March 14th, 2022
European live performance sector calls on EU to impose stricter rules on online marketplaces
For years, the live performance sector has faced serious problems due to a growing illicit online secondary ticketing market. As the European Union enters the final phase of negotiations on the Digital Services Act, designed to clean up the internet, including tackling abuses on online marketplaces such as ticketing platforms, 130 representatives from across the European performing arts sector signed an open letter calling policymakers to introduce tougher laws to address illicit secondary online ticketing.

The signatories - representing pop, ballet, theatre, comedy and opera - decry that exploitative ticket resale drains hundreds of millions of euros from the European live sector every year. Not only is this hurting the sector's post-pandemic recovery, but it also hits artists and live performance organisations and rips off consumers.

 

The letter requests that marketplaces of all sizes be required to collect and maintain up-to-date and verified seller information. It further urges marketplaces to conduct random checks of products to detect fraudulent tickets and to remove an exemption for small online platforms in the DSA. Such measures would reduce widespread ticket resale abuse by requiring online marketplaces to protect consumers.

 

At present, these marketplaces facilitate resale abuse by permitting professional touts to resell tickets at a significant profit anonymously, in breach of consumer protection and competition law in several Member States.

 

Magdalena Menheere, Group coordination ticketing, Bundestheater-Holding (Austria’s state theatres) commented, “The DSA brings major opportunities to create EU-wide harmonisation of rules and take action against cross-border fraudulent secondary ticketing. The traceability of traders interlocked with the cross-border enforcement of effective legislation is key to protect artists, audiences, and venues in the live performance sector.” 

 

The European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) initiated the letter in cooperation with Pearle*, FanFair Alliance, International Federation of Musicians, the German promoters’ associations BDKV and Association of Musical Promoters (APM).

 

Live performance professionals can sign the letter here

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