CULTURAL INDUSTRIES UNITE TO TACKLE TICKETING TOUTING VIA NEW EU INITIATIVE
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The Face-Value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) has published its recommendations for the future of online ticket resale, calling for new rules that shield fans against harmful secondary ticketing practices and reduce illegal ticket resale across the EU.
The proposals are backed by the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), Pearle* — Live Performance Europe, the European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA), Spain's Association of Music Promoters (APM), German event promoters’ association BDKV, campaigning group Victim of Viagogo and the global Association for Electronic Music. They are also broadly supported by Professor Michael Waterson, economics professor at Warwick University, who led a watershed independent review into secondary ticketing on behalf of the UK government in 2016.
The joint action, which follows over 50 court cases and initiatives to curb the problem across just 11 EU member states surveyed, comes in response to the launch of the Digital Services Act (DSA). This was announced by the European Commission in February to offer greater protection and create a level playing field for consumers buying online, with the European Parliament approving initial proposals late on Tuesday.
Ticket resale has long been plagued by secondary platforms taking advantage of the lack of regulation for commercial gain, resulting in a market valued at €12.1bn in 2019 (Technavio) — eclipsing the entire €10.4bn global audio and visual music streaming market (IFPI). With many fans and of course the live industry experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, it has become more important than ever to regulate the dysfunctional secondary ticketing market so that as shows resume at reduced capacity, fans are able to secure tickets at a fair price.
2019 saw the passing of the first ever EU anti-touting legislation, banning the use of bots to bulk-buy tickets and forcing traders to declare if they are professionals; a landmark ruling that opened the door to further reform. The Digital Services Act presents an opportunity for EU-wide progress against touts, with better regulation restoring ticket buyers’ eroded trust.
Austrian MEP Hannes Heide, who sits on the European Parliament’s Culture Committee, strongly supported the proposals: “Ticket resale platforms like Viagogo list and advertise mostly overpriced tickets for sporting or cultural events, usually being sold by commercial traders rather than consumers. They enable the sale of speculative tickets, which the seller does not even own, and sales that contravene the lawful terms and conditions of the ticket. This harms consumers, artists, event organisers and honest ticket sellers.
"In several countries, such as Austria, Viagogo has been legally obliged to disclose the identity of the ticket sellers, which enables defrauded consumers to take action against the seller. In addition, the platform must inform buyers of the ticket’s original face-value price and whether the tickets are personalised.
"While this is a partial victory, it is not enough. The platforms must comply with all requirements of EU law and the authorities of the Member States must work together to ensure compliance”
FEAT Campaign Lead Katie O’Leary said: “So much has changed since the E-Commerce Directive came into effect in 2000, and European consumers are long overdue secondary ticketing marketplaces they can rely on. That can only happen through better regulation, enforcement and a public performance rating which will put the onus on marketplaces to make sure the tickets that they’re promoting — and profiting from — are accurately depicted, real, and guaranteed to gain fans entry into the event. We welcome the result of this week’s plenary vote, which is a step in the right direction”
Morten Gjelten, President of Pearle* — Live Performance Europe added: “The number of court cases within the EU dealing with illicit trade on online secondary ticketing platforms speaks for itself – we urgently need European wide legislation and enforcement when it comes to the reselling of cultural tickets much higher than face-value. Let's make an end to these unfair and detrimental practices which harm artists, live performance organisations and not least consumers.”
Per Kviman, Chair of EMMA commented: "The growth in ticket resale across Europe through sites like Viagogo and StubHub has undermined the ability of artists to sell their tickets to fans at a fair price they determine. Instead brokers/touts buy up large volumes of tickets to the most popular shows, falsely inflating prices and limiting access for consumers. EU action is necessary through the digital services act to put the control of tickets back into the hands of those putting on the shows and creating powers to take down illegally listed tickets. As European managers we back FEAT’s campaign”
Established in January 2019, the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing is a non-profit company formed to promote face value resale and better resale practices across Europe.
FEAT’s members are leading live event professionals from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, as well as EEA member Norway and Switzerland. They represent:
Music artists including Adele, Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Björk, Iron Maiden, Florence + the Machine, Rolling Stones, Radiohead and Rammstein
Supporting organisations include European live performance federation Pearle, European Music Managers Alliance and campaign group Victim of Viagogo.
In April 2019, FEAT successfully lobbied for the adoption of the first secondary ticketing law banning bots, which came into effect in December 2019 as part of the Directive on better enforcement and modernisation of consumer protection rules, and has taken an active role in European discourse on ticketing.
Alongside our continued lobbying, we are currently carrying out an industry consultation on ticket resale issues, with a view to building a consensus for workable solutions, and will soon be launching a Europe-wide consumer survey, which will explore the current issues faced by ticket purchasers.
For more information, visit FEAT’s website http://
Source Name PR
October 22, 2020 5:32am ET by Name PR