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Ed Sheeran, Little Mix and more campaign against ticket touts

Ed Sheeran and Little Mix are among the acts campaigning for tougher action to be taken against ticket touts.

The issue of touts buying out tickets and then selling them onto fans at a drastically increased rate has long been a problem, but musicians in recent months have called for more action to be taken to combat this from happening.


Now a new campaign, dubbed the FanFair Alliance, is calling for the U.K. government to take stronger action against those websites that resell concert tickets. The managers of acts like One Direction, Mumford and Sons, Jess Glynne, Biffy Clyro, Iron Maiden and Noel Gallagher are all behind the new initiative.


Ian McAndrew, the manager of British group the Arctic Monkeys, launched the campaign at London’s Somerset House on Thursday (14Jul16), and blasted these kind of websites for their "rampant profiteering".


"FanFair aims to take a pragmatic approach," he explained. "That is why we are also urging Government to take measures and commit resources to enforce existing legislation. With that in place, we can seriously disrupt the more egregious touts and help get more face value tickets into the hands of fans. But that support is crucial. Otherwise fans will continue to be ripped off and we in the industry will continue to fight an uphill battle."


Tickets to highly anticipated shows, such as the Radiohead gigs and Adele's tour this year (16), are often snapped up by "professional" resellers, who then use websites such as Seatwave, Viagogo, Stubhub and Get Me In to sell them on at a much dearer price.


As an example, tickets to see Justin Bieber's Purpose tour in November (16) are currently being advertised for $1,603, compared to a face value cost of $99.54.


However, the ticket sales websites insist that the high prices tickets are often advertised for rarely sell.


A spokesperson for Viagogo told the BBC that "while a seller can list a ticket at any price he likes, it doesn't mean the ticket will actually sell at that price".


They added that the majority of the people who used their websites are fans, and not professional touts.


The FanFair Alliance campaign follows a petition set up by the group of managers, artists and trade bodies back in May (16), which already has 44,000 signatures. Fans are now being encouraged to register their support for the new initiative.