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Representatives say the legislation will bring "needed transparency and regulation to the badly corrupted live events ticket marketplace"
By James Hanley on 26 May 2023
Yet another proposal for ticketing reform in the US has been put forward, with two congressmen introducing their updated ‘BOSS and SWIFT Act’.
Named after Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift amid a string of ticketing controversies of 2022 – most notably Swift’s Eras Tour onsale, which prompted a Senate antitrust hearing, New Jersey representatives Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone say the legislation will provide “needed transparency and regulation to the badly corrupted live events ticket marketplace”.
The Act bids to tackle issues including hidden fees, on-sale transparency, buyer protections, speculative ticket sales and “deceptive white label websites”. The congressmen first submitted the legislation back in 2009 after Springsteen fans complained of being surreptitiously directed to secondary ticketing sites that were selling tour tickets at inflated prices.
“For too long, millions of American fans have been unable to get a fair shake for their tickets and cry out for relief,” says Pascrell. “The recent experience of Taylor Swift fans being locked out of her tour is not new… For decades, the ticket market has been the Wild West: mammoth, opaque, speculative, and brutally unfair. A fan shouldn’t have to sell a kidney or mortgage a house to see their favourite performer or team.
“At long last, it is time to create rules for fair ticketing in this country and my legislation will do exactly that for all the fans.”
Pallone says the BOSS and SWIFT Act will help protect consumers when they buy tickets from both primary and secondary ticketing platforms. A full section-by-section breakdown of the Act is available here.
“It’s past time to update the ticket marketplace to ensure it’s fair, transparent, and working for ticket buyers”
“Consumers deserve to enjoy their favourite artists and live entertainment without breaking the bank,” he says. “It’s past time to update the ticket marketplace to ensure it’s fair, transparent, and working for ticket buyers.”
US president Joe Biden demanded a crackdown on “excessive ticket fees” earlier this year, and the last few months have seen a flood of politicians putting forward proposed new ticketing laws in America.
Senators Richard Blumenthal and Sheldon Whitehouse tabled the “Junk Fee Prevention Act, while California Senator Scott Wilk recently called for a new law banning exclusive ticketing contracts between primary ticket sellers and venues in the Golden State.
Last week, two Massachusetts lawmakers put forward new ticketing legislation dubbed the “Taylor Swift Bill”, requiring platforms to disclose the full price of tickets upfront, while Live Nation recently launched the Fair Ticketing Act with the support of organisations such as CAA, UTA, Wasserman Music and WME,
In addition, 19 companies and associations operating in North America formed the Fix the Tix coalition at the start of this month.
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