More federal ticketing legislation is on the way, according to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who held an event at the Moody Center in Austin to discuss potential reforms of the industry. Representatives from Live Nation, Oak View Group, Austin FC, and the University of Texas were among those to join Sen. Cornyn on Friday to discuss the “FANS First Act,” thought details on what the legislation would entail are limited at this time.
Pricing transparency, “bots” and “predatory ticket sales practices” were mentioned as part of what the legislation will allegedly deal with, but no specific topics have been outlined.
“The bill would improve transparency for ticket pricing, it would increase consumer or fan protection, it would restore market integrity, and it will punish the bad actors who engage in predatory ticket sales practices that hurt all of these artists, these athletes, these venues and the fans, most importantly,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Here in Texas, we appreciate the music, the museums, the sporting events, the culture, the opportunity, the recreation that provides for all of us, and I think that’s something we ought to preserve.”
The press event last week was covered by local news media:
As with all of the ticketing legislation being considered this year, Sen. Cornyn’s proposal is built off of the enormous demand from consumers for legislative action in the wake of Ticketmaster’s disastrously mishandled ticket sales process for the Taylor Swift Eras Tour in the fall, as well as the continued price surge encountered by fans shopping for tickets. A Swift fan was present at Friday’s event to speak about those concerns.
“There were incredibly long wait lists if you could even get on them,” said Kate Testone, who didn’t end up getting a ticket. “It was hard to know even what the real tickets were, and then once you finally could get tickets, the only thing you could get was resale, and then the price was a huge difference.”
Given the fact that those joining Cornyn for the presentation were all representatives of the industry side of the fence, it seems likely that the priorities of the “FANS” legislation will bear some resemblance to Live Nation’s proposed “FAIR” ticketing legislation.
Amy Corbin, speaking on behalf of promoter C3 Presents, which has been owned by Live Nation for nearly a decade, pushed one of the aspects of “FAIR” ticketing, that “bots” are the core problem facing consumers.
“We’ve had bots shut down our ticketing platforms because of unpredictable surges,” says Corbin. “When this occurs, fans likely assume the show is sold out, they give up, it drives them to secondary ticketing, or they never come back, negatively impacting the show and the artist.”
Other primary tenets of Live Nation’s “FAIR” ticketing include the right of promoters to eliminate consumer rights to tickets they’ve purchased through the use of mobile-only ticketing systems and restrictive transfer policies, cracking down on ticket resale platforms not owned by the event promoters, and banning so-called “speculative” ticket listings. These measures have received public support from a wall of industry insiders, many of whom had representation at Friday’s press event beyond Live Nation’s subsidiary, C3 Presents.
Whether or not Sen. Cornyn’s bill will address the other side of the problems in ticketing – via the implementation of measures pushed as part of the “Ticket Buyers Bill of Rights” – remains to be seen.
Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Dave Clark
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