placebo band

Brian Molko

'I intend to make as many people as possible aware of their scandalous behaviour': Placebo frontman Brian Molko speaks out about online ticket touts.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 14 Jul 2016
  • min read
Brian Molko (left) is the androgynous vocalist and songwriter behind multi-million-selling indie-rockers Placebo.

Emerging from the dank depths of nineties’ London, the band went on to help define both Britpop and the nascent emo scene.

Now with seven albums under their belts, they’ve build a cultish fan base that feeds sold-out arena tours around the globe.

Over recent years the band have become increasingly frustrated with rampant online ticket touting, leading Brian to lend his support to the FanFair Alliance, a new initiative to curb the practice.

We grabbed five minutes with him at the FanFair launch to learn more...

As an artist who’s been playing live for over 20 years, how do you feel about the growth in secondary ticketing?

I think the brazen profiteering of these corporations is absolutely scandalous. I can only speak for myself and my band – Placebo certainly do not want our fans to be victims of this unethical profiteering. It appears to be institutionalised, the laws against this aren’t enforced and music fans are unaware that they’re being ripped off by fat cats in suits.

Why are you here today?

To educate myself, to speak to other artists and try to get them involved in the campaign and to use whatever platform I have to spread the message.

How has this situation affected your band and your tours?

It gets to a point where people in difficult economic times can’t afford to go to shows, so this practice impacts both the fans and the artists as well. Not solely on a financial level, but, as an artist, you want your venue to be filled with people having a good time. That’s what you live for. It’s the kind of energy that feeds your soul, it affects us that way.

This situation affects new bands too. If a ticket costs £30 but is offered on a secondary ticketing site for £60 and someone buys it, they won’t have the spare cash to spend £10 on seeing a smaller band. It makes it more difficult for up and coming artists.

Do you feel powerless in all of this?

No, not at all. I think it’s just the beginning. I’m passionate about this and I intend to make as many people as possible aware of this scandalous behaviour. Hopefully this is movement that can go global, eventually.

Placebo hit the road in October, arriving in the UK early December for a string of shows. Find out where they’re playing:

FanFair Alliance was launched today (Thursday) by the managers of Arctic Monkeys, One Direction, Mumford & Sons and PJ Harvey to unite businesses, artists and fans against online ticket touting.