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The Parliamentary Group on Live Entertainment aims to outlaw for-profit online resale ahead of the 2020 Olympics, bringing the law into line with the street selling ban.

A coalition of Japanese parliamentarians are to submit a bill to the House of Representatives to regulate Japan’s increasingly controversial online secondary ticketing market.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members of the Parliamentary Group on Live Entertainment met on 7 December to author the bill, which would mandate all tickets resold on the internet include information about the event’s date, time, location and seat number; a notice that resale of the ticket is prohibited; and that the promoter has taken measures to prevent the ticket’s resale, including by checking the identity of the ticket seller.

The proposed legislation would also classify resale of tickets above face value as fraud, similar to the ban on street ticket touts. There is currently no regulation of online ticket resale, which according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2017 is a ¥50bn ($44m) market, with Ticket Camp – currently being investigated by the police for alleged breaches of competition law – the largest player.

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A growing economy is providing Canadian consumers with more disposable income, a proportion of which is finding its way to live entertainment, reports Steve McLean.


Canada’s economy has led G7 nations in growth in 2017, and that momentum seems to have carried over to the live music industry to a large degree.

“It’s robust,” says Jim Cressman, president of Pentiction, British Columbia-based Invictus Entertainment Group, which books and promotes 500-700 concerts per year at multiple venues. “The right artist at the right price almost always does predictable business.”

Though no national study has yet been done on the live music industry, an economic impact analysis of the business in Ontario – Canada’s most populous province and home to the music hub of Toronto – illustrated how important it is. The Live Music Measures Upstudy showed that the industry was responsible for 20,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2013 and that spending by live music companies and the tourism activity generated by music festivals together contributed just under C$1.2billion (€0.8bn) to Ontario’s gross domestic product.

Those numbers have likely increased, and can be extrapolated across the country, according to Erin Benjamin, executive director of Music Canada Live, which was created in the fall of 2014 to advance and promote the live music industry’s many economic, social and cultural benefits.

The concert industry received an extra boost in 2017 due to Canada’s sesquicentennial, as communities across the country often included live music in their celebrations of the nation’s 150th birthday.

While the Canadian recording industry has benefited from national sources of funding – including the Canada Music Fund, the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), Radio Starmaker Fund, VideoFACT, PromoFACT and the SOCAN Foundation – and broadcasters being legally obliged to play a minimum amount of Canadian content, the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government also provide grants for events and festivals where live music is a major component.

“That support really makes the Canadian music business the envy of the world, quite frankly,” says Jack Ross, who heads the newly opened Canadian office of the Los Angeles-based APA talent agency along with Ralph James.


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In an open letter to ticket buyers, StubHub's Jeff Poirier says the new Ticket Sales Act, stripped of its transparency provision, is a "disappointment for fans like you".

StubHub’s general manager for concerts and theatre in North America, Jeff Poirier, has penned an “open letter to fans” criticising Ontario’s abandonment of the planned ticket transparency provisions in its new Ticket Sales Act, which passed into law yesterday.

In its current form, the Ticket Sales Act caps the price of resold tickets at 150% of face value, bans ticket bots and requires business selling or reselling tickets to disclose certain information, including the capacity of the venue, the number of tickets on general on-sale and the original face-value ticket price.

It also originally required ticket sellers to disclose how many tickets are available to the public for a given event seven days before they go on sale – a provision abandoned last month following reported opposition from the concert industry. Among those believed to have pushed back against the transparency clause were Live Nation/Ticketmaster Canada and industry association Music Canada Live; according to local media, Ticketmaster’s Canadian COO, Patti-Anne Tarlton, told Ontarian parliamentarians that revealing total ticket numbers “could enable [touts] to better use bots to buy bulk tickets where they’re known to be scarce”.

Poirier disagrees, and in the open letter, published yesterday, says the stripped-back legislation will be remembered for its “unintended consequences” on ordinary ticket buyers – and push the secondary market underground.

“Today, the Ontario Liberals passed their Ticket Sales Act,” he writes. “Consultations were initially approached with the best of intentions: increase transparency on availability of tickets on the marketand level the playing field so you have better access and more insight into the ticket buying process. In the end, this legislation will be known more for its unintended consequences than its protection of fans like you.

“In its original form, the Ticket Sales Act banned the use of bots to procure tickets, required ticket businesses to disclose more information to consumers and capped the resale price of tickets. Yet the government has maintained proposals that set fans back and stripped important transparency requirements that could have truly benefited you.”

While he reiterates StubHub’s previously expressed support for banning ticket bots, Poirier cites the January 2016 study by New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman – which found that up to 75% of tickets are being held back from the general public – as evidence that “the issues impacting ticket access are broader than just bots”, which many consider to be only a small part of wider structural issues affecting the ticketing sector. This shortage of publicly available tickets, he continues, “is one of the reasons why you see popular shows ‘sell out’ so quickly”.

