In recent years there has been increasing focus on the secondary ticket market for sporting and music events. The market has grown substantially over the last few years, but the Government is now looking at regulations to control and regulate the market.
Whilst still allowing ordinary consumers to sell unwanted tickets,a key aim of the regulations is to stop the speculative listing and selling of tickets which have yet to be purchased. However, this still leaves a market where people will seek to purchase and seller popular tickets at a significant mark up, so long as they can give the prescribed information about the ticket. Instead the promoters and organisers will have to continue to rely on the terms and conditions that apply to each of their tickets.
The English Rugby Football Union has often taken a lead in trying to deal with people reselling tickets at a profit. In the past they have taken court action requesting that Viagogo disclose information about the resellers and more recently very publicly refused entry to some customers who were using tickets provided by an unauthorised hospitality provider at the Rugby World Cup.
The difficulty with these actions is that they target and penalise the end user, fan or supporter who may have done little wrong other than pay a premium to get a ticket they desired. The middleman has already left having made their money and knowing that the customer may have little recourse to them. Even though the RFU won their court action and received information about the resellers, as the case had been appealed to the Supreme Court, the event had long since finished and any usable information was out of date.
Rather than trying to stop the resellers, some festivals seek to limit the tickets application to the specific buyer (or guest) by requiring individual ID’s and details to be supplied on admission. However this, system is slow and expensive and is unlikely to be adaptable to sporting or other events that happen on a much shorter time scale.
Whilst fans and promoters alike would like more to be done to prevent ticketing touting, the current regulations are only likely to address the worst excesses in the industry.
I don’t think parasitic is too strong a word for the secondary ticketing industry. Our view is that this is an industry that’s been allowed to grow on the back of the creative arts without reinvesting anything into it.”
“We’re all dependent on genuine fans and if they’re constantly banging their head off a wall trying to get a ticket, they’re going to give up.”