Managers call for revamp of ticket resale websites

One Direction star Louis Tomlinson, from Bessacarr, Doncaster.
One Direction star Louis Tomlinson, from Bessacarr, Doncaster.
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The managers of Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys and pop superstars One Direction – featuring Doncaster’s Louis Tomlinson – have called for a revamp of ticket resale sites.

They were among a number of signatories – including the Rugby Football Union and National Theatre – onan open letter to MPs ahead of a debate on the issue, calling for a change in the law to ‘put fans first’.

They were calling for resale websites to be required to publish the names of ticket sellers and the face value of the tickets.

However, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has previously said a change in the law was unnecessary.

And the proposed amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill – backed by the House of Lords – was rejected by MPs at a Commons vote on Monday.

The Government claimed it would ‘overburden individual fans with red tape’.

The open letter said: “As representatives from the live event industry, responsible for putting on shows ranging from international sporting fixtures and world class theatre to intimate gigs, we are committed to ensuring event-goers have the best experience possible at a fair price.

“The way the secondary ticketing market is allowed to operate at present can seriously undermine that effort.”

There are concerns touts snap up large number of tickets when they go on sale, with the aim of selling them on at vastly-inflated prices.

Tickets for One Direction’s sell-out shows at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena later this year are currently on sale via ticket resell site Viagogo priced from £106, compared with a face value for the most expensive ticket of £71.50. On Ebay, prices for tickets range from £87.32 to £200.

Viagogo said: “We are in favour of making information clearer on our website and have made a number of commitments in our recent discussions with the government.

“However, publishing the original seller’s identity is unnecessary because all tickets come with the viagogo guarantee, while publishing specific seat numbers allows rights owners to cancel tickets which are being legitimately resold. Anyone can see that is not in the consumer’s best interests.”