Schueremans’ Law?

He’s spent so much time lobbying the Belgian government to do something about ticket resale that enterprise minister Vincent Van Quickenborne thinks the upcoming legislation should be known as “Herman Schueremans’ law.”

The Live Nation Belgium chief Schueremans, who has been a member of the country’s Flemish parliament since 2004, is reluctant to discuss exactly what the new regs will say, mindful that legislation is often compromised by its wording as much as its intent. Van Quickenborne is still working on the final draft.

“It’s one of those times in politics when you have to be very patient,” he told Pollstar, although he admitted to holding out some hope that legislation may be in place by the end of the summer.

His confidence that something will get done stems from the fact that – after a decade of lobbying – he’s now got the support of all the Belgian parliamentary parties.

“It’s sometimes been a bit like tilting at windmills but the windmills are not so big as in the U.K.,” he said, pointing out that Belgium’s problems with ticket touts have never been as bad as those in Britain.

Rather than totally outlaw the resale of festival and concert tickets, the Belgian law will likely limit the markup to 10 percent of face value.

The law also looks to be an official ratification of what the Belgian national press described as the “gentlemen’s agreement” that Live Nation struck with the national government in March 2006, days after Schueremans’ Rock Werchter won ILMC’s best festival award for the third time in four years.

The handshake agreement, which received so much Belgian media attention that Schueremans felt it may even have helped ram home the pitfalls of buying tickets on the secondary market, made it clear the government backed promoters that limited ticket sales to four per person and supported their right to invalidate any ticket that’s resold.

Getting the public support of the government was enough to land front-page coverage in major papers.

A year later, Schueremans scored another high-profile win against the touts when he forced them to hand out cash refunds.

Dutch Internet tout and others including made cash refunds to fans who bought tickets for Shakira at Antwerp Sportpaleis.

Working closely with Stefan Esselens of the locally based Tele Ticket Service, Schueremans’ LN colleague Yo Van Saet let the Dutch site know its customers wouldn’t get through the door unless they were the original purchaser.

Esselens sent a letter to the Dutch company’s team of ticket buyers, which he and Van Saet had tracked down by examining Internet sales reports, outlining the action that he and Live Nation were taking. agreed to Esselens’ proposal that its customers would be allowed into the Shakira show provided the Dutch tout paid back the difference between face value and the price it had sold the ticket for – less a minimal delivery charge.

By the time agreed, it was too late to refund the fans by post. The Dutch tout had to resort to hiring Antwerp lawyer Margareta Bresseleers from the CMS DeBacker partnership to sort out the refunds.

Bresseleers arranged for two local court bailiffs to go to the venue with bags of cash and make the refunds at the front of house as the customers came in.

The same rules regarding resold tickets will apply at Rock Werchter (July 2-5), which this year went on sale a month earlier and has already shifted all 69,000 of its four-day “combi tickets.” The single-day tickets have also gone, apart from a couple of thousand for the opening Thursday.

The bill includes Metallica, The Killers, Coldplay, Kings Of Leon, Oasis, Nine Inch Nails and Dave Matthews Band.