“The original legislation required ticket sellers to disclose how many tickets were actually being made available for sale – a simple concept that would provide you better insight into the actual availability of tickets,” writes Poirier. “This is the very issue the proposed legislation was trying to solve. Yet, the government chose to remove this critical provision from the legislation, citing pressure from the live entertainment industry as a prevailing reason over establishing transparency for Ontario fans like you.

“At StubHub, we understand transparency is important across the entire ticket industry, not just in the resale market. You should be able to know how many tickets are available for an event, what your seats will look like and how much you’re going to pay for them. Only in that circumstance can you make a purchase that you truly feel good about.”


“When it comes to price caps,” he continues, “StubHub joins the industry in opposing this measure. This proposal stands to negatively impact Ontario fans like you and Ontario-based businesses like StubHub as ticket resales are driven off platforms that have robust consumer protections. Ticket resale prices will continue to be driven by supply and demand, not by arbitrarily set price caps. The fact is, if a venue holds 20,000 fans, but 100,000 fans want to attend the performance, ticket prices will reflect that demand. If the established market rate exceeds the 50% cap established by government, those sales won’t stop or adapt to reflect the price caps – they’ll just occur at their true value through channels the government cannot regulate. It will happen on street corners where the risk of counterfeit and fraud is significant, and no guarantees are in place; or it will happen on ticket resale websites located outside of jurisdiction of the Ontario government. Either way, you and businesses that have invested in the province will be hurt.

“Consumers benefit from a competitive ticket market where transactions occur through secure channels that prioritise fans. At the same time, it is important to incentivise and encourage this ecommerce to remain right here, in Ontario.

“We have said from the onset that we believe there is a better way for the industry and for you. It’s our mission at StubHub to connect you to incredible live event experiences, and to do so safely and securely by including money back guarantees and fraud prevention measures. This legislation is a disappointment for the ticketing industry, and a disappointment for fans like you.”

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Martedì 12 dicembre, gli agenti dei National Trading Standard hanno condotto incursioni in una serie di proprietà in tutto il Regno Unito", afferma un portavoce del National Trading Standards in una dichiarazione. "Questi raid fanno parte di un'indagine in corso che esamina le pratiche sleali nel mercato del ticketing secondario.


British consumer protection body National Trading Standards has made four arrests as part of its investigation into the business activities of large-scale secondary ticket sellers.

The existence of the investigation, which began in April 2017 and focuses on “businesses that buy and sell tickets in bulk”, was revealed last month when news broke that competition watchdog CMA had raided the London offices of StubHub and Viagogo. It is believed to be codenamed ‘Operation Electra’.

The arrests are linked to alleged breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations act of 2008, the UK version of the EU Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, which seeks to protect consumers from “unfair, misleading or aggressive selling practices”.

While National Trading Standards has not named the four individuals, or the companies they represent, Viagogo in particular has been criticised for masquerading as an ‘official site’ for concert tickets, which could potentially breach the 2008 legislation. It was also recently criticised by French authorities for allegedly misleading consumers on the number of tickets available by suggesting they are about to sell out.

“Yesterday (Tuesday 12 December), officers from National Trading Standards conducted raids at a number of properties across the UK,” a National Trading Standards spokesperson says in a statement. “These raids are part of an ongoing investigation looking into unfair practices in the secondary ticketing market and particularly the practices of businesses that buy and sell tickets in bulk.

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Following an earlier decision by the Commercial Court, the Higher Regional Court of Vienna (OLG) has also found against CTS Eventim's oeticket over delivery charges.

Another judge has sided with the Austrian Consumers’ Association (VKI) in its legal dispute with CTS Eventim over the fees it levies on print-at-home tickets.

In August Vienna Commercial Court, a court of first instance, found that the fees on tickets sold via CTS’s oeticket website, which charges €2.50 for ‘print @ home’ and mobile tickets and €1.90 for those picked up from branches of Libro or oeticket’s own box offices, are “unusual and disadvantageous” for consumers and inadmissible under Austrian law.

The lawsuit by VKI against CTS Eventim last week reached the Higher Regional Court of Vienna (Oberlandesgericht Wien, OLG), which on 5 December similarly ruled the fees to be illegal, although the verdict is not yet legally binding.

According to VKI, the OLG took particular exception to the fact oeticket does not offer a fee-free delivery option, leaving the consumer with no option but to pay them.

“We hope in the interest of ticket buyers that this judgment will be final, meaning consumers are [finally] able to purchase tickets without these additional costs,” says VKI lawyer Joachim Kogelmann.

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Financial support from local and federal government is a key part of Canada's live music success, says one of its most senior booking agents

Agent Jack Ross, the newly appointed co-head of APA in Canada, has hailed Canadian authorities’ support for music businesses as being key to the health of its thriving live music industry.

