A cross-party group of politicians, including Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has announced that it will be holding an inquiry into the touting of tickets for music gigs.
The decision by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Music to examine the problems caused to artistes and fans by the secondary ticketing market follows the start of a separate inquiry being run by the APPG on Ticket Abuse.
The Music APPG’s inquiry will begin with a call for evidence in the summer and formal evidence sessions beginning in the autumn, and is intended to report in 2015.
The Ticket Abuse APPG’s investigation, on the other hand, aims to report by the end of March, in time to influence and inform amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill currently before the House of Commons. The first evidence session was held this Wednesday (5 February), and heard from the Rugby Football Union, National Theatre, Association of Independent Festivals, and Kilimanjaro Live CEO Stuart Galbraith.
The announcement of the fresh inquiry comes in the same week as Lady Gaga’s new UK tour has gone on pre-sale to o2 customers, with hundreds of tickets appearing on secondary platforms before going on general release, and in the week following media criticism of touts profiteering from tickets for shows laid on for the Teenage Cancer Trust by The Cure.
Music APPG Co-Chair John Robertson MP said: “The secondary market has grown exponentially over the last decade, but has been subject to very little scrutiny. As a result, music fans are finding it increasingly hard to get to top gigs unless they’re prepared to pay well over the odds, and this is particularly true for the young people that many artists want and need to attract to be successful in the long run.
“I want this inquiry to get to the bottom of how the market works now and how it should work in the future if it is going to support the music industry, rather than undermine it.”
Mike Weatherley MP, who is a Co-Chair of both APPGs as well as Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, said: “Industrial-scale touting is affecting more and more live entertainment events, but nowhere is it more noticeable and more damaging than in live music.
“Touts are capitalising on the risk, talent and intellectual property of others while contributing nothing to the continued success of the industry, and it’s important that the issue is looked at by Parliament and the Government. I hope that this inquiry will lead to much-needed improvements which are acceptable to the whole industry.”