Industry News

Spanish Bruce Springsteen fans launch petition to take on touts

The president of the Bruce Springsteen fan club in Spain has launched a petition on calling on the Spanish Congress and Government to take on for-profit secondary ticketing websites.

Fan club chief Joan Colet – whose group is commonly known as the ‘Stone Pony Club’ – has demanded that the Spanish Congress and Government legislate against companies, websites and individuals who resell concert tickets above their face-value.

Using the hashtag: #stopticketabuse to promote its cause, the petitioners argue that there has been a large increase in the amount of for-profit secondary ticket sellers in recent years.

The petition also notes that often tickets are sold on at many times the original price, sometimes even when the tickets in question have had resale expressly banned by the event promoter.

Touts are accused of using a slew of secondary ticketing websites – the petition names Seatwave, Stubhub, and Viagogo as examples – to monopolise tickets and hold concert-going fans to ransom.

Touts have also been accused of selling fake or duplicate tickets, which they do not actually possess, and even selling fans non-existent tickets.

Colet said: “Live music fans need a government ban on the resale for profit of live music tickets, so that we can return to buying tickets at their agreed price, without risk of being ripped off.

“I have created this petition in order to gather the 500,000 signatures that will allow me to present our case to make Congress, the Government, and the Judiciary take the necessary legislative and judicial measures so as to end the robbery of the real fans of live music by a few unscrupulous people who profit at their expense.”

The Stone Pony petition comes hot on the heels of several sets of lawsuits brought against websites such as Seatwave and Stubhub in Spain earlier this year. The lawsuits were filed by the promoters of concerts by the iconic singer-songwriter Joaquin Sabina, the promoters for U2, the Rolling Stones, Adele, Justin Bieber and Springsteen himself, as well as fans of these artists who have been affected by touting.

The suits complain of specific instances of the websites engaging in unscrupulous practices such as lying to consumers about the reliability of the tickets, illegal sale of tickets invalidated by resale and advanced selling of currently unissued tickets for concerts the artists performed in Spain.

In the wake of recent outrage in Spain, the Spanish Ministry for Culture pledged on March 8 to look into legislation to put an end to the secondary-ticketing scandal.

Image: Laura