The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has published an anti-touting charter aimed at the secondary ticket market, with various promoters, agencies and artist management signed up.
The charter says: “We restate our commitment to adopting ticketing processes and technologies which ensure tickets reach the hands of real fans rather than touts” and also calls on secondary ticket sellers to cease and desist and for consumers to boycott touts in any form.
Those signed up include various festivals that are already members of the AIF such as End of the Road, Field Day and Evolution alongside top live booking agents 13 Artists and X-Ray Touring, artists including Radiohead and Orbital and Management Companies such as Wildlife.
AIF co-founder Rob Da Bank said: "The whole secondary ticketing situation does make me really angry, mostly because I just don't feel many of the people paying vastly inflated prices actually understand the mechanics behind it, and secondly because the people profiting are doing so driven by pure greed”
He continued: “The festivals who say they've sold out while blatantly putting hundreds or thousands of tickets on a secondary seller are just plain dishonest".
The secondary ticket market became an especially hot topic in the UK earlier this year when a ‘Dispatches’ documentary blew the lid off various nefarious practices within the likes of Viagogo and Seatwave alongside promoters including SJM and Live Nation.
Last year, the AIF launched the ‘Ticket Trust’, an ethical exchange service enabling fans to source tickets to sold-put events at face value without resorting to the secondary sites. In addition, ‘The Fan Fair Alliance’, a group backed by long campaigning anti-tout MP Sharon Hodgson are reportedly preparing to launch soon.
The emphasis of the Charter seems to be on shaming secondary ticket agents and providing a unified front across the industry on a serious ongoing issue- whether this will lead to actual change remains to be seen but its unlikely to discourage fans from using such services when they are desperate to get into a show.
To see the complete charter and list of companies and artists signed up, go here.
Generate debate: What are your thoughts on the Charter? Perhaps the solution is more systemic and lies in services such as the Ticket Trust becoming more wide-ranging and a focus on different processes. For example, the Glastonbury pre-registration process and Radiohead’s approach of requesting that fans bring photo ID to collect tickets on the evening- measures that have their own problems, with fans finding it incredibly difficult to sell at face value if they can’t make it to the band’s recent UK arena shows. Such steps are unlikely to become industry wide in the near future, as they require additional resources and investment that often isn’t possible for promoters operating on a smaller scale.