A bill that would ban exclusive contracts between ticketing agents and venues has been passed unanimously by the California state senate, and will now be considered by the state assembly. SB 829,introduced by Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) advanced by a 40-0 vote in the senate on Wednesday.
“For over a decade companies like Live Nation have lured venues into signing exclusive contracts with promises of cushy kickbacks and access to top talent. But it’s the everyday consumer who ultimately pays the price, making up for those kickbacks in the form of Ticketmaster’s extra fees,” said Senator Wilk. “My bill restores much-needed competition to the ticketing and live entertainment industry. I am thrilled to see this clear the Senate and move even closer toward being signed into law!”
SB 829 is If passed, it would prohibit exclusivity clauses in contracts between a primary ticket seller and an entertainment venue in the state of California. Preventing this clause would provide venues the autonomy to collaborate with other ticket sellers without the fear of retaliation from large ticket sellers.
SB 829 would outlaw exclusivity clauses in contracts between a primary ticket seller and an entertainment venue in the state of California. Such clauses have been a huge source of power for Live Nation Entertainment and its Ticketmaster subsidiary, supercharging the world’s largest promoter and its ticketing wing through the long-term elimination of competition from other ticketing companies. It is based on a proposal currently going through the New York legislature, and mirrors a 2020 agreement between Live Nation/Ticketmaster and government of Ireland, according to Wilk.
While Live Nation and Ticketmaster have not officially come out in opposition, organizations that they partner with including Broadway San Diego, Hollywood Pantages, and Nederlander Concerts have voiced their opposition to the bill.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has introduced similar legislation at the federal level.
As part of his push for the bill, Sen. Wilk released comments provided by California consumers in response to a district-wide survey his office sent out. “The overwhelming majority of responses expressed frustration at companies like Ticketmaster,” according to his office.
“I had to move my tickets due to a rained out event and the fees were MORE than the tickets were in the first place.” – Tracee, 21st Senate District Constituent
“I went to purchase tickets to a sporting event earlier this year, and the fees alone were almost the cost of a single ticket that I was purchasing.” – Peter, 21st Senate District Constituent
“Knowing that nearly half of my purchase was going to Ticket Master, I decided against it.” – John, 21st Senate District Constituent
“Getting Taylor Swift tickets was like going through the first five levels of hell. Ticketmaster dropped the ball.” – Cassandra, 21st Senate District Constituent
“It was extremely expensive to go to the show but we paid anyway because we wanted to see the band. I’m really sick of greed and monopolies for things like entertainment.” – Jonathan 21st Senate District Constituent
“I wanted to attend the upcoming Blink182 concert in Los Angeles but the fees for those tickets are outrageous especially for resale tickets.” – William, 21st Senate District Constituent
“Family of five. Ticket fees push us away from committing to the purchase due to high-priced tickets.” – Jose, 21st Senate District Constituent
Wilk’s bill saw its first reading on June 1 in the California Assembly, which is made up of 62 Democrats and 18 Republicans – a similar ideological breakdown as the Senate’s 32-8 Democratic majority that voted unanimously in favor of the measure.
Last Updated on June 2, 2023