Live events industry
Secondary ticketing giant Seatwave has removed all tickets for the six upcoming Robbie Williams concerts in Germany after a successful legal challenge by the German Federal Association of Concert Organisers (BDV). BDV is vociferously fighting a battle against ticket resale platforms in Germany and has already obtained mandatory injunctions against other online exchanges, including the popular website Viagogo. The tickets that were removed were all personalised with the holders name and the concert was promoted by MCT, a staunch opponent of ticket abuse, who had previously taken action in 2011 after personalised tickets for three German Take That shows were offered for re-sale. Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur have also brought actions: several years ago they obtained an injunction preventing ticket site Ventic re-selling large numbers of Depche Mode tickets and in another case took action to prevent SeatWave selling tickets for the Rock am Ring festival.
Johannes Ulbricht, legal advisor for the BDV, insists the association will continue to take action against all unauthorised ticket trading in the country, to protect event visitors and ensure that the prohibition of resale is respected. ”We are moving closer, step by step, to our goal of returning control of ticket prices to promoters and artists,” says BDV president Jens Michow. “For the public, this means protection against inflated prices. For promoters and artists this means that those who create the value embodied in the ticket price, rather than shady freeloaders, will benefit from it.”
In the United Kingdom, the All Party Parliamentary Group looking at ticketing has taken evidence from a number of representatives in the live events, festivals, sports and theatre sectors, but so far no representatives of Viagogo, Seatwave, eBay owned StubHub or Live Nation’s GetMeIn have been able to attend. MPs have now looked at legislation to enforce transparency so that the sellers of tickets had to identify themselves . The APPG heard that ticket fraud costs in the UK from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau exceed £864 million and the Group plans to report by the end of March in order to influence debate for the Consumer Rights Bill currently before the House of Commons. Co-chair Sharon Hodgson said “People in the industry have seen touts making more and more money from their work and investment without anything in. After all when a ticket sells at double its face value, the tout makes more money than everyone involved in putting on the show.
IQ Issue 52 March 2014