Association of Independent Festivals launches The Fair Ticketing Charter

combating scumbag touts, and inflated secondary ticket market

By Scott Williams | Published: Fri 5th Oct 2012

around the festival site (7)

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has created a Charter against secondary ticketing signed by some big hitters in live music including the Secret Garden Party, Radiohead, Bestival, Gotye and Orbital amongst others.

In a move to keep festival tickets at a price accessible and affordable to fans, Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) have made a stand against touts and the secondary ticketing market in a charter that calls them "bad for fans and bad for live entertainment."

eFestivals is happy to support the The Fair Ticketing Charter which states:
We the undersigned believe that the growth of ticket-touting online - so-called 'secondary ticketing' - is bad for fans and bad for live entertainment.

Ticket touting means real fans are deprived of the opportunity to attend events and see artists they love while speculators cash in.

We believe there are strong arguments for legislation to curb the activities of unofficial ticket-sellers.

Until such legislation is enacted we believe the entire Live Entertainment Industry should further increase its efforts to protect fans.

We affirm that we will be transparent with the pricing and distribution of tickets for events that we control.

We restate our commitment to adopting ticketing processes and technologies which ensure tickets reach the hands of real fans rather than touts.

We call on secondary ticket sellers to cease and desist selling tickets for events we control.

We call on consumers to boycott ticket touts.

In February this year, Dispatches on Channel 4 aired a programme subtitled "The Great Ticket Scandal" exposing the secondary festival or gig ticket market. eFestivals did a news story about the programme (here).

One of the major secondary ticketing scumbag tout websites - Viagogo - attempted to get an injunction to stop the programme being broadcast. The programme alleged that promoters have directly supplied tens of thousands of tickets to secondary outlet online scumbag touts, leading to fewer tickets available at face value for genuine buyers, bigger profits for these promoters, and people having to pay wildly inflated prices if they want to attend these shows.

The Charter is part of a wider strategy to address secondary ticketing, a growing problem of for both the live industry and for gig goers across the UK. The secondary ticketing market has been attempting to cloak and legitimise touting, whilst undermining much of the live sector's attempts to offer quality entertainment at reasonable prices.

eFestivals has always been against touting on all forms. Unlike most other festival and music websites we have always refused to deal with them, and have rebuffed all of the numerous approaches we have had from these companies. We always state in our replies to them that just because a scumbag tout puts on a shiny suit to give the impression of respectability they are still a scumbag tout.

The charter sets out a position against secondary ticketing and demands withdrawal from signatory's events, can claim support from over 55 industry veterans, artists, promoters and festivals. AIF is calling on the industry to rise up and lend their support to the charter.

This subject is being taken very seriously by all parts of the live music industry. The Fan Fair Alliance, is soon to go public with strong views on the subject, and is fully supported by AIF.

Rob da Bank, Bestival and AIF Co-founder said, "The whole secondary ticketing situation does make me really angry, mostly because I just don't feel many of the people paying vastly inflated prices actually understand the mechanics behind it, and secondly because the people profiting are doing so driven by pure greed.

"For me music has never been about money and there's a sharp divide between those in the music business purely for profit and those who are in it for the love of music. The festivals who say they've sold out while blatantly putting hundreds or thousands of tickets on a secondary seller are just plain dishonest."

Dan Silver, (Value Added Talent, representing Orbital & Alabama 3) added, "As representatives of the Artists and acting as their officially appointed ambassadors to their fans, VAT will continue to resist strongly the efforts by unconnected 3rd parties to profit from ticket sales as middlemen, and will always seek to sell to fans at the lowest possible transaction charges – which we would like to stress are not shared in any way with the creators of value, the Artists themselves."

Signatories include 13 Artists, Association of Independent Festivals, Association of Festival Organisers, Chambers Management, Coda Agency, Dawson Breed Music, Gotye, Graphite Media, Hospital Records, John Fairs, JCF Management, Ninja Tune, Portishead, Radiohead, Sandbag, Value Added Talent, Wildlife Entertainment, We Got Tickets, XRay Touring, Bearded Theory, Beat-Herder Festival, Belladrum Tartan Heart, Bestival, Bingley Music Live, Cornbury Festival, Camp Bestival, Deer Shed Festival, Eden Sessions, End of the Road Festival, Evolution Festival, Field Day, Folk on the Water, Glade, Glasgowbury, Glastonbudget, Greenbelt Festival, Green Man, In the Woods Festival, Kendal Calling, Leefest, London Summer Jam, The Magic Loungeabout, Meltdown Festival, Nozstock: The Hidden Valley Festival, No Direction Home, Outside:Inside, Secret Garden Party, Shambala Festival, Summer Sundae Weekender, Stockton Weekender, SWN Festival, The London Green Fair, The Applecart, Tramlines, Truck, Underage, WOMAD, and Y-Not Festival.

To sign up to the industry charter email Emmy at or call +44(0)208 994 5599.

The charter can also be viewed at

To sell spare tickets away from these scumbag touts we recommend that you use the face-value resale website Scarlet Mist.

eFestivals does feel that it's a shame that AIF haven't decided to support Scarlet Mist themselves.

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