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Published date : 02 May, 2018


SNP MP Pete Wishart has said that the ticketing business in the UK is ‘broken and beyond repair’ and it is now a ‘rip off machine’ as he is set to lead a debate on ticket touting at Westminster today.

The comments come as this summer’s big music festivals and events have once again become over-run with touts and profiteers. Pete Wishart will say that the whole ticketing infrastructure has become one of the biggest consumer crises we face in this country.

As a former musician, Pete Wishart, was inundated with Runrig fans angry and frustrated as they tried to get tickets for Runrig’s last show as the touts hoovered them up and put them on-sale at several times the face value a few moments later on the secondary sites. In the debate he will call on the UK Government to get on top of this problem.

Pete Wishart MP commented ahead of the debate:  

’The ticketing business is simply broken beyond repair and it is has become one of the biggest consumer crises we face in this country.

‘’It is currently a business model built to maximise profits and exploit its consumer base. It is in practice a ‘rip-off machine’ - from artist’s management and promoters all the way down to the unsuspecting fan.

“It should be the easiest thing in the world. All you want to do is to buy a ticket to see your favourite band. But swimming shark infested waters would probably be easier and safer than trying to buy a ticket for a popular show. From the first click of the mouse music fans are exposed to any number of touts, profiteers and spivs determined to maximise their return at the expense of genuine music fans.

‘’My attention to this was raised when my old band Runrig put tickets on sale for their final show at Stirling Castle. Within minutes my inbox was full of Runrig fans angry, frustrated and disappointed with the experience of trying to secure a ticket for the show. Within 12 minutes tickets were on secondary sites at several times the value of the original ticket.

‘’Bands like Runrig do all they can to spare their fans the misery of the touts and artists are looking at all sorts innovative solutions to protect their fans. It should not be the responsibility of musicians to protect the public in consumer affairs. That is the job of Government. And the Government has been painfully slow to respond.

‘’The FanFair Alliance has shown that fans are now voting with their feet and are no longer prepared to put up with this abuse. We have to reclaim the music for the sake of our bands, and our love of live music. The Government can rid us of these parasites. They must act now”

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