In her capacity as Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ticket Abuse, Sharon has come out in support of the launch of FanFair Alliance.
FanFair Alliance is a campaign group which unites music businesses, artists and fans against abuses in the secondary ticketing market.
At a launch in Central London, FanFair Alliance brought together interested parties, including managers of bands such as Arctic Monkeys, One Direction and Mumford and Sons, along with music trade bodies including Music Managers Forum, to urge the Government to take four pragmatic steps that would ensure the fraudulent activity of touts is stopped and face value tickets are put into the hands of fans.
These four steps include:
- Enforcement - especially of legislation such as the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
- Transparency - where fans know who they are buying from.
- Responsibility – where secondary platforms are showing corporate responsibility towards consumer protection legislation.
- Supply – to address the abuse of technology, such as ‘bots’, which harvests tickets and stops fans from getting tickets.
Fans can sign up to the campaign by visiting the website here: www.fanfairalliance.org to share their experiences and stories and follow them on social media at @FanFairAlliance or www.facebook.com/FanFairAlliance
Following the launch of FanFair Alliance, Sharon said:
“For too long fans have been ripped off by ticket touts and the Government have continually failed to offer support to fans to put them first, through ensuring legislation is properly implemented and has the teeth to protect fans from the abuses seen in the secondary market.
“The launch of FanFair Alliance so soon after the publication of the Waterson Review which called on the Government to do more in this area, is welcome news and will provide fans with a way to voice their concerns with the secondary market. I hope many fans will sign up to this campaign by visiting their website.
“I look forward to working closely with FanFair Alliance to ensure Parliament can help voice the concerns of fans with Government and in order that fans are put first once and for all.”
Sign the Government petition here >
(From CMA website) "The CMA is reviewing the compliance of 4 secondary ticket platforms with their undertakings and other legal obligations."
Sharon Hodgson, Co-Chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse welcomes recommendation for an investigation by Police and National Trading Standards into compliance of the law by the secondary ticketing market.
APPG on Ticket Abuse supports Parliamentary Petition calling for enforcement of Consumer Rights Act.
This week Sharon Hodgson MP met with Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Nick Boles MP, as a part of a delegation pressing the Government to do more to clamp down on ticket touting and counterfeiting in the secondary ticketing market.
Today in the House of Commons Sharon Hodgson welcomed the Lords amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill, that will boost greater transparency in the secondary ticketing market, and will help make sure genuine fans are not ripped off and stopped from seeing the sports, shows or bands that they love.
"I hope that Members of all parties will think on those points ... Let us finally do the right thing and put fans first."
Sharon Hodgson MP's speech during the Consumer Rights debate, where the All-Party Group on Ticketing Abuse were trying to bring transparency into the secondary ticketing market - to help stop ticket touts from ripping off genuine fans.
(NB - For latest news about this campaign visit the putfansfirst intro page)
Sharon has been leading a campaign in Parliament for regulation of the secondary ticketing market to protect fans from the worst practices of ticket touts.
In 2010, Sharon tabled a Private Member’s Bill - the Sale of Tickets (Sporting and Cultural Events) Bill 2010/12 - calling for mark-ups on tickets (which were being re-sold against the expressed wishes of the event organiser) of no more than 10%; this Bill was filibustered by (some then) Tory backbenchers (including David Nuttall, Philip Davies and Sajid Javid - former Secretary of State for Culture) when it was debated in the House of Commons, so subsequently fell at the end of the Parliamentary session. Sharon's speech introducing the Bill can be read on Hansard here.
Since Sharon's Bill, the problems of the secondary ticketing market have been highlighted by a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, The Great Ticket Scandal, in early 2012 (videos below*), and a report from the Metropolitan Police, Ticket Crime: Problem Profile, which:
- Found that: “due to the surreptitious way that large numbers of ‘primary’ tickets are diverted straight onto secondary ticket websites, members of the public have little choice but to try to source tickets on the secondary ticket market.”
- Concluded that: “the lack of legislation outlawing the unauthorised resale of tickets and the absence of regulation of the primary and secondary ticket market encourages unscrupulous practices, a lack of transparency and fraud.”
- Recommended that: “consideration must be given to introducing legislation to govern the unauthorised sale of event tickets. The lack of legislation in this area enables fraud and places the public at risk of economic crime” and “the primary and secondary ticket market require regulation to ensure transparency, allowing consumers to understand who they are buying from and affording them better protection from ticket crime.
Sharon is now Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, which recently published a report making a number of recommendations to improve the market for fans and reduce the incidence of fraud and exploitation. The APPG have discussed their report with Ministers, and will continue to press the Government to incorporate some of these recommended changes within the Consumer Rights Bill, which is currently before Parliament.
Get involved appgticketabuse
Update 12.01.2015: Read Sharon's speech in the Consumer Rights Debate here. Unfortunately the Government voted against the Lords' Amendments which would have brought transparency into the secondary ticketing platforms market.
Sharon has also lobbied the relevant Shadow Ministers within the Labour Party to secure an assurance that if the present Government fail to act to protect fans, a future Labour Government will do so; the Labour frontbench have already tabled amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill along the lines of those called for by Sharon and the APPG.
You can view the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary in 4 parts here:
*Update May 2016 - We can't show you these here now as "The YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement."
Contact Channel 4 Dispatches if you would like to see this programme.
For more info on the new #putfansfirst campaign intro page - visit this page: http://www.sharonhodgson.org/ticket_touts_campaign
Sharon pressed the Prime Minister to take the side of ordinary fans who are being ripped off by touts, rather than his new Culture Secretary who once praised touts as "classic entrepreneurs".