Sharon Hodgson MP

Working hard for Washington and Sunderland West.

Ticket Touts Campaign - PutFansFirst


Welcome to Sharon Hodgson's ticket touting campaign intro page.  #putfansfirst

Visit Fan Fair Alliance Website >

Updates will be published below. Or, alternatively, for more information about the campaign click on these links:

1. Search Sharon Hodgson MP Ticket Touting putfansfirst campaign pages - - Sharon Hodgson MP Ticket Touting Campaign

2. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse website wordpress - - APPG Ticketing Abuse News Page

Update 2nd February 2021

Regarding the CMA’s announcement on the Viagogo/StubHub merger, Sharon said:

“Together, Viagogo and StubHub have a market share of more than 90% of the secondary ticket industry. It is therefore welcome news that their merger cannot go ahead.

“However, this will give no relief to the tens of thousands of fans who have already been ripped off by these websites, or those who may fall victim to their parasitical business models in the future.

“We now need to see the secondary ticket market properly regulated so consumers can once again trust the platforms they use. That means limits on advertising and immediate and tough action as soon as evidence is brought forward of consumer law being broken.”


Update - 9th March 2020

During the Second Reading of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill, Sharon made a speech about the importance of protecting tickets from ticket touts, similar to the protections for London 2012 Olympics. You can read Sharon's speech on Hansard here.

Update - 3rd March 2020

Following the conviction of two ticket touts in Leeds, Sharon asked a question to the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy about including financial harms in the Online Harms White Paper.

Update - 17th July 2019

Regarding Google's announcement that all Viagogo ads will be suspended, Sharon said:

“As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, I welcome the news today that Google will suspend all paid for adverts from Viagogo.

“For years, I have heard from fans who were led to believe that Viagogo was a trusted and official resale website because it appeared at the top of a Google search. I’m pleased that this will no longer occur.

“A well respected brand, such as Google, should have done this a long time ago. But I am now pleased that this step has been taken, which will protect consumers and fans.”


Update - 4th July 2019

Regarding the CMA's announcement of further legal action against viagogo, Sharon said:

“Viagogo have had four years to comply with Consumer Rights’ legislation but have always failed to do so. In the process they have ripped off thousands of genuine fans who have been left disappointed, frustrated and out of pocket.

“It is therefore welcome news that the CMA are now taking Viagogo to court for contempt.

“I hope that this action will show Viagogo that their parasitical business model will be tolerated no longer.

“Once again, I urge consumers to do their research before they buy from the secondary ticket market and above all: do not buy from Viagogo.”


Update - 11th June 2019

During a debate on Consumer Protection legislation, Sharon raised the case for additional funding for enforcement agencies with a particular reference to the secondary ticket market.

You can read Sharon's speech here.

Update - 8th June 2019

Sharon responds to Viagogo's claims that they will comply with legislation 'as soon as possible'.

You can read Sharon's response here.

You can read Viagogo's claims here.

Update - 24th May 2019

MPs and sporting industry unite against ticket touts

Sharon Hodgson MP said:

“The APPG has been predominantly focussed on the music industry, but as the summer sporting events approached we turned our focus to sports and found that much of the issues are the same as in music.

“The legislation to protect consumers exists, but what is seriously lacking is enforcement. Touts are getting the message that they can break the law without any repercussions. That is why the Government must ensure that enforcement agencies are sufficiently funded so that consumers can be protected.”


Update - 19th March 2019

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee into Live Music 

Sharon Hodgson MP said:

“I welcome the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s report today into Live Music.

“I am pleased that ticket abuse has played a large role in this review, and that once again the Committee has been clear that the public must not buy or sell tickets through Viagogo.

“I hope that the Government will respond positively to the report, particularly to the recommendations about reviewing the effectiveness of current regulations, and act appropriately if they are found to be ineffective.

“Ticket abuse is a widescale problem, and requires action from the ticketing industry, promoters, artists, search engines, consumers and Government.

“I have been committed to tackling this problem for almost a decade, and will not stop until fans are put first.”


You can read Sharon's tweet here.

Update - 5th March, 2019

Update from the CMA on Viagogo compliance court order 

Sharon Hodgson MP said:

“I am pleased that the CMA have today announced that they are preparing to take Viagogo to court to find them in contempt.

“This has been a long time coming, so I feel that it is only right that Viagogo are held to account for their parasitical actions, that have ripped off fans for far too many years.  

“As the Chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse, I will of course be watching this very closely. As will thousands of fans who have fallen victim to Viagogo.

“I echo the warnings of the Minister, Chair of the Select Committee and Fan Fair Alliance that fans should avoid buying from Viagogo.”


