UK government report urges ticket resale sites to step up fight against touts

Rock fans at an AC/DC gig
(Image credit: Getty)

Iron Maiden are among a group of artists who have welcomed UK government recommendations on the secondary ticket market.

The government’s Independent Review of Consumer Protection Measures concerning Online Secondary Ticketing Facilities was published this week.

Overseen by Professor Michael Waterson of Warwick University, the review calls on companies like Viagogo, Get Me In, StubHub and Seatwave to take more action to prevent touts from buying concert tickets in bulk.

The report, which can be read in full here, also warns ticket resale sites to observe the law by always displaying ticket face values.

However, it does not recommend any changes to the law. Fans had called for a price cap, limiting the profit made on any ticket resale to 10%, but this was rejected by Professor Waterson who said such a move would “legitimise” touting.

It comes in the same week that consumer watchdog Which? released research which found that the four biggest secondary ticket sellers were flouting the Consumer Rights Act 2015 regularly.

A joint statement signed by the managers of Iron Maiden, Arctic Monkeys and others reads: “Professor Waterson exposes a dysfunctional and under-regulated ticketing market.

“His review calls on government to enforce the law, and for secondary ticketing sites to apply the law and show responsibility.

“We believe that fans should be given every opportunity to buy and exchange tickets at the price they were intended – not see them used as collateral to boost the profits of scalpers.”

A spokesman for Stubhub, which is owned by eBay, says: “We welcome Professor Waterson’s recognition of the benefits for consumers from the secondary market and his decision to reject further legislation at this stage, including price caps.

“But we are concerned that there are still insufficient legal safeguards to stop event organisers using row and seat number details to cancel, without compensation, tickets offered for resale. Transparency should not come at the expense of people’s right to resell their tickets.”

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.