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Managers of Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys + More Call Out Secondary Ticketing Sites

Ian Gavan, Getty Images

We’ve all experienced the tragedy of having our favorite band’s show sell out only to find the tickets on another site with the price considerably hiked up. Well, professionals from the U.K. music industry are taking action against those secondary ticketing sites, including StubHub, Seatwave and Viagogo.

Managers behind the Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Iron Maiden and others have written an open letter in the Independent in favor of tighter controls on such sites ahead of legislation going in front of Parliament.

“As representatives of the live event industry, responsible for putting on shows ranging from international sporting fixtures and world class theatre to intimate gigs, we are committed to ensuring that event-goers have the best experience possible at a fair price,” the open letter reads. “The way that the secondary ticketing market is allowed to operate at present can seriously undermine that effort.”

“Clause 33 of the Consumer Rights Bill would give consumers looking for tickets basic information which secondary platforms have been so keen to hide: who they’re buying from, the face value of the ticket, the seat number and, importantly, whether that ticket is being sold in contravention of its terms and conditions,” signees of the letter continued. “If the secondary platforms have nothing to fear from transparency, they have nothing to fear from these simple provisions. It’s high time the Government stopped sticking up for them, and decided to put fans first.”

However, secondary platforms like Viagogo won’t go without a fight.

“We are in favour [sic] of making information clearer on our website and have made a number of commitments in our recent discussions with the government,” the ticketing site wrote in a statement. (via Indepdendent) “However, publishing the original seller’s identity is unnecessary because all tickets come with the Viagogo guarantee, while publishing specific seat numbers allows rights owners to cancel tickets which are being legitimately resold. Anyone can see that is not in the consumer’s best interests.”

“Our view is supported by independent research from ComRes, which shows that 76% of British consumers believe a ticket is their property to resell if they wish. 77% would prefer to use a guaranteed secondary platform, while over a third would be willing to pay more than face value for a ticket,” the company added.

The Consumer Rights Bill is hearing debates in Parliament today (Jan. 12).

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