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‘Responsible’ UK touts form Fair Ticketing Alliance

The UK secondary ticketing business has emerged from "the shadows" with the launch of Fair Ticketing Alliance, a lobbying group of commercial ticket resellers

By Jon Chapple on 17 Apr 2018

Fair Ticketing Alliance

image © Tookapic/Pexels

A group of British secondary ticket sellers have formed the Fair Ticketing Alliance, a new association of “responsible UK ticket brokers” with the stated aim of creating a “fair, trustworthy and flexible ticket market that works for all live entertainment fans”.

Similarly to the NATB’s Protect Ticket Rights campaign in the US, Fair Ticketing Alliance says it will lobby to protect the right of secondary ‘brokers’ to resell tickets, but while “protecting consumer interests” by introducing a system of licensing for trusted and reliable resellers. The organisation is also calling for more transparency in the primary market.

“The ticketing market is currently failing to address the needs of live entertainment fans in the UK,” says association chairman Stephen Lee. “A well-functioning secondary market should correct flaws in the primary market, but we are hamstrung by legal uncertainty that helps neither operators nor consumers.

“We believe responsible commercial operators should be free to resell tickets, like consumers, without unfair restrictions. In return, operators should be properly licensed and comply with the highest standards of ethics.”

Lee is a director of Essex-based ticket resale operation Gigtix Ltd, whose assets totalled £223,798 in the 2016–17 financial year. He is joined by other leading resellers Scot Tobias, Ian Cole and Alistair Cunningham as Fair Ticketing Alliance board members.

“For too long, the secondary ticketing industry has been in the shadows, suffering from a poor reputation, afraid to defend itself. We aim to change that”

In its launch announcement, the alliance lists three core objectives:

1. Greater legal and regulatory clarity about existing UK laws on secondary ticketing
2. Government and regulatory bodies to ensure that secondary website platforms allow brokers to comply fully with the law
3. Changes in UK laws to give responsible, secondary operators the right to resell tickets while protecting consumer interests

Lee says the organisation intends to lobby politicians in order to achieve those objectives, which it claims will “improve the consumer experience while protecting jobs and tax revenues for the government”.

“For too long, the secondary ticketing industry has been in the shadows, suffering from a poor reputation, afraid to defend itself,” he comments. “We aim to change that.

“We’re all extremely passionate and have a deep knowledge of the entertainment areas in which we specialise, which enables us to provide a valuable and necessary service to other live entertainment fans. We just want to do the right thing within the law.

“That’s why we created the Fair Ticketing Alliance. We hope others who support our aims will join us in the campaign to improve the ticketing experience for all fans.”


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