Arts & Culture

Election focus: Labour manifesto features ticketing resale reform pledge

Labour leader Keir Starmer

Featured Image: Rwendland/CC BY-SA 4.0

The Labour Party has included a pledge to introduce new consumer protections on ticket resales in its election manifesto.

Labour, well clear in polls ahead of the July ballot, will look to reform ticketing according to its manifesto. Keir Starmer’s party also included an outline of its creative industries sector plan and pledges on events and sport in its election document.

The pledge comes two months after Starmer used a high-profile speech to announnce plans to cap resale prices and regulate resale platforms.

“Access to music, drama and sport has become difficult and expensive because of ticket touting,” the Labour manifesto reads. “Labour will put fans back at the heart of events by introducing new consumer protections on ticket resales.”

Culture and major events

Labour pledged to implement a creative industries sector plan as part of its Industrial Strategy. It said this will create jobs and accelerate growth in film, music, gaming, and other creative sectors.

Labour said it will seek to improve access to cultural assets by requiring publicly funded national museums and galleries to increase the loans they make from their collections to communities across the country.

A Labour government would also put a focus on hosting major events, such as the 2028 UEFA European Championships.

The manifesto reads: “From the Men’s UEFA European Football Championship to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to the Invictus Games, Labour will deliver international events with pride and seek new opportunities where we can, creating a legacy to inspire the next generation of talent while promoting exercise and healthy living.”

Starmer’s ticketing vow

In a speech in April, Starmer said his government would strengthen consumer rights legislation to restrict the resale of tickets at more than a small, set percentage over the price the original purchaser paid. The number of tickets individual resellers could list would also be limited and platforms would be held accountable for the accuracy of information about tickets they list for sale.

The announcement was welcomed at the time by many within the live events sector.

Ed Sheeran’s manager, Stuart Camp, said: “This is fantastic news. We have spent years fighting the scourge of online ticket touting and keeping prices fair for fans. The impact of these policies should be monumentally positive.”

Conservatives commit to nighttime economy review

The Conservative Party did not include any reference to event ticketing in its manifesto, published earlier this week.

It did pledge to launch a review of the nighttime economy in England, looking at how to reverse the decline in pubs and clubs and revive lesiure and entertainment within towns and cities. In a vow on the culture sector, the current government said it would focus on apprenticeship opportunities. It said that everyone who wants to work in the music, film, TV and gaming sectors will be able to work on live productions whilst benefiting from at least 12 months of secure training.

The Tories would also extend their Community Ownership Fund to help communities take control of facilities like pubs and music venues.

What about the other parties?

Reform has not made commitments towards entertainment and the arts, but has vowed to help small businesses. It would do this by changing corporation tax thresholds and rates and lifting the VAT threshold to £120,000. Business rates for small and medium High Street firms would be abolished.

The Liberal Democrats said they would protect fans from being exploited by touts by implementing the Competition and Markets Authority’s recommendations to crack down on illegal ticket resale. These recommendations were rejected by the current government last year.

It would also upgrade the status of tourism in government with a dedicated Minister of State for Tourism and Hospitality. Further pledges include maintaining free access to national museums and galleries. It would also boost funding for cultural projects by applying to participate in Creative Europe.