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Iron Maiden call on fans to support secondary ticketing legislation

By | Published on Thursday 5 February 2015

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood has called on fans of the band to write to their MPs in support of stronger regulations for the secondary ticketing industry as part of the Consumer Rights Bill.

As previously reported, last month 85 key players in music, sport and theatre wrote an open letter calling on the Government to support a Commons vote in favour of amendments made in the Lords to the new consumer rights legislation that would add some secondary ticketing regulation into the proposed statute. To date that support has not been forthcoming, making it very unlikely the ticket regs will appear in the final Consumer Rights Act.

The new rules, based on proposals made last year by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, would force people reselling tickets via online resale sites to include more information about the tickets being sold (seats, restrictions, risks of touted ticket being cancelled) and reveal who is doing the selling.

The ticketing APPG was set up by Labour’s Sharon Hodgson, a long-time campaigner on secondary ticketing, and Conservative MP Mike Weatherley, who identifies as an Iron Maiden fan, which might explain the band and their management’s support.

Smallwood wrote: “The ever-increasing plague of ‘secondary ticketing’ excesses are a blight on live music and sports events and much to the detriment of fans. This affects fans both in terms of fair cost and their equal opportunity to be able to buy tickets when they go on sale”.

He added: “There is an urgent need for greater transparency on ticket sales. Many major bands and managers, agents and promoters along with national sporting bodies like the RFU and ECB have long been calling for Government intervention and legislation as there is excessive profiteering going on at the expense of genuine fans. But to date the Government has done nothing about this”.

And: “Your support is critical to demonstrate to this Government that the public are fully behind us in this opposition to the current abuses. We would urge all UK Iron Maiden and metal fans to consider supporting this Bill and assist ideally by emailing your local MP or simply going on Facebook or Twitter, and rallying behind the cause – Put Fans First“.

He also provided a template letter for fans to send to their MPs, and gave details on how to send it.

Comedian Stewart Lee also lent his support to the move by Smallwood, noting that tickets for his current run at the Leicester Square Theatre in London (a publicly subsidised venue) are being sold on secondary sites for as much as £99, well above the £24.50 they originally went for.

Writing on his website, Lee said: “The culture secretary Sajid Javid has said the only people that oppose touting are ‘chattering middle classes and champagne socialists’. He also wants the arts to be more ‘accessible’ to justify subsidy … I oppose touting because I want my shows to be accessible to all, so that everyone can come and hate them as equals, and I cut corners to keep tickets as cheap as venues will allow me to make them. I don’t see why this is ‘champagne socialism’, and if it is, I am all for it”.

Commenting specifically on Smallwood’s campaign, he wrote: “Iron Maiden, who have a giant robot of a monster on their side, are now taking on this issue, God bless them, and I urge you to support them and fill in the forms below. Also, drink their Trooper beer. It is ace. I will not pretend to be a Maiden fan but who cannot like ‘Run To The Hills’ and ‘The Number Of The Beast’?”

He concluded: “Please spread this around and end this nonsense. Artists shouldn’t have to have their tickets sold at higher rates than they want them to be sold at. It is wrong. The Free Market, in this case, can fuck off”.