Photo Credit: Redd F
Six US Senators have introduced the ‘Fans First Act’ as another means to address live event ticketing reforms. The act hopes to increase transparency in ticketing sales.
The bipartisan bill was brought to Congress by John Cornyn (R-TX), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Peter Welch (D-VT), and and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM). Demand for Taylor Swift and Beyonce tickets throughout the course of 2022 and 2023 has prompted Congress to take action on speculative ticket pricing, junk fees, and anti-trust violations.
Several Taylor Swift fans sued Ticketmaster for ‘fraud and price-fixing’ following the first on-sale events for the Eras tour. They allege Ticketmaster allowed scalpers to buy the majority of tickets to resale on its secondary market—where Ticketmaster also receives a cut of the jacked up price.
“Because no other venue can hold half as many people as the stadiums and venues working through Ticketmaster, Taylor Swift and other popular musicians have no choice but to work with Ticketmaster,” that lawsuit reads. It was one of the first suits that began the domino train of action we’re seeing now.
The Fans First Act seeks to improve price transparency for tickets and resellers in several ways. All-in pricing means there will be no surprised at the final checkout screen with ‘junk fees’ tacked on to the ticket price. It also requires sellers to inform the purchaser if they are purchasing from a primary vendor or secondary ticket reseller.
The act also includes some provisions to strengthen the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, signed into law in 2016. The bill would also create a reporting website for fans to issue complaints to be monitored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
“With the introduction of the Fans First Act today, the Recording Academy applauds Senators Klobuchar, Cornyn, Blackburn, Luján, Wicker and Welch for taking this important step towards comprehensive ticketing reform,” said Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “As we work together to improve the ticket marketplace, we urge Congress to act on this bill and continue its effort to protect both artists and fans by increasing transparency and limiting bad actors that take away from the joyous experience of live music.”