More than 250 artists back ‘Fans First Act’ US ticketing bill

It’s easy to lose count when thinking about the policy landscape around ticketing in the US. How many bills promising reforms? Lots. How many ‘grassroots’ campaigns funded by particular entities in the space? Plenty. How many lobbyists jostling to sway politicians to their cause? Umpteen.

Here’s a new number to consider: more than 250. That’s how many artists have signed a new letter to US Congress organised by one of the organisations lobbying for reform, the Fix The Tix Coalition.

(That’s the one led by the National Independent Venue Association and ticketing company Eventbrite, with support from Dice and CashOrTrade. But the likes of the RIAA, Recording Academy, Universal Music Group, A2IM, SoundExchange, Sag-Aftra and MMF US are also members, so it’s not just ticketing firms.)

Billie Eilish, Lorde, Diplo, Becky G, Nile Rodgers, Dave Matthews, Cyndi Lauper, Sia, Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Graham Nash are among the headline names for this letter, which is pressing the US Congress to pass one of those bills, the Fans First Act.

That’s the bill introduced last December focusing on greater transparency in ticketing around fees and other terms and conditions, as well as strengthening measures to tackle scalping (touting) and ‘bad actors’ in secondary ticketing.

“The Fans First Act bans fake tickets and deceptive marketing tactics that trick our fans into paying more for tickets that may never get them into a show,” said the letter. “And, it requires ticket sellers to show the full itemized price of a ticket from the moment a transaction begins. Even better, it backs all these regulations up with clear penalties and enforcement.”

This is all part of the battle around the various proposed bills, some of which are competing directly. For example there’s the ‘BOSS and SWIFT Act’ that was introduced in May 2023, backed by organisations with links to the National Association of Ticket Brokers and StubHub.

The Fix The Tix Coalition criticised it at the time, which gives you a sense of how the sides are lining up. What’s missing – for now – is clarity on what final form of legislation to reform the US ticketing market might emerge from this lobbying battle. But Fix The Tix clearly sees artists as its secret weapon in that fight.

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