Big Ben, London

The UK’s political parties are preparing for ‘conference season’.

That’s where politicians and activists decamp en masse to cities that aren’t London for events that are 10% policymaking and 90% drinking, dancing and plotting. Which means around now is a good time for anyone lobbying those politicians to set out their stall.

Two examples. First, the UK’s umbrella music-industry body UK Music has launched a ‘Manifesto for Music‘ this morning, which explains what it wants the government (or, being realistic, the next government after 2024’s anticipated general election) to do to support the music industry.

The manifesto boils down to five recommendations. UK Music wants millions of pounds more to be invested in music education, and it wants the government to act on its previous suggestions for how AI technologies should be regulated to protect human musicians.

UK Music also wants the government to sort out the touring mess caused by Brexit; introduce a tax credit for music production akin to that enjoyed by the film, games and animation industries; and to “end rip-off secondary ticketing practices”.

Which brings us neatly onto today’s second bit of stall-setting-out aimed at politicians. The anti-touting (or scalping, for American readers) campaign FanFair Alliance has relaunched with its own three-pronged call for a “reset in how politicians, regulators and the music business look to tackle ongoing problems” in the ticketing market.

FanFair wants new laws making it illegal to resell a ticket for profit, and it wants tech platforms including Google and YouTube to do more to point fans away from touts and towards legitimate tickets. It also thinks “the live music business needs to make capped consumer-friendly ticket resale visible and viable”.

FanFair’s call has the support of UK Music, with the latter’s interim chief executive Tom Kiehl describing the former’s plan as “sensible steps” that “should be embraced”. Both will likely be trying to drum up support at the upcoming party conferences.

The Conservative Party, which forms the current government, kick theirs off in Manchester on 1 October, while the Labour Party, which appears in pole position to win the next election, follow with theirs on 8 October.

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