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Open letter on secondary ticketing calling on the Government to back amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill

By | Published on Monday 12 January 2015

Houses Of Parliament

Here is the text of the open letter published in the Independent On Sunday yesterday calling on the Government to back amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill that would introduce new rules to govern secondary ticketing in the UK…

As representatives from 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 way that the secondary ticketing market is allowed to operate at present can seriously undermine that effort.

It’s almost three years since Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches: The Great Ticket Scandal’ exposed how secondary platforms court major ticket touts and take allocations directly from promoters to sell on above face value to unsuspecting consumers. And it’s almost two years since Operation Podium, the police unit set up to tackle Olympics-related crime, produced a report calling for legislation to tackle “unscrupulous practices, a lack of transparency and fraud” within the secondary market.

Tomorrow, the House of Commons has the chance to pass that legislation. Clause 33 of the Consumer Rights Bill would give consumers looking for tickets basic information which the 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.

Sadly, the Government tried to block this clause in the Lords, and want to strip it out of the bill in the Commons tomorrow. 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.

Adam Brown, Brownstock
Ali McLean, DHP Concerts / No Tomorrow Festival
Alison Wenham, Association of Independent Music
Andy Bell, Festibelly
Andy Smith, Kendal Calling
Angus Baskerville and Charlie Myatt, 13 Artists
Anthony Addis, Brontone Management
Barry Drinkwater, Global Merchandising Solutions
Brian Havill, England and Wales Cricket Board
Bullet For My Valentine
Cancer Bats
Caroline Maclennan, Hebridean Celtic Festival
Chris Tofu, London Remixed Festival
Christiaan Munro, Sandbag
Craig Jennings and Don Jenkins, Raw Power Management
Dave Newton, WeGotTickets
Emma Banks and Mike Greek, Creative Artists Agency
Emma Boggis, Sport and Recreation Alliance
Freddie Fellowes, The Secret Garden Party
Geoff Meall, The Agency Group
Harvey Goldsmith CBE
Hugh Phillimore, Cornbury Festival
Ian McAndrew, Wildlife Entertainment
Ian Ritchie, Rugby Football Union
James Scarlett, ArcTanGent
Jane Beese, Meltdown
Jeff Craft, X-Ray Touring
Jim Mawdsley, AIF
Jim Winship, The Event Services Association
Jo Dipple, UK Music
Joe Buirski, Fire in the Mountain
Joe Gibbs, Belladrum Tartan Heart
John Empson, Eden Sessions
John F. Smith, Musicians Union
John Jackson, K2 Agency
John Rostron, SWN Festival
Jon Webster, Music Managers Forum
Joshua Sanger, Barn On The Farm
Julia Calver, UK Centre for Events Management
Julian Bird, Society of London Theatre
Kate Hewett, Tramlines
Katherine Goodenough, Greenbelt Festival
Lee Denny, Leefest
Lisa Burger, National Theatre
Martin Laws, Pangaea
Michael Downey, Lawn Tennis Association
Nicholas Crow, Fling Festival
Nick Chambers, Beat-Herder Festival
Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Ed O’Brien (Radiohead), and Sandie Shaw, Co-Chairs, Featured Artists Coalition
Nick Tanner, Glastonbudget
Nick Thomas, HQ Theatres & Hospitality Ltd
Oliver Jones, Deer Shed Festival
Oscar Thornton, Farr Festival
Pablo Janczur, Brecon Jazz
Paul Betesh, Ticketline
Paul Bliss, Blissfields
Paul Boswell, Free Trade Agency
Paul Flower, Profound Media & Management
Paul Reed, Association of Independent Festivals
Paul Roberts, Phil McIntyre Entertainment
Peter Davies, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru
Peter Elliott, Primary Talent International Agency
Peter Nosworthy, Nozstock Festival
Rachel Tackley, UK Theatre Association
Ralph Broadbent, Truck
Ralph Broadbent, Y-Not Festival
Reece Miller, We Are FSTVL
Richard Griffiths, Modest Management
Rob Challice, Coda Agency and Larmer Tree Festival
Rob Da Bank, Bestival/Camp Bestival
Rod Smallwood, Phantom Music Management
Roger Tomlinson and Andrew Thomas, The Ticketing Institute
Roger Woodhall, Bournemouth 7s
Sam Eldridge, Urok Management
Sean McLoughlin, Village Green
Sidharth Sharma, Shambala
Simon Maltas, 2000 Trees
Simon Watson, Sidewinder Management
Sofia Hagberg, End of the Road Festival
Stuart Galbraith, Kilimanjaro Live and Sonisphere
While She Sleeps
Will Brown, In the Woods Festival