Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood have backed a campaign to change laws relating to secondary ticket sales in the UK.
PutFansFirst.co.uk has been created with support from the All Party Parliamentary Group For Ticket Abuse, whose members believe that the music industry needs support to fight ticket touts and botnets that buy up vast amounts of concert tickets and then sell them at massively inflated prices.
Amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill that were intended to help stop the practice were scrapped recently after they were defeated by a vote of MPs in the House Of Commons.
However Mike Weatherley MP, co-chairman of the All Party Group, wants to organise vocal support from fans and musicians to make clear to legislators how they feel about the current state of the secondary sales market.
Speaking to TeamRock, Weatherley said: “Our creative industries generate more than £36bn and employ 1.5m people. For success to continue it’s necessary to ensure that artists and fans get a fair deal.
“Society has moved on from a few touts outside venues selling tickets at marked-up prices. The new issue is botnets, which buy up tens of thousands of tickets seconds after they’ve gone on sale, so genuine fans are unable to buy at source prices.”
“Let’s say a fan has £200 to spend on live music. If they have to pay the whole lot to go to one event, rather than go to four at £50, then there’s going to be a quarter as many events being promoted.
“Income to venues and artists does go down directly as a result of these inflated ticket prices. We should all be concerned by this in the long term.”
Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood recently commented: “Secondary ticketing excesses are a blight on live music events. Many major music managers, artists, agents and promoters have long been calling for government intervention and legislation. It would be easy – as some bands and organisations do – to jump on the gravy train and create large extra income streams at the expense of their fans. But they don’t. Why? Because they consider it cynical, long term counter-productive and immoral.”
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi lent his support saying: “If you agree that fans should be able to sell tickets that they can’t use but not allow this to be exploited for commercial gain, here is the link.”
The Put Fans First campaign has also received support from other bodies such as the Featured Artists Coalition, The Agency Group and sporting bodies the ECB, the RFU and the Sport & Recreation Alliance.
Mike Weatherley concludes: “We would like to create as much pressure from fans and providers of live events, supporting a change in the law on secondary ticketing – especially through members of the public writing to their MPs. This would be a hugely helpful step in persuading MPs that this is an issue that needs addressing.”
The campaign has also set up a Facebook page that you can find here.