The issues raised in the recent Channel 4 Dispatches programme ‘The Great Ticket Scandal’ were discussed at MMF and FAC Board Meetings last week. The episode unearthed evidence suggesting that some promoters have been selling tickets directly to ‘fan-to-fan’ secondary ticketing exchange websites in order to benefit from inflated prices for seemingly sold out events. Below is our response to the programme’s findings.
MMF & FAC statement on promoter use of fan-to-fan ticket exchange websites
The FAC and MMF believe that the artist should continue to be at the centre of the music business and that all relationships within should be transparent. The artists and their representatives can lead in this by ensuring that fan needs are considered first when decisions that affect them are made . The MMF has long campaigned for openness and fair dealing with the live music world so the revelations in the recent Dispatches programme about ticketing were abhorrent.
The internet has changed our lives whether it is with digital music consumption or the increased ease of selling and re-selling tickets through online market places.
However the Artist / Fan relationship needs to be paramount. This is how we see it:
ARTIST -> Manager -> Agent -> Promoter -> Venue -> Ticket Retailer -> FAN
All parts of the chain need to be transparent about their role in the process and to receive fair reward for it.
We prefer innovation before legislation and we have already seen some steps with ethical ticket exchanges and paperless ticketing. But we need more.
The Government’s first priority should be to enforce the law about ticketing fraud.
All participants in the value chain above need to push for paperless ticketing so that it becomes the de facto method to attend shows.
All primary ticket-sellers should appoint ethical exchanges so that fans can re-sell tickets they cannot use but at no more than 10% above face value. These two actions will be voluntary but artists can lead the way to make this happen.
The days of finger-pointing should be over. Artists and their representatives need to rebuild the live business to re-establish trust with the fans.