Update - 28th January, 2019

Ticket Sales: Written question - 210021

Question Asked by Mrs Sharon Hodgson MP:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the cost has been of the Competition and Markets Authority investigation into (a) Viagogo and (b) other secondary ticket sites.

Answered by Kelly Tolhurst:

The CMA is a non-Ministerial Department and is operationally independent.

The CMA has provided the following information: the CMA’s secondary tickets investigation cost £1.9 million to the end of 2018. However, a significant proportion of those costs relate to the CMA’s litigation against viagogo. Under the court order that the CMA secured against viagogo AG, viagogo AG will meet the CMA’s reasonable costs of those proceedings. 

Update - 18th January, 2019

Information about the secondary ticketing websites deadline

Sharon Hodgson MP said:

“I’m disappointed, but not surprised, to find this morning that Viagogo has not made any drastic changes to its unscrupulous practices that rip off fans.

“This is after a long-running and costly enforcement investigation, and after the CMA secured a court order demanding a substantial overhaul of its business.

“For years Viagogo have acted in blatant disregard of consumer protection legislation. Surely they've now run out of road? It is time that the CMA take serious and urgent action, so that genuine fans don’t become victims of this company.”


Update - 10th September, 2018

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, FanFair Alliance and Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers (STAR) have published a joint letter sent to Google last week, demanding action to stop Viagogo‘s misleading search advertising.

Update - 31th August, 2018

CMA launches court action against viagogo 

Update - 7th June, 2018

Adjournment debate by Mr Richard Bacon (south Norfolk) on Secondary Ticketing

To read the debate, click here.

Update - 2nd May, 2018

Westminster Hall debate by Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) on Ticket Touting: Musical Events

To read the debate, click here.

Update - 15th February, 2018

New rules introduced to protect consumers against ticket touting.

Update - 30th Jan 2018

Tickets: Touting: Parliamentary Written question - 124036

Question Asked by Mrs Sharon Hodgson MP (Washington and Sunderland West)

Asked on: 22 January 2018

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Tickets: Touting - 124036

"To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when s105 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 is planned to come into force?"

Answered by: Margot James MP

Answered on: 30 January 2018

"We are expecting to bring foward secondary legislation needed to enact this provision later this year."

Grouped Questions:  124038

Update - 28th November, 2017

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and Co-Chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse, commenting on the CMA’s enforcement announcement regarding resale platforms:

“It is welcome news that the CMA are now considering enforcement action against the resale platforms, who we know have repeatedly flouted the law of the land, especially after the many years of MPs and campaigners saying just that.

“What is incredibly interesting from this announcement is the fact that the CMA have widened the scope of their investigations from their original terms after they have seen just how broken this market is and the further action needed to fix it.

“This is positive news from an agency who is ultimately instructed to protect consumers from companies disregarding their rights and will be an important step in the right direction to finally put fans first in this market, once and for all.”  

You can read more about this on the website here:

Update - 21st March, 2017

Sharon Hodgson MP, Labour Co-Chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse and a campaigner against ticket touts for over 8 years, said:

"After my 8 years of campaigning on this issue, it was excellent to see Parliament investigate the secondary ticketing market further - especially after their short inquiry session at the end of last year.

"Whilst viagogo failed to turn up and decided to hold Parliament and the wider British public in contempt, the session was productive and allowed for another chance to shine a light on this market and the abuses that go on within it.

"This ranged from what more can be done to enforce legislation, what testing of current consumer legislation should be taken in court, all the way to the principle of my Private Members Bill in 2011 to cap resale of tickets to face value plus 10% being revisited; to name just a few of the many ideas raised.

"This is an important step in the right direction to clean up this parasitical market so that fans are put first and it will be crucial in our next steps to see what comes from this inquiry."

Update - 20th March 2017

Sharon Hodgson MP backs Fan Fair Alliance's guide to equip fans with the tools to navigate the secondary market: 

"It is fantastic that FanFair Alliance have published their guide, backed by numerous artists and promoters including Mumford & Sons, You Me At Six and Amy Macdonald, to ensure that all fans are put first and equipped with the tools to navigate this parasitical and broken market. This guide will be an ideal companion for all fans to use and complements the work going on within the live entertainment industry and in Parliament to clean up this murky market.”

To see others who have backed the guide, including Mumford & Sons, Ed Sheeran & You Me At Six!, follow this link here

To read the guide, follow this link here

Update - 14th March 2017

Sharon Hodgson MP writes for the Huffington Post on Victims of Viagogo. You can read Sharon's Huffington Post blog on the Victims of Viagogo by following this link here.

