Europe’s leading live music professionals have come together to form a new organisation, the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), to promote face value resale across the continent.
While a number of initiatives aimed at tightening up ticket resale have begun in recent years, some of which, like the UK’s FanFair Alliance, have had considerable success, global platforms continue to operate with impunity, ignoring guidance, legislation and rulings from courts.
Launched at renowned live music conference ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag), FEAT will build on the work of these initiatives to encourage better ticket resale practices via a continent-wide approach. FEAT’s focus includes:
- Encouraging better legislation at national and EU level: coordinating lobbying efforts for better legislation to protect fans and artists and encouraging enforcement.
- Connecting live industry professionals: sharing knowledge and building consensus towards a fair and safe ticketing marketplace across Europe.
- Collecting data and research: tracking artist and fan concerns, ensuring their interests are represented and voices are heard.
Working under the radar, FEAT is already actively involved in EU parliamentary discussions on secondary ticketing. FEAT has also been facilitating the formation of a legal group to coordinate activities on ticketing regulation and with search engines.
A non-profit organisation, FEAT will focus on the live music business and will build alliances with the full scope of the live entertainment industry including performing arts and sport.
The Alliance will be run by Sam Shemtob, a music business specialist who has been active in the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ticket Abuse for several years, and colleagues Katie O’Leary and Dominic Athanassiou, who also participate.
Said Scumeck Sabottka, CEO, MCT-Agentur and FEAT Director: “We need to get this right as otherwise fans and artists alike will be robbed by thieves; if we all pull this together and get EU legislation to follow our lead, we can ultimately make it work.”
Neo Sala, Founder & CEO, Doctor Music and FEAT Director: “Governments need to understand speculative ticket resale is an abusive and unethical practice that harms people, and they need to approve laws that make it virtually impossible. We need legal tools that facilitate the immediate preventive close down of websites that put tickets on sale without having been authorised by the organiser of the event.”
Sam Shemtob, FEAT Director: “The growth and effectiveness of grassroots movements against industrial ticket touting in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland in recent years has been invigorating. The time has come for these movements to connect, collaborate and speak as one at a European level, where we know MEPs are listening.”
Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom & Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ticket Abuse: “As Chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse, I have worked on this issue in the UK for almost a decade. In 2011, I proposed a Bill which would cap ticket resale at 10% above their face value. Unfortunately, this Bill did not pass into UK Legislation. Since then, I have been working with my cross-party colleagues, and the sector, in order to tackle unscrupulous ticket touts in the UK, who re-sell tickets for profit. It is time for legislation that puts fans first, and I am working closely with the UK Minister to try and find a solution to this. I am pleased to support the efforts of FEAT in dealing with this across Europe.”
Adam Webb, Campaign Manager, FanFair Alliance: “The FanFair campaign has shown that legislation and regulation can have a disruptive impact on exploitative secondary ticketing and help foster a more consumer-friendly approach to ticket resale. There is still work to do in the UK and challenges ahead, but because of collective action the situation has improved markedly since 2016. Our focus will remain on these shores, but we are happy to share our experiences and support the activities of FEAT in building wider European networks and improving EU legislation.”
Claire Turnham MBE, Victim of Viagogo: “We are delighted to welcome FEAT and support your commitment to improve the safety of ticket buyers across Europe. Having worked closely with the FanFair Alliance in the UK over the last two years, I have seen how effective a coordinated, collaborative, industry-wide campaign can be when it puts the fans at the centre of the issue.”
Per Kviman, Chair and Virpi Imonnen, Vice-Chair, European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA): “In the last decade we’ve seen the live industry flourish, with revenues from concerts and festivals becoming the primary source of income for artists and musicians. But this has come at a price, and, spurred on by the rise of the internet, the secondary ticketing market has thrived, draining money away from fans, artists and the industry. It is great that FEAT has formed to enable us to work together on a European level to share experiences and knowledge and help better the market.”
For more information on FEAT news, visit the newly launched website feat-alliance.org.
When Event Industry News contacted Viagogo they responded: “viagogo is a global online marketplace for live sport, music and entertainment tickets. Whether a cup final, your favourite band or a destination festival, viagogo connects ticket buyers with ticket sellers around the globe. viagogo aims to provide buyers with the widest possible choice of tickets to events, and enables sellers to reach a global audience. Once buyer and seller have entered into a transaction, viagogo ensures everything goes smoothly. viagogo is not the ticket seller and all transactions are between the buyers and sellers. See our Terms and Conditions for more information.”