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NATB calls for ticketing transparency

While much of the conversation around secondary ticketing is dominated by anti-touting associations such as FanFair in the UK and the SMPA in Switzerland, not everyone wants to see more restrictions on the resale market.

In fact, Protect Ticket Rights, a new campaign launched this morning by the US National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB), is arguing for just the opposite: An “open and competitive [resale] market” in which “ticket owners and resellers have the right to purchase, sell, and transfer their tickets […] free of unfair restrictions”.

However, while Protect Ticket Rights is dedicated to ensuring a free market for resellers – the polar opposite to those who would see touting criminalised, such as Mumford & Sons manager Adam Tudhope – including calling for the abolition on non-transferrable tickets, it is also taking aim at ticket bots, fraudulent resellers, booking fees, under-supply and ticket holds by venues and promoters, all of which it says contribute to a lack of “transparency throughout the ticketing ecosystem”.

“We believe the best interest of fans, and their access to an open resale market where they can buy and sell freely, should absolutely come first,” says NATB executive director Gary Adler. “Unfortunately because of what’s going on with some teams, ticket issuers, venues and others, that’s not always the case.”

“In my nearly 25 years in this industry, I have never seen so many veiled efforts at play to punish ticketholders for reselling their tickets”

In a launch statement, Adler gives the example of the used-car market as an ideal model for secondary ticketing:

“Picture this: you buy a car from the dealership after finding the make and model you want, at a price you are willing to pay. Then, after you’ve already driven home, the dealer calls you and says: ‘By the way, if you ever want to resell your car, you can only do it through my dealership… and don’t even think about pricing it to sell, because we have minimum resale prices.’ Would you lose out on an opportunity to sell it where you want at a price you choose? Would this impact the value of your car? Would it make it more difficult to sell?

“This overbearing, intrusive and controlling practice is happening today in the world of tickets to live events. In my nearly 25 years in this industry, I have never seen so many veiled efforts at play to punish ticketholders for reselling their tickets – and not because reselling is bad in any way, but instead as a way for big powerful players to commandeer the resale market. Rest assured, anyone who tells you it’s about lowering the cost of tickets for consumers is selling you snake oil. It’s why we are organising Protect Ticket Rights.”

Protect Ticket Rights is calling for anyone who has been “impacted by restrictive practices, such as your tickets being cancelled”, to share their experiences on the campaign website.


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