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Finding their FEAT: Promoters back new European anti-tout association

The new ticketing alliance is taking a continent-wide approach to tackle touts and tighten ticket resale

By Anna Grace on 18 Jan 2019


Scumeck Sabottka, one of the FEAT founders

image © FEAT

Europe’s leading live music professionals have come together to form the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), an organisation dedicated to the promotion of face-value ticket resale across the continent.

Launched last night at Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, the Netherlands, FEAT will take a continent-wide approach to encourage better ticket resale practices in Europe.

“Governments need to understand speculative ticket resale is an abusive and unethical practice that harms people, and they need to approve laws that make it virtually impossible,” says Neo Sala, FEAT Director and founder of Doctor Music.

The priorities of the initiative include:

  • Encouraging better legislation at national and EU level: coordinating lobbying efforts for better legislation to protect fans and artists and encouraging enforcement.
  • Connecting live industry professionals: sharing knowledge and building consensus towards a fair and safe ticketing marketplace across Europe.
  • Collecting data and research: tracking artist and fan concerns, ensuring their interests are represented and voices are heard.

FEAT has been functioning under the radar for a while. The group is already involved in EU parliamentary discussions on secondary ticketing and has facilitated the formation of a legal group which coordinates activities on ticketing regulation and works in conjunction with search engines.

“We need to get this right as otherwise fans and artists alike will be robbed by thieves”

Initially focusing on legislation and good practice within the live music industry, the initiative later looks to build alliances with the full scope of the live entertainment industry, including performing arts and sports events.

The alliance will be run by Sam Shemtob, a music business specialist who has been active in the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on ticket abuse for several years, along with colleagues Katie O’Leary and Dominic Athanassiou.

“We need to get this right as otherwise fans and artists alike will be robbed by thieves,” says Scumeck Sabottka, FEAT Director and CEO of MCT-Agentur. “If we all pull this together and get EU legislation to follow our lead, we can ultimately make it work.”

The alliance hopes to bolster the work of movements such as UK’s FanFair Alliance and the Swiss Ticket Check. Such groups have enjoyed considerable success on tightening up ticket resale on a national scale, but have not managed to shake the impunity of global platforms.

The case of secondary ticketing website Viagogo serves as an example of this impunity. As of today, the site was required to implement substantial changes to its business practices following a court order served in November 2018. However, sufficient changes have not been made.

FanFair Alliance’s Adam Webb comments: “Although a few minor changes have been implemented, some of which may add even more confusion for consumers, we would be astonished if the site is compliant with the terms of its court order.”

A full list of the FEAT founding members is below:

Ben Giezenaar – Co-Founder, Greenhouse Talent, Netherlands (Once in a Blue Moon Festival, Justin Bieber)

Christof Huber – Managing Director, Incognito, Switzerland (Imagine Dragons, George Ezra)

Folkert Koopmans – CEO, FKP Scorpio, Germany (Ed Sheeran, Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters)

Kim Worsøe – Director, ICO, Denmark (The 1975, Sam Smith, Disturbed)

Neo Sala – Founder & CEO, Doctor Music, Spain (Adele, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Doctor Music Festival)

Olivier Darbois – Director, Corida, France (Christine and the Queens, Justice – produced worldwide, Kraftwerk, Radiohead – promoted France)

Pascal Van De Velde – Founder & CEO, Greenhouse Talent, Belgium & Netherlands (Elton John, Katy Perry)

Peter Aiken – Managing Director, Aiken Promotions, Ireland (Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, Adele)

Philippe Cornu – Founder, wildpony, Switzerland (Muse, Rammstein)

Scumeck Sabottka – CEO, MCT-Agentur, Germany (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Lykke Li, Björk, Rammstein, Florence + the Machine)

Vincent Sager – Managing Director, Opus One, Switzerland (Arcade Fire, Iron Maiden)


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