Anti-touting campaign group FanFair Alliance and Victim Of Viagogo founder Claire Turnham have been honoured with the Best Consumer Award at the Sheila McKechnie Foundation’s 2018 National Campaigner Awards.

The SMK Campaigner Awards celebrate campaigns and campaigners locally or nationally, and from individuals and community groups to people working in large organisations.

Adam Webb and Mark McLaren from FanFair Alliance and Turnham won the award for their joint campaign to make event ticketing in the UK more fan-friendly.

Since FanFair’s launch in July 2016, it has campaigned to raise awareness of fans being ripped off when buying tickets through secondary ticketing websites.

Oxford-based Turnham is a consumer rights champion who set up a campaign called Victim of Viagogo. The campaign has created a strong and united consumer voice collectively campaigning for fairer, clearer and a more transparent ticketing practice. So far the campaign has helped reclaim refunds of over £270,000.

Turnham said: “This is a true team effort and shows people power at it’s best. Together, our commitment to ensure safer ticketing practice and our strong, connected voices are empowering victims, transforming experiences and bringing change.”

When Turnham tried to buy Ed Sheeran tickets for her son’s 16th birthday, she thought it was going to be an “amazing” family experience. Instead, she said she was overcharged by £1,150, and the episode has led her to take up an effective campaign against Viagogo, the secondary ticket website she used.

Turnham set up the Facebook group, Victim of Viagogo #VofV in February 2017 to support others who also feel they have been ripped off.  In March, she gave evidence at the parliamentary inquiry.

SMK’s chief executive Sue Tibballs said: “The SMK Campaigner Awards provide us with a unique opportunity to celebrate some of the most inspiring, innovative and often courageous people who are speaking out to effect change. Our communities are fairer, safe, kinder and more tolerant as a result. Our thanks and congratulations to them all.”

In July, Turnham published a self help guide, in conjunction with anti-touting campaign FanFair Alliance, successfully empowering fans to reclaim thousands of pounds from Viagogo.

Webb said: “The push back against online ticket touts has been a real collective effort and one where we are now starting to see substantial progress. We are delighted to collect this award on behalf of all those who have campaigned for so long, and hope a more transparent and consumer-friendly ticket resale market emerges as a result.”

Claire Turnham has been announced as a key speaker at TheTicketingBusiness Forum 2018 on 17-18 April, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester.

Image: Claire Turnham