In a world where the likes of the electronics and automobile industries are dealing in billions of pounds every year, it might come as a surprise to learn that the ticketing industry is also one of the most lucrative industries in operation. When you look at the facts and figures, however, it should be clear how it became so huge.

There will always be a market for those who want to experience live events, whether it's a concert, play or sporting match. For example, for rock concert tickets, when you consider how many people are involved that have to be paid (stewards, advertisers, venue owners, etc), the ticket price will always be around the £20-£50 mark, taking into account variables like the size of the arena, the size of the performer, the amount of dates they're doing and so on.

Plays are more standardised – they usually stay around the same sort of price structure, but the closer you want to be to the stage, the more expensive tickets will be, and in the West End prices can reach £70 apiece for the best seats. These and sporting events often include concession options for students, those under a certain age, disabled people and OAPs.

When you buy tickets online, the factor that often bumps ticket prices up is the controversial “booking fee”, which is non-negotiable – if you don't want to pay it, you don't get the ticket. These are usually about £5, but when you've already spent £20 or £30 on the ticket, another fiver is fairly galling to have to pay.

The ticketing companies and those who resell tickets on behalf of people who no longer want or need them, then, are able to do very well out of live events. Ultimately, though, we'll pay whatever a band is charging if we want to see them enough – tickets for the Rolling Stones' “A Bigger Bang” tour started at £60, but people paid it and the tour is one of the top-grossing of all time.

What should be discouraged, though, is buying or selling to ticket touts who sell tickets at several times the face value to people desperate enough to pay for them. From a legal point of view, there's not a lot that can be done about them yet, so the best way to stop them is to not deal with them in the first place and make sure you get the tickets when they're originally put on sale so you can enjoy the concert legally.