Some good news…

Government has updated business guidance for the Consumer Rights Act 2015 – bolstering the legislation in two ways that should empower artists and event organisers when their tickets are listed for resale.

The changes are intended to provide consumers with greater transparency when buying second-hand tickets.

Currently, secondary ticketing operators and their sellers have a shared legal responsibility to ensure ticket listings include the following information:

1. Location: the block, row and seat number of the ticket.

2. Price: the original face value printed on the ticket.

3. Restrictions: important detail that may apply to the use of the ticket.

The new guidance adds two important updates that FanFair Alliance has been calling for.

  • First, Government has clarified that “restrictions” include resale restrictions.

“For example, if in order to gain access to an event, specific ID, the original payment card and buying confirmation are required in order to gain access this should be made clear.”

  • And second, event organisers now have the opportunity to identify tickets with a Unique Ticket Number (or UTN). If stated in the Terms & Conditions, secondary ticketing platforms would need to detail this UTN if the relevant ticket was listed for resale. This could provide extra protection for standing tickets.

The updated changes can be found in full here. They come into force in April 2018.

Reacting to the news, FanFair Alliance commented:

Under the Consumer Rights Act, secondary ticketing sites and their sellers have a shared responsibility to provide certain key information whenever a ticket is listed for resale. They must show would-be buyers the original ticket’s face value, it’s specific location, and details of any restrictions relevant to it’s use.

With this updated guidance we now have clarification that ‘restrictions’ also include resale restrictions.  For instance, if the original terms and conditions state that a ticket is personalised and ID is required to gain entry, secondary sites must make this information clear. 

From April, event organisers will also have an opportunity to better protect standing tickets by identifying them with a Unique Ticket Number or UTN. Secondary platforms must provide this UTN if such a ticket is listed for resale. 

If properly enforced, we believe these clarifications and updates will better protect UK audiences, artists and event organisers. They should also provide greater clarity to secondary ticketing platforms of their legal responsibilities, and increase overall transparency in what is still a murky and under-regulated sector.