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Europe’s live performance sector calls for tougher regulations 

More than 130 organisations and representatives from across Europe’s live performance sector have signed an open letter calling for the European Union (EU) to introduce tougher laws on online ticket scalping.

The EU is currently in the midst of negotiating rules for a Digital Services Act, a regulation that has been designed to manage the internet, including tackling the abuse of online marketplaces such as ticket resale sites.

The letter was written by the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) in association with FanFair Alliance, International Federation of Musicians, Pearle – Live Performance Europe and promoters’ associations Bundesverband der Konzert und Veranstaltungswirtschaft (BDKV) and Association of Musical Promoters (APM).

Signatories include organisations and figures in pop, ballet, theatre, comedy, opera and more.

Major international artists such as Ed Sheeran, Rammstein, Christine and the Queens and Måneskin are just some of the signatories also on the list.

The letter said: “Ticket resale marketplaces are a hotbed for illegal activity. They enable professional ticket scalpers to resell tickets for a significant profit – often fraudulently – contrary to consumer protection and competition laws in many Member States. They use manipulative sales tactics and supply ticket resellers with tools that make it easier for them to commit fraud.”

Founding partner of FEAT and MCT Agentur chief executive, Scumeck Sabottka, said: “I, like others who have signed this letter, am sick and tired of parasitic secondary ticketing sites ripping off fans and live events businesses. We need tougher rules to help us fight back and I hope that a stronger framework can be established to achieve this.”

Magdalena Menheere, group coordination ticketing, Bundestheater-Holding (Austria’s state theatres) added: “The DSA brings major opportunities to create EU-wide harmonisation of rules and take action against cross-border fraudulent secondary ticketing.

“The traceability of traders interlocked with the cross-boarder enforcement of effective legislation is key to protect artists, audiences, and venues in the live performance sector.”

Image: Nathan Fertig on Unsplash