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Irish MP introduces anti-touting bill

Following controversy over the touting of tickets for U2's Joshua Tree tour, a bill authored by Noel Rock TD seeks to outlaw above-face value resale in the Irish republic

By Jon Chapple on 18 Jan 2017

U2, The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, Noel Rock Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill 2016, Anton Corbijn

A publicity shot for The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

image © Anton Corbijn

Two months after the passing of a landmark piece of legislation criminalising ticket touting in Italy, an MP has introduced a similar bill – the Prohibition of Above-Cost Ticket Touting Bill 2016 – for consideration by the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland.

The draft legislation, presented yesterday to the Oireachtas bills office by Noel Rock, the Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin North-West, would, if passed, “render it unlawful for any unauthorised person to sell or offer for sale tickets for major sporting, musical or theatrical events for a price in excess of the officially designated price [face value]”.

The bill has won the backing of Wicklow and East Carlow TD Stephen Donnelly, who has separately contacted the Competition and Consumer Protection to ask for an “investigation into potentially illegal activity” by ticket touts.

The move to outlaw for-profit ticket resale comes amid controversy in Ireland over tickets for U2’s show at Dublin’s Croke Park next summer, which sold out in under six minutes and, inevitably, appeared on secondary sites shortly after.

“The government has to act swiftly to outlaw the reselling of tickets over face value”

“I have been inundated with people contacting me regarding examples of ticket touting following the sale of U2 concert tickets,” says Rock. “This will be one of the biggest concerts of the year and consumers are now being asked to pay a large figure – well over face value – to attend. It’s just not fair on true fans who couldn’t obtain a ticket…

“The government now has to act swiftly to outlaw the reselling of tickets over face value.”

Promoter Live Nation Global Touring announced this morning the U2 tour in question, The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, sold more than 1.1 million tickets in 24 hours, with sold-out dates across North America, Britain and continental Europe, including the tour’s entire European stadium run.


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