More than 140 representatives from across Europe’s live performance sector have signed an open letter calling for the European Union to introduce tougher laws to combat secondary ticketing.
The letter comes as the European Union reaches the final stages in negotiating rules for a Digital Services Act, a regulation designed to clean up the internet, including tackling abuses on online marketplaces such as ticket resale platforms.
The growing list of signatories includes managers, agents and promoters for Ed Sheeran (Stuart Camp), Rammstein, Christine And The Queens, Noel Gallagher (Ignition’s Alec McKinlay), Jean-Michel Jarre, Alejandro Sanz, Maneskin and Sigur Rós; plus festivals, venues, industry groups and performers. Each signatory either works in the EU live performance sector or represents performers who regularly tour Europe.
The letter, which has been circulated among policy-makers, asks that marketplaces of all sizes be required to collect and maintain up-to-date information on sellers. It also asks for marketplaces to verify the seller information obtained, and be required to carry out periodic spot-checks on products, to help detect fraudulent tickets.
Professional scalpers have been able operate anonymously while reselling tickets for a significant profit, contrary to consumer protection and competition laws in many member states. As a result, over 50 legal cases and initiatives have occurred in recent years.
Scumeck Sabottka, founding partner of FEAT and MCT Agentur CEO, promoter and agent working with acts including Rammstein and Robbie Williams, said: “I, like others who have signed this letter, am sick and tired of parasitic secondary ticketing sites ripping off fans and live events businesses. We need tougher rules to help us fight back and I hope that a stronger framework can be established to achieve this”.
The letter was penned by the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), in association with FanFair Alliance, International Federation of Musicians and Pearle - Live Performance Europe, as well as promoters’ associations Bundesverband der Konzert und Veranstaltungswirtschaft (BDKV) and Association of Musical Promoters (APM).
Live performance professionals can sign the letter here.