Industry News

Sheeran backs FanFair Alliance ticket-buying guide

Stars including Ed Sheeran have backed a new ticket-buying guide from FanFair Alliance that urges music fans not to use secondary ticket sites such as StubHub and Viagogo.

The document lists 10 tips to help music lovers to beat touts when buying tickets online, and comes after the campaign group last year published a guide for managers and promoters.

The guide has the backing of Sheeran, Mumford & Sons, Amy Macdonald, Ed O’Brien (Radiohead), Imogen Heap, Royal Blood, Mark Knopfler, Wolf Alice and You Me At Six, and will be promoted in the coming weeks by a series of artist videos promoting its key messages.

The guide tells music fans to “resist the ‘secondary ticket’ sites” when “tickets miraculously pop up on GET ME IN! Seatwave, Stubhub and Viagogo”.

“The guide is a response to the dark arts employed by the resale platforms,” said Adam Webb of FanFair Alliance. “These businesses not only fuel industrial-scale levels of ticket touting, they also use a range of manipulative marketing techniques that sow confusion when tickets go onsale and direct fans away from legitimate and authorised sellers.

“In response, FanFair has consulted widely to come up with ten simple tips that aim to empower audiences and help them better navigate the ticket buying process.”

Read the FanFair Alliance guide here

The guide suggests fans should plan ahead so that they know when tickets to see their favourite acts are to go on sale, while researching buying options and checking for pre-sales. FanFair Alliance also says the public should not trust search engines which are “dominated by the big secondary ticket websites”.

Sheeran, who recently held nine of the top-10 places in the UK music chart, said: “It’s important to get educated about ticket touts. Read the advice in the FanFair Alliance guide – find out who the authorised ticket sellers are, avoid the secondary sites…and if you’ve got to sell a ticket, sell if for face value.”

FanFair Alliance was set up last summer to lobby politicians to clamp down on online touting. It was launched by the managers of a number of groups and artists, including the Arctic Monkeys, Mumford & Sons, One Direction and PJ Harvey, and has the support of a number of ticket companies.

The FanFair Alliance guide has been backed by Richard Davies, founder of face-value reseller Twickets, whose company is the only official resale site for Adele’s UK concerts.

He said: “It’s great that FanFair have put together such an easy-to-follow guide to buying tickets. The ticketing landscape can be complex and often misleading, especially when you have so many platforms selling tickets at wildly conflicting prices. We urge people to stay away from the rip off secondaries.”