‘Touts summit’ unveils new measures

A returns policy and a website but there could still be legislation

The UK government “touts summit” has today (July 17) unveiled a series of measures it is hoped will combat ticket touting.

As previously reported on NME.COM, ministers from the Department Of Media, Culture And Sport (DCMS) were meeting with representatives of the live music industry and ticket sellers, plus those from the worlds of sport and theatre, to put together a series of measures to deal with unauthorised ticket sales.

Following the meeting, an undertaking has been given by the industry representatives to introduce a “returns policy whereby fans can return tickets at face value to the original sellers if they are unable to attend”.

Additionally, the Concert Promoters Association will also set up a website that will allow fans to exchange tickets at face value.

The “touts summit” also looked at introducing a standard mark for ticket sales websites to reassure consumers, as well as witnessing a pledge from those present to continue working on “an over-arching code of practice for both primary and secondary ticket sellers”.

However with the meeting also unveiling a “public consultation to establish the views of consumers and industry on what action is necessary”, the government refused to rule out future legislation to tackle ticket touting.

“The innocent victim of ticket touting is the fan who has to pay through the nose for a vastly overpriced ticket to see their sporting, stage or musical hero. These are the people we must protect,” explained the Secretary Of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell.

“I have met with the industry three times now and good progress is being made – the steps I am setting out following today’s summit show that,” she added.

“But the industry should consider itself on notice – if it hasn’t come up with a workable solution to stamping out the most unscrupulous touts by next summer, where there is clear evidence it’s needed, we may consider targeted action and changes in legislation to ensure genuine fans are protected from exploitation.”