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FEAT to bolster face-value ticketing initiative across EU

A new organisation, the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), has launched across Europe to help bolster the drive to tighten-up secondary ticketing legislation.

FEAT, which launched yesterday (Thursday) at live music conference ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag), brings together promoters and managers who represent artists including Adele, Björk, Ed Sheeran, Iron Maiden, Elton John, Florence + the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rolling Stones, Radiohead and Rammstein, as well as several festivals.

Sam Shemtob, FEAT director, said: “The growth and effectiveness of grassroots movements against industrial ticket touting in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland in recent years has been invigorating. The time has come for these these movements to connect, collaborate and speak as one at a European level, where we know MEPs are listening.”

FEAT points to the success of a number of initiatives aimed at tightening up ticket resale, such as the UK’s FanFair Alliance. However, it adds that global platforms continue to operate with “impunity, ignoring guidance, legislation and rulings from courts.”

The organisation’s focus includes encouraging better legislation at national and EU level by coordinating lobbying efforts for better legislation to protect fans and artists and encouraging enforcement.

It will also look into collecting data and research by tracking artist and fan concerns, ensuring their interests are represented and voices are heard.

Scumeck Sabottka, chief executive, MCT-Agentur and FEAT director said: “We need to get this right as otherwise fans and artists alike will be robbed by thieves; if we all pull this together and get EU legislation to follow our lead, we can ultimately make it work.”

Neo Sala, founder and chief executive, Doctor Music and FEAT director, said: “Governments need to understand speculative ticket resale is an abusive and unethical practice that harms people, and they need to approve laws that make it virtually impossible. We need legal tools that facilitate the immediate preventive close down of websites that put tickets on sale without having been authorised by the organiser of the event.”

FEAT is already actively involved in EU parliamentary discussions on secondary ticketing and has also been facilitating the formation of a legal group to coordinate activities on ticketing regulation and with search engines.

Sharon Hodgson, MP and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ticket Abuse, said: “As chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse, I have worked on this issue in the UK for almost a decade. In 2011, I proposed a Bill which would cap ticket resale at 10% above their face value. Unfortunately, this Bill did not pass into UK Legislation.

“Since then, I have been working with my cross-party colleagues, and the sector, in order to tackle unscrupulous ticket touts in the UK, who re-sell tickets for profit. It is time for legislation that puts fans first, and I am working closely with the UK Minister to try and find a solution to this. I am pleased to support the efforts of FEAT in dealing with this across Europe.”

Image: Martin Fisch