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2019 in review: February

In February, all the Premier League clubs unanimously voted to continue with the £30 ($39/€34) price cap on away tickets for the next three seasons during the shareholders’ meeting.

Doubts had been raised ahead of the meeting as to whether the £30 cap would be scrapped.

The Premier League said in a statement at the time: “All clubs know the crucial importance of away fans in generating the best possible atmosphere at matches and recognise the additional travel costs often involved when following a team away from home.”

The month also saw the announcement of Burning Man festival’s “substantive” changes to its ticketing model in an attempt to push back against the rise of social media influencers and consumerism.

The changes were made to “ensure that those willing to make the trek to Black Rock City are ready to contribute.”

The move was also an effort to prevent concierge camps from buying blocks of tickets, as they are run for profit and offer pre-packaged lodging without having to put in any work and planning usually associated with the festival.

Changes included moving the pre-sale until after the directed group sale, which included those who are “key contributors to Black Rock City (theme and mutant vehicle camps, art collectives, and core teams).”

The directed group sale was also increased by 10 per cent more tickets in an attempt to boost “meaningful participation,” while the application-based Low Income Ticket Program grew by 18 per cent.

Later in the month, Ticketmaster UK launched its Fan-to-Fan Exchange platform following its move to close its resale sites Seatwave and GetMeIn!.

Ticketmaster closed Get Me In! and Seatwave after claiming “secondary sites just don’t cut it anymore”. Both had ceased trading in December 2018.

The firm’s managing director, Andrew Parsons, said at the time that the exchange service had sought knowledge from across the live events scene and designed a platform that could meet a market need but also attempt to control prices.

He said: “Fans are very clear that they need a means to sell tickets that they can’t use. Part of the issue that we’ve experienced as an industry for some while is that we don’t accept returns or cancellations and so as we’ve got more prescriptive in certain industries about not allowing customers to be able to resell, there was more of a need to have an actual exchange platform. ”

Elsewhere, the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s injunction against Viagogo, which claimed it had breached the Fair Trading Act, failed in February.

The High Court in Auckland ruled that the controversial ticketing site had not been formally served notice, meaning the injunction request was lost.

The Commission argued that Viagogo stated it was an official seller but was actually a resale site. It also contended that it made misleading claims about the availability of tickets, and advertised incorrect pricing for tickets.

An interim injunction, which the commission sought until Viagogo had been formally served, was also denied.

Click here to see the March 2019 review and here to see the January 2019 review.

Image: Bureau of Land Management