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New pan-European anti-touting campaign launches

By | Published on Friday 18 January 2019

Face-value European Alliance For Ticketing (FEAT)

In the UK yesterday the anti-ticket touting lobby was busy refreshing the Viagogo site as the deadline approached for it to comply with the court order secured by the Competition & Markets Authority. Elsewhere in Europe, those against rampant ticket-touting for profit launched a new organisation at the Eurosonic conference called FEAT.

That stands for the Face-value European Alliance For Ticketing, a name that communicates that – like with the FanFair Alliance in the UK – the new grouping isn’t against the concept of fans reselling tickets they can no longer use, but wants a crackdown on commercial enterprises that hoover up tickets for in-demand events and then sell them on at a mark-up.

In the last few years we have seen moves to crackdown on and better regulate secondary ticketing in multiple countries around the world. This has involved lobbying for new laws and better enforcement of existing laws, as well as increased efforts by high profile artists to educate consumers and cancel touted tickets.

Progress has been made in a number of countries – including the UK – though issues remain, both across the board, and in markets where there hasn’t been a specific industry, consumer and/or politician-led anti-touting movement to date.

The people behind the new pan-European campaigning organisation say: “While a number of initiatives aimed at tightening up ticket resale have begun in recent years – some of which, like the UK’s FanFair Alliance, have had considerable success – global platforms continue to operate with impunity, ignoring guidance, legislation and rulings from courts”.

FEAT involves tour and festival promoters from across Europe – including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland – and is also supported by anti-touting groups in the UK, including FanFair. It will be led day-to-day by the also UK-based Sam Shemtob of Name PR.

Key aims for the group include encouraging better regulation of ticket resale at a national and EU level; connecting live industry professionals to share knowledge on how to combat industrial-level touting; and ensuring the concerns of both artists and fans are heard.

One of the founding directors of the new organisation, Scumeck Sabottka of German live firm MCT-Agentur, said yesterday: “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”.

Confirming its support for the new initiative, the UK’s FanFair campaign said its work had 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”. It added that it looked forward to supporting FEAT as it worked on “building wider European networks and improving EU legislation”.