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FanFair Alliance launches guide to tackle touting

How to stop ticket touts: new FanFair guidance provides easy-to-implement steps for artists and organisers to tackle “exploitative” secondary sites

By Anna Grace on 17 Sep 2019

FansFair Alliance launches guide to tackle touting

FanFair Alliance launched in July 2016

image © Kirsten Holt

FanFair Alliance, the music industry campaign established in 2016 to tackle “industrial-scale online ticket touting”, has today (Tuesday 17 September) published new guidance to help artists and managers to tackle secondary ticketing.

The guidance, which was developed alongside new model terms and conditions published by the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) and is backed by the UK’s Music Managers Forum (MMF), can be downloaded here.

The guide advocates that artists, event organisers and venues make two clear and upfront statements in their terms and conditions of sale – that tickets are for consumers only to purchase, and that audiences are permitted to resell tickets for the price they paid or less, and that a consumer-friendly resale or reallocation mechanism is provided.

The alliance hopes that the cost-free measures will empower artists and organisers to employ a wider range of acts to prevent exploitation of fans, while promoting fairer ticket resale practices.

The publication follows major developments in the fight against the UK’s secondary ticketing market, including the provision of detailed information about the tickets listed on secondary sites – in keeping with consumer protection law – an end to misleading marketing practices such as “drip pricing” and the suspension of infamous secondary site Viagogo from Google search advertising.

The introduction of “consumer friendly” resale services, including AXS Official Resale, Ticketmaster’s Ticket Exchange, See Ticket’s Fan-to-Fan and CTS Eventim’s FanSALE, has also given fans alternative resale options.

According to STAR chief executive Jonathan Brown, the use of such authorised resale systems “helps to combat unwanted excesses in the secondary ticket market.”

“As well as disrupting the practices of dedicated touts, our aim is that [artists] will help promote a fairer and more transparent ticketing market”

Despite developments, YouGov data, viewed by FanFair Alliance, suggests online ticket touting remains a concern for live music fans, with 79% of concertgoers surveyed in April 2019 stating that “too many tickets end up on reselling sites for inflated prices” and 67% affirming that artists “should do more” to prevent this practice.

A recent decision by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority to halt legal actions against Viagogo prompted further concerns from anti-tout groups and live industry professionals.

“The message from audiences remains pretty clear and consistent,” says FanFair campaign manager Adam Webb, who recently aired his thoughts on the continued need for action against Viagogo in IQ. “They’re still sick of exploitative online ticket touts, and they expect artists, event organisers and venues to do something about it.

“And here’s the good news: they can. The UK is now leading the way in the fightback against unscrupulous secondary ticketing practices. Artists have been empowered to take action.

“There’s a number of strategies they can pursue, but the no-cost recommendations in this guidance are open to all. As well as disrupting the practices of dedicated touts, our aim is that they will help promote a fairer and more transparent ticketing market.”

MMF chief executive Annabella Coldrick agrees, stating that “artists and their teams now have real power to take back control of their ticket prices by using simple T&Cs and offering consumer-friendly resale to fans,” urging “all managers to read this guide and use it.”

The full guide can be read online for free here.


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