This seems topical, given the amount of live music news packed into this edition!
In the last couple of weeks, the Concert Promoters Association (CPA) has launched a new website to help prevent music fans from being exploited by touts.
The Website www.officialboxoffice.com permits touts and other secondary sellers to advertise tickets for sale to events, but only if they adhere to strict guidelines.
For example, the seller will have to clearly provide details, such as the face value of the ticket, and exactly where it is located in the venue. The website will also have a contingency system so that if fans fail to receive a ticket bought through the site, promoters will endeavor to provide a full refund.
Sellers will also have to disclose ticket numbers so promoters can check that they are not counterfeit.
Disturbingly, the CPA reports that fans lose over £100,000 a year when touts fail to complete a deal, or the ticket is of poorer quality than advertised.
A press release from the CPA issued on 23rd February states:
“For over three years, the CPA has passionately lobbied the Government and Department for Culture, Media and Sport and has championed the cause to protect consumers. In response to the lack of imminent decisive Government action on ticket touts, the CPA today announce that they have set up a site for music fans to purchase tickets confidently if they have been unable to purchase them through primary outlets”.
In an official statement, CPA spokesman Rob Ballantine commented on touts, saying:
"They don't care if things go wrong because they're just taking a slice of the action. Fans keep us in business so if they get ripped off they won't come again."
Have your say: Does this simply legitimise the practice of touts? Or is it a genuine attempt to regulate the increasing problem in light of Government inaction? Have you ever used a secondary site to purchase gig tickets? Will this inspire more confidence for fans wishing to get tickets for sold out shows?