Update - 13th March 2017

Sharon Hodgson MP reacts to the Government's announcement that they will ban the misuse of bots & implementing all of the recommendations of the Waterson Review into the secondary ticketing market:

“It is excellent news that the Government have now accepted the Ban the Bots amendment and will finally accept all of the recommendations of the Waterson Review, which to be frank, has been a long time coming.

“This is all down to the concerted campaigning of a whole host of people and organisations who have pushed the Government to do more to put fans first in this broken and parasitical market, and as someone who has been campaigning on this for a very long time, I am delighted that we have seen this day come. 

“These measures will ensure that fans are protected and have assurances that they will not be ripped off any longer, but there still remains work to do to make sure that these measures are enforced properly so touts do not circumvent them as this is going to very soon be the law of the land.”

Update - 19th December 2016

Sharon Hodgson MP, Labour Co-Chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse, welcomes the Consumer Markets Authority's announcement of enforcement investigation into online secondary ticketing, and said:

“It is welcome that there will now finally be enforcement of the consumer rights legislation on the statute book and the undertakings agreed between the Big 4 and the CMA.

“The non-compliance evidence found by the CMA backs up the often daily accounts, both online and in the press, that fans are being ripped off or not getting all the information they need when buying off secondary website. This is one part of a multi-faceted problem in this broken market.

“We know that non-compliance is rife within the market, and now that the Consumer Rights Act has been on the statute book for over a year, it is paramount that enforcement action is taken seriously and swiftly. Alongside this, we need to see the Government taking action on the issue of bulk purchasing of tickets for the sole intention of resale, otherwise this market will remain broken and fans will be continually ripped off.”

Update - 28th November 2016

Sharon Hodgson MP organises cross-party Ban the Bots and Touts Out photo call

Sharon Hodgson MP speaks in favour of Ban the Bots amendment during Report Stage of the Digital Economy Bill

Update - 18th August 2016

Sharon Hodgson MP writes to Culture Secretary following fact-finding mission to Wembley Arena

Update - 15 July 2016

Sharon Hodgson MP supports launch of FanFair Alliance

Update - 14 June, 2016

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announce review to assess whether the four secondary ticket platforms who provided undertakings last year to CMA (Get Me In!, Seatwave, Stubhub and Viagogo) are providing adequate information to consumers, in accordance with their undertakings and their legal obligations.

If you have had dealings with the four main secondary ticket platforms (Get Me In!, Seatwave, Stubhub and Viagogo), CMA are asking anyone with relevant information about their practices to submit evidence to the review.

The review is open for responses until 5pm on 12 July 2016.

more details here: CMA Secondary ticket platforms review

Update - 02 June, 2016

Sharon speaks at a panel debate hosted by Newcastle University Culture Lab.  Prof Waterson was also in attendance at the debate.

Following the publication of the Waterson Review, it is welcome to see recommendations in the report for an investigation by National Trading Standards and the police into the secondary market and see fans put first within the market, and not
an afterthought.

The Business Secretary and Culture Secretary need to act to ensure these recommendations are implemented, and Sharon will push them to do so, as part of the cross-party campaign.

Update - 26 May, 2016

Sharon Hodgson MP reacts to the Waterson review into secondary ticketing.

Sharon Hodgson, as 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.

Update - 22 May, 2016 - Observer article

Powerful software to assist ticket touts widely available online

Update - 21 May 2016 - Guardian article

Call for ticket touting to be criminalised - growing outcry over vastly inflated gig prices as the government prepares to publish its review of the secondary-ticketing market 

Update - 15 May, 2016 - Observer article

Ticket prices - The Observer - How the ticket touts get away with bleeding fans dry



UK Government petition goes live - 6th May, 2016

The petition is open until the 29th October 2016.

When the petition reaches 10,000 signatures, the Government must respond with a statement published on the petition’s website, but when it reaches 100,000 signatures, then the Petitions Committee must consider this petition to be debated by Members of Parliament..

Sign the petition here >  Enforce the Consumer Rights Act to protect music, arts and sport fans from touts

Wording of petition created by Adam Tudhope:

"Fans are being ripped-off by ticket resales. The Consumer Rights Act has not changed this. We demand that Parliament enact last year’s ticket resale amendment, which provides tougher sanctions for resale websites, and also require ticket resellers to reveal their identities."

"On a commercial scale, touting deprives the Treasury of VAT, and performance copyright holders of royalties that should be paid on the mark-ups. It also denies artistes the ability to ensure their events are priced so anyone can attend."

Amendment text, beginning page 3:

BBC One Watchdog programme - last updated 04.06.2014


Sharon Hodgson MP Ticket Touting Campaign tag - - Sharon Hodgson MP Ticket Touting Campaign

To view the original #putfans1st campaign page click here:

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