The Isle of Wight Festival director John Giddings has told Access that he can’t believe secondary ticketing is still allowed, as proposals to make secondary ticketing websites more transparent are rejected in Parliament.
A debate to make secondary ticketing websites more transparent, via amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill, were been rejected in Parliament.
Giddings, whose festival recently joined the AIF, told Access: “Why is secondary ticketing banned in football but not music? That really harms promoters of events when people are buying four tickets in order to fund two more. Government don’t seem to be interested to doing anything, as it obviously doesn’t benefit them.”
A full interview with Giddings will appear in February’s Access All Areas, in which he talks Pink Floyd, The Sex Pistols, the Save Soho cause and bagging Fleetwood Mac for the Isle of Wight Festival.
Proposals by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ticket Abuse included altering legislation to give consumers information on who they’re buying from, the face value of the ticket, the seat number and whether the ticket is being sold in contravention of its terms and conditions.
Tthe Government rejected the amendment by 289 votes to 204 with Ministers arguing that the amendments would “overburden fans with red tape”.
Websites such as Viagogo and Seatwave allow tickets for gigs, sporting events and theatre to go to touts, who then sell them on for inflated prices.
Ticketmaster – who run their own ticket resale platform, GetMeIn! – welcomed the news, saying the proposal was “misguided and unworkable”.
Christoph Homann, managing director, Ticketmaster Resale International said: “We are delighted that the Government has maintained its position to support the rights of consumers by voting against a misguided and unworkable proposal.
“We have consumer protection law, competition law and criminal law already safeguarding consumers in the UK and there is no evidence to support extra regulation for the secondary ticketing market would be effective. Resale is here to stay, as consumers want more choice and greater flexibility.
Elsewhere, an open letter to The Independent has been published by managers behind the Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Iron Maiden in favor of tighter controls on such sites. It reads:
“As representatives of the live event industry, responsible for putting on shows ranging from international sporting fixtures and world class theatre to intimate gigs, we are committed to ensuring that event-goers have the best experience possible at a fair price,” the open letter reads. “The way that the secondary ticketing market is allowed to operate at present can seriously undermine that effort.”
“Clause 33 of the Consumer Rights Bill would give consumers looking for tickets basic information which secondary platforms have been so keen to hide: who they’re buying from, the face value of the ticket, the seat number and, importantly, whether that ticket is being sold in contravention of its terms and conditions,” signees of the letter continued. “If the secondary platforms have nothing to fear from transparency, they have nothing to fear from these simple provisions. It’s high time the Government stopped sticking up for them, and decided to put fans first.”
“We are in favour of making information clearer on our website and have made a number of commitments in our recent discussions with the government,” the ticketing site wrote in a statement. (via Independent) “However, publishing the original seller’s identity is unnecessary because all tickets come with the Viagogo guarantee, while publishing specific seat numbers allows rights owners to cancel tickets which are being legitimately resold. Anyone can see that is not in the consumer’s best interests.”
“Our view is supported by independent research from ComRes, which shows that 76% of British consumers believe a ticket is their property to resell if they wish. 77% would prefer to use a guaranteed secondary platform, while over a third would be willing to pay more than face value for a ticket,” the company added.