UK Alliance Tackles Secondary Market

Some of the UK’s  best known managers, businesses, trade associations and industry professionals have united against online ticket touts.

The newly formed Fanfair Alliance aims to curb the black market for ticket resales, which it estimates to be worth £1 billion per year, based on resales of Viagogo, StubHub, GetMeIn and Seatwave. Because touts operate anonymously, and secondary sites breach the Consumer Rights Act and other UK consumer laws, the alliance urges government to actually enforce the laws already in place.

Step two is creating transparency, so fans know who they are buying from. Again, a law demanding sellers to reveal their identities is already in place and “standard practice on true online markets such as eBay and Amazon Marketplace,” the Fanfair announcement reads.

Two more measures include forcing secondary ticketing platforms to show “proper corporate responsibility” and making the “abuse of technology” – so-called bots – a criminal offense. It is stated that “touts frequently hack into primary ticketing systems to buy up inventory for resale,” thereby violating the Computer Misuse Act.

Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood manager Ian McAndrew said at a press conference in London that “by sharing knowledge, embracing progressive technology and enforcing consumer legislation, we can take significant strides in reducing a multimillion-pound touting industry that impacts on music fans and the wider music economy.”

In May, Prof. Michael Waterson published a report on secondary ticketing, which also largely came to the conclusion that respective regulations and provisions already existed in UK law, and that it was a matter of enforcing them.