FEAT: Face-value European Alliance For Ticketing Launched At Eurosonic Noorderslag
Some of Europe’s leading live entertainment professionals came together establish FEAT, the Face-value European Alliance For Ticketing, which officially launched at Eurosonic Noorderslag, Jan. 17.
The goal is to encourage better ticket resale practices via a continent-wide approach. FEAT will focus on encouraging better legislation at national and EU level, connecting live industry professionals, and on collecting data and research.
The alliance announced that, “working under the radar, FEAT is already actively involved in EU parliamentary discussions on secondary ticketing. FEAT has also been facilitating the formation of a legal group to coordinate activities on ticketing regulation and with search engines.”
UK music business specialist Sam Shemtob will run the new alliance, alongside his colleagues Katie O’Leary and Dominic Athanassiou.
The list of founding members includes Ben Giezenaar (co-founder, Greenhouse Talent, Netherlands), Christof Huber (MD Incognito, Switzerland), Folkert Koopmans (CEO FKP Scorpio, Germany), Kim Worsøe (Director ICO, Denmark), Neo Sala (founder & CEO Doctor Music, Spain), Olivier Darbois (director Corida, France), Pascal Van De Velde (founder & CEO, Greenhouse Talent, Belgium & Netherlands), Peter Aiken (MD Aiken Promotions, Ireland), Philippe Cornu (founder wildpony, Switzerland), Scumeck Sabottka (CEO MCT-Agentur, Germany) and Vincent Sager (MD Opus One, Switzerland).
The UK’s FanFair Alliance and the European Music Managers Alliance are among the supporters of FEAT.
Scumeck Sabottka, who will serve as one of the directors of FEAT, said: We need to get this right as otherwise fans and artists alike will be robbed by thieves; if we all pull this together and get EU legislation to follow our lead, we can ultimately make it work.”
Another FEAT director, Neo Sala, added: “Governments need to understand speculative ticket resale is an abusive and unethical practice that harms people, and they need to approve laws that make it virtually impossible. We need legal tools that facilitate the immediate preventive close down of websites that put tickets on sale without having been authorised by the organiser of the event.”
Said Shemtob: “The growth and effectiveness of grassroots movements against industrial ticket touting in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland in recent years has been invigorating. The time has come for these these movements to connect, collaborate and speak as one at a European level, where we know MEPs are listening.”
Sharon Hodgson, UK MP and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ticket Abuse, and a FEAT supporter, said: “As Chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse, I have worked on this issue in the UK for almost a decade. In 2011, I proposed a Bill which would cap ticket resale at 10 percent above their face value.
“Unfortunately, this Bill did not pass into UK Legislation. Since then, I have been working with my cross-party colleagues, and the sector, in order to tackle unscrupulous ticket touts in the UK, who re-sell tickets for profit. It is time for legislation that puts fans first, and I am working closely with the UK Minister to try and find a solution to this. I am pleased to support the efforts of FEAT in dealing with this across Europe.”
FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb said: “The FanFair campaign has shown that legislation and regulation can have a disruptive impact on exploitative secondary ticketing and help foster a more consumer-friendly approach to ticket resale. There is still work to do in the UK and challenges ahead, but because of collective action the situation has improved markedly since 2016. Our focus will remain on these shores, but we are happy to share our experiences and support the activities of FEAT in building wider European networks and improving EU legislation.”
Claire Turnham MBE, a victim of viagogo: “We are delighted to welcome FEAT and support your commitment to improve the safety of ticket buyers across Europe. Having worked closely with the FanFair Alliance in the UK over the last two years, I have seen how effective a coordinated, collaborative, industry-wide campaign can be when it puts the fans at the centre of the issue.”
Per Kviman of the European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA): “In the last decade we’ve seen the live industry flourish, with revenues from concerts and festivals becoming the primary source of income for artists and musicians. But this has come at a price, and, spurred on by the rise of the internet, the secondary ticketing market has thrived, draining money away from fans, artists and the industry. It is great that FEAT has formed to enable us to work together on a European level to share experiences and knowledge and help better the market.”