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Scarlett's Blog

Should the Ticket Market be Regulated?

Written on Thu 29 Nov 2012

Next Wednesday evening (5th December) there is a music industry summit on ticketing.

Scarlet Mist will be on the panel in the second session. The session is entitled ‘Regulation’, and will look at what can be done to protect ticket customers from a legislative perspective. What sort of regulation, if any, does the industry and consumers actually need and, given government intransigence to date, how are we going to achieve it? We will hear from PRODISS, the French live music trade organisation that led successful legislative change over the Channel. The summit will raise some serious questions, but importantly, will suggest answers that are practical and possible. Given the cut-throat economics of the live business, are those ‘at the coal face’ in a position to enact significant change, especially at the most sought-after arena shows, where demand far outstrips supply? Is Government legislation and price-capping the only way forward? And if it is, how will policy-makers and their advisers be convinced of some fairly well-trodden arguments?

Keynote: Aline Renet - PRODISS
Ben Turner - Association of Independent Festivals / Bestival
Sharon Hodgson MP - Shadow Education Minister / FanFair Alliance
Richard Marks - Scarlet Mist
Caitlin Graham - Which?
Keith Harris - Keith Harris Music Ltd / MusicTank Chair / Director of Performer Affairs, PPL

We would welcome any Scarlet Mist users to attend (and we have a small number of free tickets - please contact us if you are interested in attending).

We would also welcome your views and comments on the question of regulation. Please post them on our Facebook page.

Scarlet Mist believes that ticket prices are subject to the economic laws of supply and demand, and that pressures from fans might inherently push up prices for popular events. And we recognise that ticket prices are deliberately maintained at a below-market-value price because of the need to retain the core audience/ To this extent, the market is slightly distorted, which allows touts to prosper.

It has become apparent that some promoters (and bands) are prepared to condone and support this, and they will covertly sell tickets through the secondary market, or though restricted processes, at above face value. Regulation might drive this into the open, and result in openly-declared higher prices. We cannot see how this can be prevented.

But we consider that the market should be transparent and that consumers should understand the pricing structure. And that if bands choose to sell the best seats through ‘premium channels’ then that should be openly declared in advertising and promotion.

We do not support the notion of ‘non-exchangeable tickets’ unless there are adequate mechanisms in place to facilitate refunds.

We support the idea that selling tickets at significantly greater than their face value should be restricted by law.

Please post your thoughts and comments on our Facebook Page.



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Live Nation confesses - we supply tickets to touts
Government tout report step in the right direction
Secondary Market (thats touts) *still* breaking the law

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