Ticket laws are 'disgrace' says promoter Harvey

Veteran concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith has branded UK secondary ticketing laws “a national disgrace.”

He wants a limit of 10% over face value to be set by legislation, replacing the current situation where sellers can charge what they like.

His comments come after consumers’ association Which? accused secondary sales websites of breaching rules, as the government prepares to end a public consultation on the matter.

Goldsmith cites the example of tickets to U2’s recent London show, which had an official price of £182 but could be found on resale sites for £3300.

He tells the BBC: “We’re asking the government to pass a law which says you cannot sell a ticket for more than 10% of its face value.”

Association of Independent Festivals boss Paul Reed says some sites are guilty of fraud. He says: “I don’t think ‘parasitic’ is too strong a word for the secondary industry. This is an industry that’s been allowed to grow on the back of the creative arts without reinvesting anything.

“We had an event this year where 27 people bought tickets on a secondary platform. The platforms weren’t contactable, they weren’t accountable. These tickets were fraudulent.

“We’re dependent on genuine fans. If they’re constantly banging their head off a wall trying to get a ticket, they’re going to give up.”

Ticketmaster, who own secondary sites Get Me In and Seatwave, say the market has “high levels of consumer protection” and that acts of fraud are “very rare.”

StubHub report: “If we are made aware of speculative selling we will investigate and remove listings where appropriate.”

The UK government consultation is open until November 20 (Friday). The Department for Culture, Media and Sport say that all responses will be considered.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.