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Uefa files criminal complaints against Viagogo

The Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) has lodged criminal complaints against Viagogo for the illegal resale of Euro 2016 tickets.

European football’s governing body has complained to public prosecutors in several French cities, alleging that by taking a commission on touted tickets to the football tournament, currently taking place in France, the secondary ticketing site is breaking a law that says tickets can only be sold through Uefa itself.

It is also making a civil case to the High Court of Paris (Tribunal de grande instance de Paris, TGI).

SudOuest.fr’s Jean-Pierre Tamisier reports police raided the Le Provençal hotel on Saturday, seizing computers and envelopes full of tickets.

Uefa’s legal counsel, Gregory Lepesqueux, tells Tamisier that Viagogo had also neglected to provide seat information to buyers, putting “our entire policy of segregation, for reasons of safety, […] in jeopardy”.

IQ has contacted Viagogo for comment.

 


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San Bernardino votes to save Insomniac’s raves

The board of supervisors of San Bernardino County has rejected a proposal which would have seen electronic dance music (EDM) events banned from the San Manuel Amphitheater, the home of Insomniac Events’ Beyond Wonderland and Nocturnal Wonderland.

The motion was proposed by Janice Rutherford, a member of San Bernardino County’s board of supervisors (roughly equivalent to a county council), in the first week of May. The supervisor cited the “dozens, if not hundreds” of complaints she said she has received from residents since the two events moved to the 65,000-capacity amphitheatre in Devore, California, in 2013, when the county entered into a contract with Insomiac parent Live Nation.

But Rutherford’s proposal failed to gain majority support when it went to vote on Tuesday, reports the San Bernardino Sun, with councillor Curt Hagman opposing and James Ramos and Josie Gonzales absent.

Live Nation employs more than 1,200 people at each of its events at the amphitheatre, and San Bernardino collects $1.4m in rent from the promoter annually

Instead of voting to sever the county’s contract with Live Nation, the three members of the board present agreed instead to petition Live Nation to end the events at 23.00 instead of their usual finishing times of 3.00 the next morning.

Matt Prieshoff, chief operating officer for Live Nation in California, said at the meeting that the promoter employs more than 1,200 people at each of its events at the amphitheatre. The county collects US$1.4 million in rent from Live Nation annually, and has earnt over $500,000 over the last two years as a percentage of ticket sales.

Devore resident Karen Slobom, quoted by the Sun, said the vote demonstrated “how economics – money – supersedes the lives and well-being of the people”.

Nearly 250 people were arrested at this year’s Beyond Wonderland for various offences including trespassing, being drunk in public and drug-related crimes, chiefly possession of ecstasy/MDMA with intent to supply, and one person died of a drug overdose in 2015.

 


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Ticketbis hits back at ‘libellous’ Doctor Music

Ticketbis, one of the eight secondary ticket outlets that are the focus of an official complaint to Spanish regulatory authorities by Doctor Music, is suing the promoter for libel.

Jon Uriarte, CEO and cofounder of Ticketbis, says his company will “no longer stand idly before their statements about our business model [to which Doctor Music] ascribes criminal acts which in no way correspond to reality”.

“The smear campaign conducted by Doctor Music to discredit our business model mostly harms our customers, who have found in Ticketbis a legal and safe platform on which to buy and sell tickets,” he comments.

Sites like Ticketbis, says Uriarte, are the only “legal and safe alternative” to a transaction that would otherwise “take place in the street, without control and without paying taxes to the state”

Uriarte responds to Doctor Music’s claim that Ticketbis, along with fellow defendees Seatwave, Tengoentradas.com, Viagogo, Entradas 365, TicketNetwork, Ticket Liquidator and Worldticketshop, is ripping off music fans by pointing out that tickets to Bruce Springsteen’s Doctor Music-promoted concert in Barcelona tomorrow are available on Ticketbis for “between €16 and €39, well below face value” (the cheapest price as of today is actually a still-reasonable €39).

He also notes that promoters “do not usually admit the return of the entries, except for [in the event of] cancellation” and that sites like Ticketbis are the only “legal and safe alternative” to a transaction that would otherwise “take place in the street, without control and without paying taxes to the state”.

In March Doctor Music, whose conditions of sale prohibit the selling on of its tickets, said the “flood of resale tickets” available for its Springsteen and Adele gigs in Spain has “outraged fans, artists and music promoters” and threatened to take its case to the Spanish National Court.