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UK gov urged to outlaw resale of tickets for profit

WME, CAA, ATC, 13 Artists, Kilimanjaro, FKP Scorpio, One Fiinix and more are supporting the FanFair Alliance-led campaign

By Lisa Henderson on 12 Sep 2023

Monday's meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse

Monday's meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse

Some of the UK’s leading music companies have joined a fresh campaign against industrial-scale online ticket touting.

Led by FanFair Alliance, the campaign is urging MPs to introduce new legislation to “protect British consumers from unscrupulous and exploitative traders who operate on controversial websites such as Viagogo and StubHub”.

WME, CAA, ATC, 13 Artists, Kilimanjaro, FKP Scorpio and One Fiinix are among the parties to back FanFair Alliance’s three pro-consumer measures regarding legislative action, tech action and industry action.

The first proposed measure is new laws making it illegal to resell a ticket for profit, bringing the UK into line with countries such as Ireland, France, Australia and Italy, which have introduced legislation to ban or restrict resale for more than face value.

The second calls for platforms like Google and YouTube to stop promoting touts, and help direct consumers towards legitimate sources of tickets. And the final point rallies the live music business to make capped consumer-friendly ticket resale visible and viable.

“We’ve seen many other countries adopt strict anti-touting legislation. It is high time that the UK caught up”

The fresh campaign comes a few months after the Department of Business & Trade rejected a series of recommendations aimed at strengthening existing laws around ticket resale in order to protect consumers, published by the Competition & Markets Authority.

But on Monday (11 September), at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse in the House of Commons, the music industry seized on the opportunity presented by the next election to call for a “reset” in how politicians, regulators and the music business look to tackle ongoing problems in this market.

“Over the course of the next year there will be a general election in the UK, the outcome of which will define the music industry for the rest of the decade,” said Tom Kiehl, the interim chief executive of UK Music, an industry body.

“It is vital as we approach this pivotal moment that policymakers secure a fair deal for music lovers by ending rip-off secondary ticketing practices.”

Adam Webb, campaign manager, FanFair Alliance adds: “When the FanFair campaign was established in 2016, online ticket touting in the UK was out of control. There was little enforcement of consumer law, and fans were systematically misled and ripped off by the dominant secondary ticketing platforms. Despite substantial progress to improve this situation it is now clear we need a reset. We need fresh legislation and fresh thinking – ending once and for all the parasitical practices of online ticket touts, while doing more to proactively promote capped consumer-friendly ticket resale. The UK is rightly proud of its live music culture, and this is an area we should and could be leading the world.”

Sharon Hodgson MP, chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, comments: “Since I introduced a Private Members Bill in 2010 that attempted to outlaw the resale of tickets for profit, we’ve seen many other countries adopt strict anti-touting legislation. It is high time that the UK caught up. Every week we continue to see thousands of ticket buyers fall foul of predatory and unlawful practices in the secondary market. I wholeheartedly support FanFair Alliance’s three common sense goals which would provide audiences with far greater protections, while helping to boost one of our country’s most important cultural industries.”

Companies and individuals backing FanFair Alliance’s three pro-consumer measures include:
13 Artists
John Rostron, Association of Independent Festivals
Alex Bruford, ATC Live
Brian Message, ATC Management
CAA Music
Paul Crockford, Crockford Management
Stephen Taverner, East City Management
Adam Tudhope, Everybody’s Management
David Martin, CEO, Featured Artists Coalition
Daniel Ealam, FKP Scorpio
Stuart Camp, Grumpy Old Management
Harvey Goldsmith
Alec Mckinlay & Marcus Russell, Ignition Management
Sybil Bell, Independent Venue Week
Richard Jones, Key Music Management
Stuart Galbraith, Kilimanjaro Live
Harry Magee, Modest! Management
Mark Bent & Natasha Gregory, Mother Artists
Annabella Coldrick, Chief Executive, Music Managers Forum
Music Venue Trust
Paul Craig, Nostromo Management
Jon Ollier, One Fiinix
Phantom Music Management
Angus Baskerville & Hayley Morrison, Pure Represents
Tom Kiehl, Interim CEO, UK Music
Gareth Griffiths, Director Partnerships and Sponsorship at Virgin Media O2
Ian McAndrew, Wildlife Entertainment


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