The “Fix the Tix” Coalition has come out in opposition of the proposed reforms to the ticketing regulation landscape brought forward by Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) last week, arguing that the regulations don’t do enough to ban open-market ticket resale for events.
One of several pieces of ticket reform legislation introduced in the wake of increasing consumer fury at the ticketing ecosystem, the BOSS and SWIFT Act proposes numerous improvements on consumer rights and transparency for ticket sales occurring in both the primary and resale marketplaces. It would introduce federal rules requiring “all-in” pricing, disclosure on the true number of tickets available for an event, protection of consumer rights regarding use or transfer of tickets they’ve purchased, and other consumer-friendly measures.
But the “Fix the Tix” group is not swayed, coming out strongly in opposition this week.
“We strongly oppose the BOSS ACT as it would increase ticket prices, enshrine deceptive practices like speculative tickets, and cause an even worse ticket-buying experience for true fans,” the organization says of the BOSS and SWIFT Act, which is a continuation of the BOSS Act, which has been introduced several times in Congress by Pascrell, a longtime critic of the Ticketmaster and Live Nation merger and the mess he and others say it has caused for consumers.
While it did allow that the proposed legislation did bring some measures of transparency that it could support, Fix the Tix centered its opposition on parts of the bill that would limit the rights of event operators to tightly control how consumers can use tickets that they’ve purchased, specifically parts seeking to ensure fans cannot be sanctioned for reselling a ticket”, and which say that those fans should not be “restricted from reselling their tickets” or “face a price ceiling or floor on ticket resales”.
“Fix the Tix” is a group of industry players, led by the former Ticketmaster CEO who now leads Oak View Group, and is involved directly with the leadership of at least two of the smaller entities within that coalition. While it does not explicitly include Live Nation Entertainment or Ticketmaster, the group has a significant overlap with the supporters of the entertainment giant’s “FAIR Ticketing” proposals, which would largely rewrite federal law in a way that would make event operators effectively the regulators of their own industry.
Among the groups supporting the coalition are the National Independent Venue Association, RIAA, Recording Academy, Universal Music Group, and Wasserman Music. Wasserman and UMG are both also signed on in support of Live Nation’s “FAIR” ticketing, as are fellow “FIX” groups like Music Artists Coalition (MAC) and the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC).
The last two groups have in common a relationship with Azoff, who led Ticketmaster as its CEO beginning in 2008 after it acquired his Front Line Management business, becoming chair of Live Nation in February 2011 before departing in 2013 to head Azoff MSG Entertainment. The Black Music Action Coalition counts both Azoff and his son Jeff as members of its Board of Directors, with Jeff also serving on the board of the Music Artists Coalition.
Azoff is a major supporter of Live Nation Entertainment and Ticketmaster’s “FAIR” platform, providing effusive quotes in favor of the proposed changes at the time they were introduced.
“No one cares more about fans than the artists,” said Azoff, prior to taking the stage at Pollstar’s LIVE conference in February and declaring that the potential for meaningful reform in the wake of January’s Senate Judiciary Committee antitrust hearing on allegations of Live Nation/Ticketmaster operating as a monopoly was already over. “FAIR Ticketing reforms give more control over ticketing to the artists so they can get tickets to real fans and prevent unauthorized resellers from charging exponentially more than face value. I hope Congress will pass legislation for the good of artists and their fans.”
Launched fairly recently, the group has not yet published any measures in ticket reform which it actively supports – only that it opposes the BOSS and SWIFT Act, and seeks to “protect fans from price gouging and deceptive and predatory ticketing practices.”
Last Updated on May 31, 2023