Labor has promised to overhaul current laws in relation to ticket sales for live music and events if (make that a when) it assumes power in May 2019.
Tony Burke, the current Shadow Minister for the Arts, has outlined the vision for contemporary music in a Shorten Labor government and plans to stop companies such as ViaGoGo from continuing to take advantage of vulnerable (and generally older) music fans.
Launching Labor’s music policy today in Sydney Tony Burke said, “We are at a crossroads moment. With all the changes that are happening in the music industry around the world countries will either get this moment wrong and foreign music will overtake them and they’ll lose their own soundtrack or they’ll get it right and their anthems will be heard around the world and their people who live there will have their own music to go too. We want to make sure we get this right”.
The police includes the following:
A Shorten Labor Government will impose a nationwide ban on the use of automated bots to buy tickets. And we’re going to impose a price limit on tickets that are sold in the resale market.
We’re going to ban bot software so professional ticket scalpers can’t rapidly purchase all the best tickets when an event goes on sale online. That means that when you log on to buy tickets, you’re only in the queue against other people – not sophisticated software.
We want to ensure there is fairness.
We’re also going to try to further put pressure on scalpers by limiting ticket resales to 10% more than the cost price.
Scalpers and websites like ViaGoGo will be subject to a reformed Australian Consumer Law.
Weeks ago in a statement he said, “people will continue to be ripped off by websites like fake ticket reseller Viagogo, where consumers are being exposed to the dishonest practice of being sold fake or overpriced tickets.
“Concerts, festivals and other live entertainment are one of the biggest discretionary purchases that consumers will make each a year. Consumers deserve to know that their hard earned money will purchase them a legitimate ticket to the advertised event”.
The news was welcomed by RT Event Enterprises founder Duane McDonald, who organises the One Electric Day and Red Hot Summer events. “The secondary ticket market I believe is killing both the industry and the confidence of the consumers,” Mr McDonald told Noise11.com. “As recently as last weekend we had over 30 patrons at the gates to an event with fraudulent tickets purchased through sites such as Viagogo. Not only were they sold a dud ticket, but in some cases the patrons had paid up to four times the face value. Despite every attempt to warn consumers to only purchase through the official seller, people continue to be duped into the wrong platforms. Google has a large part to play in this as well by allowing these parasites to advertise with top billing in their search engine, with false claims of final tickets, official seller, don’t miss out etc etc”.
Despite the live music industry contributing over a billion dollars to the Australian economy the current Liberal Party has been blasé about the growing problem. A Shorten Labor government will cap the resale of tickets to 10% above the ticketing price (recognising that some people genuinely can’t make a show for a variety of reasons).
“I truly welcome a government that is prepared to take action and wipe out these scum who are taking advantage of true music fans,” Duane said.
“This government continues to fail Australian consumers,” said Mr. Burke.
Again today he reconfirmed, “the reason we are launching soundtrack Australia is because we believe in you. We believe in the work that you do and how it defines and changes the country we are in. How we handle this moment in history will matter”.
Labor leader Bill Shorten said today, If we are to have a fantastic music industry then we have to invest in our workers of song”.