver bullet



Rob: Thanks. Well, that brings us to the end of today's 6 Minute English. We hope

you’ve enjoyed today’s programme. Please join us again soon. Bye.

Neil: See you.

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