The FanFair Alliance is working hard to stop ticket touting. See Tickets along with a number of other ticket agents recently signed the FanFair Declaration against ticket touts and as part of its ongoing campaign, a consumer guide to educate people about secondary ticketing and touting has been produced. We catch up with Adam Webb at the FanFair Alliance to find out more about the guide and the work of the Alliance.
Why has the FanFair Alliance decided to create this guide now and what is its aim?
The purpose of the guide is to help would-be ticket buyers buy their tickets from authorised sellers. That sounds a bit glib, but there is now a real problem for fans in getting accurate information about shows – mostly because of the power and the marketing practices of the dominant secondary ticketing platforms. All these companies are engaged in an arms race to dominate Google search, and to divert audiences towards their sites and into the arms of ticket touts – even when there are face value tickets available.
The guide aims to provide some simple tips. For instance: do your research, don’t trust search engine results, look at the terms and conditions, and don’t be manipulated by the secondary sellers. And if you can’t go to a show, don’t act like a tout – sell your ticket on for face value, via one of the many ethical resale services on the market such as See’s Fan-to-Fan platform.
How will the guide be shared with the ticket buying public?
The guide is online only. It’s free. We’re pushing it on social media, we’ve got some brilliant artists pushing it to their fans – such as Ed SHeeran, Mumford & Sons, You Me At Six – and we’ve also got support from the vast majority of primary ticket sellers.
Why and how was the Alliance created and what other work are you doing to clamp down on touring?
The campaign was launched in July 2016. It now involves more than 100 music managers, live agents, promoters, trade bodies and ticket agents – all of whom have signed our Declaration against online touts. The first aim really was to try and bring some unity to the growing concern around online ticket touting – and then to present that more coherently to Government, to journalists, to the industry and also to consumers. From there, we’ve been heavily involved in all the political and media debates.
Our ultimate aim is to make ticket resale work better for consumers, and to make sure they’re protected by the law. The practices of Viagogo, StubHub, Get Me In and Seatwave are based upon anonymity, where the buyer does not know the identity of the seller – or even if a ticket exists. That’s a very nice system for ticket touts – but pretty terrible for fans, artists and the music business. There’s no silver bullets, but we’re making some significant progress.