CONSUMER / CONTRACT
Live events sector
Hot on the heels of news that Viagogo were selling tickets for Ed Sheerhan’s Teenage Cancer Trust charity concert at the the Royal Albert Hall at vastly inflated prices, the now Geneva based secondary ticketing platform is facing fresh legal action from a coalition of Spanish promoters, “adding to its ever-growing collection of lawsuits”. The second lawsuit of 2017 follows the outcry over the speculative selling of tickets for a postponed show by Joaquín Sabina in A Coruña (Corunna), Spain, next July, and in a joint statement, the promoters of Sabina’s Lo niego todo (I deny everything) tour, TheProject, Get In and Riff Producciones, and his management company, Berry Producciones, say they are “outraged” and intend to bring legal action action against Viagogo for the fraudulent listing of “tickets that do not exist”.
A spokesperson told IQ magazine that the parties’ lawyers are currently in the process of filing the action and that the lawsuit mirrors one filed by SIAE in late January, in Italy in which the Italian collection society alleged Viagogo listed tickets for a Vasco Rossi show in Modena before they went on sale on the primary market in a move that dragged Live Nation in Italy into the growing scandal. Viagogo has faced further problems with European football’s governing body, Uefa, for allegedly facilitating the illegal resale of tickets for the Euro 2016 tournament in France.
The lawsuit by Berry Producciones and the promoters is backed by Spanish promoters’ association APM, the Citizens political party and popular singer Alejandro Sanz, who has now announced the launch of the Anti-Resale Alliance (Alianza Anti-reventa) to push for legislation to curb online touting in Spain.
In Italy, which is leading the charge against touting, collection society SIAE has also filed a string of legal complaints against other ticket re-sellers, the most recent of which alleges Lady Gaga tickets were listed even before the pre-sale. Italy has pending legislation which
provides for €180,000 fines for ticket touts. The complaint, filed with the Tribunal of Milan relates to tickets for Lady Gaga’s recently announced Joanne world tour, which visits Milan’s Mediolanum Forum on the 26th September. In January, SIAE announced it had also filed an “urgent petition” with the Civil Court of Rome to address touting of tickets for U2’s shows at the Olympic Stadium next July.
In the UK, the FanFair Alliance accused Viagogo of “moral repugnance” and “profiteering at the expense of teenage cancer sufferers” by allowing touts to resell tickets for a Teenage Cancer Trust concert at the Royal Albert Hall.