Artists including Ed Sheeran, Amy Macdonald, Ed O’Brien (Radiohead), Imogen Heap, Mumford & Sons, Royal Blood, Mark Knopfler, Wolf Alice and You Me At Six back FanFair Alliance’s new online guide to help music fans beat ticket touts
- The guide offers 10 tips to demystify the ticket buying process and help fans avoid ticket touts and profiteering secondary ticketing sites
- The document can be downloaded for free here
- Publication comes against growing evidence of consumer confusion when buying tickets and bad practice in the secondary ticketing market
- The Culture Media & Sport Select Committee to host an evidence session on ticket abuse on Tuesday March 21st
MONDAY MARCH 20th 2017:
FanFair Alliance, the campaign against industrial-scale online ticket touting, has today published an online guide offering audiences Ten Tips for beating the touts when buying tickets online.
The guide can be downloaded for free here and will be championed in coming weeks by videos from artists including Amy Macdonald, Imogen Heap, Mumford & Sons, Wolf Alice and You Me At Six – promoting its key messages over social media.
Major UK ticket agents and other FanFair Alliance supporters will also support its roll out.
FanFar Alliance’s Adam Webb said:
“The guide is a response to the dark arts employed by the resale platforms Get Me In!, Seatwave, StubHub and Viagogo. These businesses not only fuel industrial-scale levels of ticket touting, they also use a range of manipulative marketing techniques that sow confusion when tickets go onsale and direct fans away from legitimate and authorised sellers.
“In response, FanFair has consulted widely to come up with ten simple tips that aim to empower audiences and help them better navigate the ticket buying process. We want to help fans identify legitimate and authorised ticket agents, and to promote the concept of ethical resale – where ticket purchasers who can genuinely no longer attend a show have a safe and secure mechanism to sell their ticket on at face value. The vast majority of artists and music businesses are with us on this issue.”
Endorsing the guide and support for FanFair Alliance’s campaign, the following artists have commented:
“It’s important to get educated about ticket touts. Read the advice in the FanFair Alliance guide – find out who the authorised ticket sellers are, avoid the secondary sites…and if you’ve got to sell a ticket, sell if for face value.”
“We want our fans to have a fair opportunity to buy tickets at face value. We applaud the work of The Fan Fair Alliance in their efforts to bring greater transparency to the murky world of ticket touting”
Ed O’Brien (Radiohead):
“The sheer scale of online ticket touting is a major problem for the live music business: artists know it and audiences at the sharp end certainly do. I fully support the FanFair Alliance campaign to raise awareness around so-called secondary ticketing and to help stop people getting ripped off.”
Mumford & Sons:
“Read these ten simple tips and always go to the artist’s website if you want to know the best place to buy your tickets in the future”
“Ticket touting is something I feel very strongly about, and I think it’s really important that people are made aware that some ticket resale services that seem legitimate are actually taking advantage of fans. I’ve implemented ticket naming on my UK tour dates in an attempt to make sure the tickets go to real fans and not touting services, and would urge anyone who finds themselves being unable to make it to a show to resell their tickets at face value to other fans, using a service like Twickets.”
Josh Franceschi (You Me At Six):
“For us it’s about transparency and respect between the artist and their fans. With the secondary market in place, there becomes an element of distortion and mistrust which doesn’t sit well with us. I was determined to be part of positive change and to be look out for the fans of live music who have given us everything we have today.”
“The FanFair Alliance Guide offers common sense advice to ticket buyers and the more widely it is adopted, the better it will be for fans and performers. Nobody wants the front ten rows of their event to be full of super rich consumers who may or may not actually be into the music as opposed to just attending the event.”
Nigel Adams MP and Sharon Hodgson MP, who have campaigned so strongly on the issue of ticket abuse, have also added their support.
Nigel Adams, MP for Selby & Ainsty and Chair of the APPG on Music:
“I’m really pleased the FanFair Alliance has published this guide for buying tickets. Touts work hard to make their offerings appear legitimate when often they are invalid, ludicrously overpriced, or both, and it’s shameful how they prey on fans who are so eager for tickets to see their favourite artists. While we’re working hard to see what else we can do in Parliament to help make secondary ticketing work better for fans, it’s so important to keep sound advice like this guide in mind, and be vigilant for red flags, before parting with money. As FanFair says – patience can really pay off.”
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and Labour Co-Chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse:
“It is fantastic that FanFair Alliance have published their guide, backed by numerous artists and promoters including Mumford & Sons, You Me At Six and Amy Macdonald, to ensure that all fans are put first and equipped with the tools to navigate this parasitical and broken market. This guide will be an ideal companion for all fans to use and complements the work going on within the live entertainment industry and in Parliament to clean up this murky market.”
FanFair Alliance is supported by a broad coalition of the music business, with more than 100 music managers, live agents, concert promoters, ticket agents and trade bodies signing our Declaration Against Online Ticket Touts.
Launched in July 2016, the campaign has been instrumental in galvanising voices against abuses in the ticket resale market, and raising these issues with politicians and media.
FanFair has consistently called for existing consumer law to be enforced and, where appropriate, expanded – and for greater transparency in secondary ticketing. The system of resale promoted by Get Me In!, Seatwave, StubHub and Viagogo has resulted in one of the few online marketplaces where buyers are not provided with information about the identify of sellers.
There is clear and growing evidence that such practices have led to wide-scale market abuse. FanFair has received numerous complaints from consumers about their experiences in the secondary ticketing market. Elsewhere, the recently-launched Victim of Viagogo #VofV Facebook Group has highlighted the perils of buying tickets from unauthorised secondary sites with its #fairgogo campaign.
