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‘A momentous day’: TICKET Act passes in the US

Campaigners have welcomed a “huge step forward” for live event ticketing reform after the US House of Representatives voted to pass the TICKET Act, which aims to ensure transparent pricing for consumers.

The bill, which passed by 388 votes to 24, is the most comprehensive consumer protection ticketing legislation to receive a floor vote since the BOTS Act passed in 2016.

If enacted, it will enforce all-in pricing, ban speculative ticketing, ban deceptive websites and deceptive website marketing, provide fans with a full refund to cancelled events and require a report from the Federal Trade Commission on BOTS Act Enforcement.

“Today marks the furthest federal live event ticketing reform has gone in nearly a decade,” says a statement by the Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights Coalition, which was founded in February 2023 by leading consumer and fan advocacy organisations. “We applaud them for their leadership and their willingness to engage all stakeholders, especially consumer protection organisations, in seeking a truly comprehensive reform package which has consensus by virtually every stakeholder in the debate.”

Brian Hess, executive director of Sports Fans Coalition, hails the vote as “a momentous day for live event ticketing reform”.

“If enacted, this bill will guarantee fans all-in pricing, prohibitions on several deceptive sales tactics, and refund requirements for cancelled events”

“If enacted, this bill will guarantee fans all-in pricing, prohibitions on several deceptive sales tactics, and refund requirements for cancelled events,” he says. “We hope the Senate will pass this vital legislation and that President Biden will sign it shortly thereafter.”

Live Nation was among a number of companies in the US that pledged to adopt “all-in” ticket pricing last summer, and revealed ahead of the Senate hearing that its programme was responsible for an 8% increase in completed sales in its first six months.

“Showing the total cost to walk in the door upfront is better for fans and artists,” said CEO Michael Rapino. “We’re proud to have led the industry in adapting this common sense policy.”

Last year, 19 organisations from across the music industry came together to form the Fix the Tix coalition to “collectively advocate for a ticketing experience better than the nightmare many fans and artists currently navigate”. The coalition comprises firms such as Wasserman, See Tickets, Universal Music Group, Dice and the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO).

“We commend the House on passing the TICKET Act, an important step towards making comprehensive ticket legislation federal law,” says NITO MD Nathaniel Marro. “NITO now calls on the Senate to pass the Fans First Act, which includes a total ban on speculative tickets and requires itemized ticket fees at the beginning of purchase so that fans know the price they will pay and the price the artist intended. We will continue our work to move comprehensive ticket legislation forward.”


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