Pearl Jam Point Out Flaws With Proposed Law to Fix Ticket Scalping Problem
Most are in agreement that something needs to be done about the ticket scalping, bots and secondary ticket sales market, which has been driving up the cost of concert tickets, but according to Pearl Jam, a new bill spearheaded by New Jersey representatives Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone Jr. has some flaws in it that may not alleviate the issues.
In a letter sent to Pallone from the band and posted to Politico, the group outline the issues they see with the legislation. "H.R. 3248 has been presented as a protection for concertgoers to get access to live concerts. Instead, we believe that it primarily, if not entirely, benefits professional ticket resellers using the so-called 'secondary market.' We urge you to stand with us and our fans to reject this flawed legislation," state the group.
The express concern that the new bill would block non-transferrable ticketing. "Consumers need artists to limit scalping and ticket fraud to use ensure that tickets go to fans instead of profit seekers; transfer restrictions make that possible," state the band. "Over the last decade of selling concert tickets, we have seen this become an important tool to ensure our fans get to see us at a reasonable price. The benefits to bad actors in the secondary market ultimately hurt the consumers more than the challenges around restricting transferability as professional resellers get tickets meant for fans."
The group also states that requiring primary ticket sellers to disclose the total number of tickets offered to the general public a week prior to the primary sale actually hurts the consumers more than it helps. They explain, "Consumers don’t make purchasing decisions based on how many tickets are available—bulk purchasers like professional resellers do. Many times in final planning, after tickets have gone on-sale, we are able to create additional ticket opportunities. Artists need to retain this flexibility, for example, to open “obstructed view” seats after a concert nears sellout. We have found this to be beneficial to true fan consumers that otherwise would have missed a sold out show."
The group states that not all of the bill is bad, adding, "While H.R. 3248 as it is currently written would ultimately hurt our fans, we do think it contains some reforms that would benefit both consumers and touring artists. We support the elements that prevent 'speculative ticketing,' where 'bots' hold many tickets until they find a buyer, preventing real fans from buying tickets directly and misleading others into thinking they’re guaranteed a particular seat."
They add, "We also agree that the secondary market should not be permitted to confuse consumers by using deceptive websites and support the provisions requiring clear disclosure of all fees attached to a particular ticket."
In their final plea, the group states, "We constantly think about these issues. Concert tickets are THE connection to our fans. We understand that people occasionally need to re-sell a ticket, and there can be beneficial elements to a secondary market, but we believe H.R. 3248 in its entirety strengthens mass resellers and does not protect the consumer. Please join us in opposing H.R. 3248."
Pearl Jam recently announced their return to the road for 2020. Their North American tour starts March 18 in Toronto. See all of their scheduled dates listed here.
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