Fair Ticketing Alliance: UK Ticket Brokers Create Their Own Industry Body

A group of ticket brokers created the Fair Ticketing Alliance, which aims to lobby for changes in UK law that benefit “responsible, secondary operators.”

Fair Ticketing Alliance
– Fair Ticketing Alliance
The UK now has a body representing ticket resellers

The Fair Ticketing Alliance was created by four successful ticket brokers, led by chairman Stephen Lee, who’s behind Gigtix Ltd, a power seller on secondary sites. The board members are Ian Cole, Alastair Cunningham and Scot Tobias from the US, president of Worldwide Tickets Inc, which also trades in the UK.

They felt that responsible resellers lacked a voice in the live entertainment industry, and that someone needed to speak out for an industry that’s estimated to be worth $8 billion globally, or $1.4 billion in the UK.

The alliance states that the current market uncertainty threatened the future of the country’s ticket brokers, who are usually running small, often family-run, businesses, providing a valuable service to fans, according to the announcement.

“The ticketing market is currently failing to address the needs of live entertainment fans in the UK. A well-functioning secondary market should correct flaws in the primary market, but we are hamstrung by legal uncertainty that helps neither operators nor consumers,” said the association’s chairman Stephen Lee.

He added, “we believe responsible commercial operators should be free to resell tickets, like consumers, without unfair restrictions. In return, operators should be properly licensed and comply with the highest standards of ethics.”

The Fair Ticketing Alliance is campaigning for “greater legal and regulatory clarity about existing UK laws on secondary ticketing.” It wants “government and regulatory bodies to ensure that secondary website platforms allow brokers to comply fully with the law,” and campaigns to achieve “changes in UK laws to give responsible, secondary operators the right to resell tickets whilst protecting consumer interests.”

The association praises the UK government for its reforms intended to protect consumers, but thinks more needs to be doe to create a viable, fully licensed secondary market, in which “operators who meet the highest standards” are allowed to do business. This wouldn’t just protect customers, but also protect jobs and tax revenues for the state.

“For too long, the secondary ticketing industry has been in the shadows, suffering from a poor reputation, afraid to defend itself. We aim to change that. We’re all extremely passionate and have a deep knowledge of the entertainment areas in which we specialize, which enables us to provide a valuable and necessary service to other live entertainment fans. We just want to do the right thing within the law.”

The launch comes days after the UK government put new rules on secondary ticketing into consumer law. The Fair Ticketing Alliance, which is not to be mistaken for the FanFair Alliance, which has been on the forefront of campaigning against secondary ticketing.

Pollstar reached out to Adam Webb, campaign manager of the FanFair Alliance, who said: “We know very little about this new organisation – other than Chairman, Stephen Lee, and his company GigTix appears to operate across both Ticketmaster’s Get Me In and StubHub. We look forward to finding out who the other members are, how they accumulate tickets, how their activities are apparently protecting consumer interests, and just what they perceive as ‘unfair restrictions’. Unfair to whom?”