On Tuesday 15 November 2016, at 10.30 am, the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee will hold a one-off evidence session on ticket touts and the problem of using software to harvest tickets from primary sellers’ online sites and selling them on at inflated prices to the detriment of fans, artists and organisers of entertainment and sporting events via the secondary market. Nigel Adams MP proposed that the Committee look at this issue. Sharon Hodgson MP, the Chair of the APPG on Secondary Ticketing, wrote in support of the proposed inquiry as well.
During the public bill committee stage of the Digital Economy Bill, Nigel tabled an amendment with the intention of making it an offence to use ‘digital purchasing software’ to purchase an excessive number of tickets. The amendment was withdrawn at that stage, after the Government promised to get all the relevant parties around the table and make progress on the issue – but this might take the form of a future amendment as the Bill continues its progress through parliament.
Given the topicality of this issue, the Committee’s evidence session will consider the problems caused by digital ticket purchasing software, also known as bots, and the reselling of tickets to major events harvested by touts, with a range of relevant interested parties.
Witnesses will be as follows:
• Josh Franceschi, You Me At Six
• Ian McAndrew, Wildlife Entertainment
• Annabella Coldrick, Music Managers Forum
• Chris Edmonds, Chairman, Ticketmaster UK
• Alasdair McGowan, Head of Public Affairs/Government Relations, eBay
• Paul Peak, Head of Legal (Europe) StubHub
• Jonathan Brown, Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers
• Professor Michael Waterson, author of the Independent Review of Consumer Protection Measures concerning Online Secondary Ticketing Facilities
• Reg Walker, Iridium Consultancy
The meeting will take place in the House of Commons and will be available online at www.parliamentlive.tv, where you can either watch it live or on catch-up, if you are interested.