He’s behind you…. no he isn’t…. yes he is – and on and on and on. You know, I’m sure that pantomimes would be at least 45 minutes shorter if they removed all those back and forth exchanges between the audience and the actors.

Sorry for sounding all Scroogey but I just want you to stop for a minute and think about that person who is actually behind you.

They’re just about to sell you some cut price tickets for the pantomime you want to go and see. Well don’t buy them – they’re a tout, a scalper, a con artist.

Okay, there’s no one really behind you and you’re not about to buy dodgy tickets, but it could happen.

It’s amazing how often it happens and how often people do get fleeced. I’ve been a few times to the Ritz in Manchester to watch various acts like the Buzzcocks, PIL and so on and the last time I went there was a guy arguing with staff at the box office.

I assessed from the conversation that he’d been sold tickets outside the venue for a cheaper price but when they scanned the barcode on them they were rejected as already used.


The guy who bought the tickets was then having trouble understanding what the problem was and how they could have already been used when he had them. It didn’t dawn on him that he had one of many copies of the ticket and that some lucky soul was already inside having been scanned first.

There are always questionable types hanging around outside venues trying to sell tickets for whatever is on at cheaper prices. I haven’t got to the bottom of why they either don’t get chased, arrested or lynched but I’m sure there is some sort of legislation that protects them and allows them to continue scamming innocent people – however we’ll leave that to the historians.

So just be careful this Christmas if you’re getting tickets for anything from pantomimes, events, attractions or performances. Not everywhere uses WebTicketManager (yet) but just make sure the vendor is reputable and certainly don’t risk buying from people in the street.

You don’t know what you’re getting and if something does go wrong, like for the poor guy I saw at the Ritz, you can guarantee the man you bought the tickets from will no longer be behind you.