Speaking to IQ for issue 74’s Canada market report, Ross identifies the grants provided by federal, provincial and municipal governments for events where live music is a major component as a significant contributor to the success of Canada’s concert market, which at US$711m (C$907m) is the world’s seventh largest (see PwC figures from the ITY 2017).

“That support,” he says, “really makes the Canadian music business the envy of the world, quite frankly.”

“It’s robust,” agrees Jim Cressman, president of Pentiction, British Columbia-based Invictus Entertainment Group, which books and promotes 500–700 concerts per year at multiple venues. “The right artist at the right price,” says Cressman, “almost always does predictable business.”

Though no national study has yet been done on the live music industry, an economic impact analysis of the business in Ontario – Canada’s most populous province and home to the music hub of Toronto – illustrates how important it is to the Canadian economy.

The Live Music Measures Up study showed that the industry was responsible for 20,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2013 and that spending by live music companies and the tourism activity generated by music festivals together contributed just under C$1.2bn to Ontario’s gross domestic product.

While optimism was expressed by most people interviewed for the market report, the Canadian live music industry isn’t without its challenges. These include the secondary ticketing market, which the Ontario government is trying to curtail with new (albeit not universally supported) legislation, and the low value of the Canadian dollar compared to its American counterpart, which can in turn work to the advantage of homegrown artists who get paid in ‘loonies’.

“Every time we put an offer in for a US artist, a dollar is costing us C$1.35,” says Louis Thomas, president and owner of Sonic Entertainment Group, a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based concert promotion and artist management company that also owns a record label and recording studio. “That has a big impact on ticket prices, at the end of the day.”

Read the full market report, which focuses on Canada’s major promoters, venues, festivals and more, here.

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Ue, Spera (Assomusica): lavoriamo con direzione cultura su Music Moves Europe

“In questo nuovo movimento che si sta creando in Europa e in questa nuova progettualità del Parlamento europeo bisogna stare molto attenti affinché le cose non restino come sono, con la musica che finisce per essere solo la musica classica, la cultura solo quella materiale e dei monumenti e non si rende conto che ad esempio si possono valorizzare i monumenti con la musica e viceversa fare delle cose”. Lo ha detto ad Agcult il presidente di Assomusica, Vincenzo Spera, a margine della prima giornata del Forum europeo della cultura che si è tenuto a Milano. Per esempio, spiega, “c’è chi ha musicato le opere di Caravaggio trasformandole in musica: questo è il prodotto del futuro, tutto sta nel lavorarci sopra”.

“Stiamo lavorando con la direzione cultura della commissione europea sulla progettualità legata a Music Moves Europe, un tentativo di sperimentare alcuni format per poi riuscire ad ottenere una legge specifica sulla musica così come accaduto con la legge sull’audiovisivo. Però questo non basta, bisogna intervenire anche su azioni legislative”, ha concluso Spera.

fonte: Ag Cult


With terrorists now deliberately targeting venues and events, Richard Smirke talks to Europe's top security experts to hear how the industry is dealing with the threat.

Music arenas have long been prepared for the possibility of a terrorist attack, but it was the tragic events of 22 May – when UK-born Salman Abedi detonated a homemade bomb outside the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people, many of them children, and injuring over 200 more – that confirmed the worst fears about the stark realities now facing venue owners and operators.

“It happened in Manchester, but we all consider ourselves equally at risk,” says Neil Walker, general manager of the SSE Arena, Belfast. “Security and the health and safety of everyone who comes to our building has always been the number-one priority in everything we do, from making sure a production is rolled in safely, to making sure the public are well looked after when they’re here,” he adds, “but it’s been elevated to an even higher focus now.”

“What happened in Manchester brought it brutally home to everyone in the industry that this can happen anywhere,” agrees Reg Walker, director of Iridium Consultancy, which works with a number of UK venues and festivals on security matters. He says that the attack reinforced the need for a “seamless security operation and security in depth” both inside and outside concert arenas, extending to transport hubs servicing venues. “We can’t be complacent over this,” he warns. “The problem with a Manchester-style atrocity is that you see adequate resourcing in the immediate aftermath, but then what happens is the bean-counters kick in and start applying pressure to curtail costs. That is something that must be resisted by venue operators at this time.”

Upping the anti
Thankfully, the general consensus throughout the industry is in favour of enhanced safety provisions, with the majority of European arenas already at a heightened level of security following 2015’s Bataclan and Paris terror attacks. “For 18 months now, everyone who wants to enter the arena is checked twice: first time outside the arena with a preliminary security screening, and a second time at each entrance of the building with a full body search,” explains Julien Collette, general manager of AccorHotels Arena in Paris.

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