Established in February 2017 by Claire Turnham, the group has recovered more than £41,000 for fans who fell victim to a “glitch” when buying tickets from Viagogo. Since then, Claire has been contacted by hundreds of individuals worldwide who believe they were misled by Viagogo’s marketing and are still waiting for refunds.
Given the deluge of complaints, Claire has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help support this work, and will give evidence on Tuesday March 21st at a Culture, Media & Sport Committee session on ticket abuse. Music executives appearing at this session include Stuart Camp (Rocket Music, manager of Ed Sheeran) and Stuart Galbraith (CEO Kilimanjaro Live).
Speaking of her experiences, Claire said:
“It is vital that consumers have greater information about ticket buying. Our #VofV group has rapidly grown from my own distressing experience of being “ripped off” into a caring, empowering and encouraging global community. The huge unexpected costs and ongoing difficulties in contacting Viagogo is causing serious financial hardship as well as emotional and health issues for countless ordinary people around the world. We collectively urge Viagogo to respond fairly to our concerns and move towards clearer, more consistent and transparent ticketing practices that offer a #fairgogo for everyone.”
FanFair has welcomed recent announcements by the Competition & Markets Authority and by Government to further investigate the ticket resale market and to crack down on large-scale ticket touts.
The campaign is also supporting amendments tabled in the Digital Economy Bill (House of Lords Report Stage, March 22nd) that would obligate secondary ticketing sites to provide greater information – including the original booking reference – when a ticket is listed for resale.
As well as ensuring standing tickets are better protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, such a move would help prevent ‘speculative’ listings and offer buyers greater assurance that the ticket they are purchasing is legitimate.
The guide has also received support from a large number of primary ticket agents:
Ben Sebborn, Ownder, Skiddle:
“We’re delighted to be included within the Fan Fair Alliance’s guide to buying tickets, particularly as it’s a push to increase consumer awareness about the different types of ticketing. We’ve been committed to fairness for music fans for over a decade, and it’s great to see like-minded organisations such as the FFA doing more to change the industry. Sadly there are still customers who remain unaware of the difference between primary and secondary sources of tickets, and this report will be an invaluable resource to empower fans to make the right choices.”
Dale Ballentine, Director of Development, Eventim UK:
“Eventim UK are committed to ensuring tickets get into the hands of real fans at a fair price. We fully support the FanFair Alliance and are working closely with them to help educate and protect genuine fans.”
Malcolm Dunbar, Co-Founder and President PledgeMusic UK & Europe
“We enthusiastically support FanFair’s ticketing initiative to ensure that fans are supplied with the best possible information from official sources and in the most efficient way. Working direct with fans, keeping them informed is very much in the DNA of PledgeMusic, the concert experiences and tickets that we offer are totally built on this.”
Mark Meharry, Founder, Music Glue:
“Secondary ticketing is syphoning £billions out of the global music economy, away from the grass roots artist community whilst lining the pockets of opportunists. Without knowing it, fans are being ripped off and are unwittingly contributing to the problem. At Music Glue we proudly stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with other members of the Fanfair Alliance and will not stop until this plague is completely eradicated.”
Matt Jones, CEO of Songkick:
“The journey to the live experience should be seamless, and as a primary ticketing partner it’s our responsibility to act in the best interest of artists and fans globally. We will continue to do our part in supporting the Fanfair Alliance to educate fans, and provide new and innovative technologies that make the live music experience better.”
Phil Hutcheon, founder, DICE:
“There’s no question that the current state of secondary ticketing restricts fans, particularly young fans, from seeing artists that inspire them because they’re being priced out of shows by speculators. FanFair’s campaign is about asking the right questions around transparency and this is a clear (and much needed) guide for fans to change things directly.”
Reshad Hossenally, Director at Ticket Arena & Event Genius:
“Easy access to clear and reliable consumer information is key for the industry. With operators offering so many different ways to buy tickets, groups like FanFair can help educate customers on what way to buy is right for them.”
Richard Davies, Founder, Twickets:
“It’s great that FanFair have put together such an easy-to-follow guide to buying tickets. The ticketing landscape can be complex and often misleading, especially when you have so many platforms selling tickets at wildly conflicting prices. We urge people to stay away from the rip off secondaries.”
Rob Wilmshurst, CEO at See Tickets:
“As a business that never has and never will be affiliated to the secondary market, we fully support the FanFair Alliance’s ongoing action to help stamp out touting. We do all we can to help ensure that it’s real fans getting access to tickets and will continue to fight that battle. Any work being done to help ticket purchasers know how and where to buy safely and legitimately is backed by us.”
Simon Carpenter, Business Development Manager, Gigantic:
“We are delighted to be involved with the FanFair Alliance as they are doing an incredible job in highlighting vital consumer information around ticketing. As a primary ticket seller committed to fair and ethical trading, we welcome all efforts to shine a light on the more dubious practices of some secondary websites to allow consumers to make informed choices.”
Stuart Cain, Managing Director of The Ticket Factory:
“This is a great initiative. Anything that stops fans being conned is a step in the right direction. Add this to the government’s news on banning bots over the weekend and it finally feels like the industry is fighting back against touts and secondary sites.”
Tina Edwards, Ticketing Operations Manager, alt.tickets:
“It’s great to see a guide for fans which is honest and clear. Hopefully this will help fans make a more informed decision when buying tickets.”