We knew that anyone who’d bought tickets for Ed Sheeran on secondary site Viagogo would have to buy a proper ticket on the doors before being let in. Last week at Wembley Stadium, those fans had to queue up at desks with prominent ‘VICTIM OF VIAGOGO’ signs above – quite the statement. Yet even other secondary-ticketing companies are also standing up against Viagogo.
Lobbying group the Fair Ticketing Alliance has published a new code of practice, which it hopes will “build greater trust” with fans. Among its stipulations: that its secondary-outlet members will be “refraining from using any secondary exchange platforms that are not making moves to fully comply with CMA regulations”. That’s the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, and the big platform that isn’t currently in full compliance with its new regulations is… Viagogo! “We know we have to behave responsibly to build consumer trust in our businesses, weed out any bad apples and generate repeat custom from fans,” said the Alliance’s chairman Stephen Lee.
The announcement drew a quick response from anti-secondary lobbying group the FanFair Alliance. “While it’s telling that even ticket touts are taking a stand against Viagogo, I think some fairly fundamental questions need to be asked about the Fair Ticketing Alliance,” said its spokesperson. “Such as, who are its members? How do they lawfully obtain large volumes of tickets? And what would the consumer benefits be in giving these businesses a ‘right’ to resell?” This debate will keep on rolling.