March 22, 2011 10:49

Reading And Leeds Festivals boss backing ticket resale cap

Melvin Benn supports idea which would see resell profits capped at 10 percent

Reading And Leeds Festivals boss backing ticket resale cap

Photo: Andy Whitton/NME

Reading And Leeds Festivals boss Melvin Benn has backed a proposal for there to be a limit on the profit that can be made from resold gig tickets.

Labour MP Sharon Hodgson has launched the proposal which, if it led to new laws being made, would mean that anyone reselling tickets can only make a 10 percent profit on the original price they paid.

The issue is due to be discussed in Parliament in May.

Speaking to BBC Radio 1, Benn said he had been calling for this kind of proposal for a while because he thinks it would help curb touting.

"I've been asking for this for many years," he said. "It's the sort of bill that's been operational in New York State and Australia. It works. We've seen that it works."

He added: "People will still try to set up illegal websites but what it would do is give the public an absolute knowledge that if they're trying to sell at more than that percentage, it's almost certainly dodgy and illegal."

However, Joe Cohen, CEO of ticketing resale website Seatwave, criticised the proposal.

"When you put this idea into practice it falls down and turns into rubbish," he said. "There's no place on the planet where a cap works."

He claimed that if the proposal led to a law it would mean companies such as his would be forced to leave the UK.

Artists including Elbow, My Chemical Romance and Adele have backed the idea of a cap on the profit from resold tickets.

Read the full proposal at Publications.parliament.uk.

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