LIMERICK Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has spoken out on the need for ticket-touting legislation to protect consumers against the practice of charging outrageous prices for tickets to entertainment events in Ireland.
“The problem of ticket touting was highlighted this week after tickets for the Electric Picnic music event sold out in minutes, but appeared on ticket reselling sites immediately afterwards at huge prices,” Deputy Quinlivan told the Limerick Post.
The three-day festival, which attracts thousands of Limerick music fans, will be held in Stradbally this autumn with Duran Duran, The XX, Interpol, London Grammar and Chaka Khan among the headline acts.
“Weekend camping tickets for Electric Picnic, went on at a price of €246.10 including charges. Later on in the same day, tickets were still widely available on reselling sites at considerably inflated prices”, Deputy Quinlivan said.
“Tickets on the Seatwave site, a Ticketmaster owned company, were selling for €474.98 for a weekend camping ticket, while the same tickets were selling for a total of €542.36 on the Viagogo site”.
He believes this “disgraceful behaviour” is preventing genuine concertgoers and sporting enthusiasts the opportunity to attend events.
“This needs to be tackled. I want to close this loophole with my Sale of Tickets (Sporting and Cultural Events) Bill 2017, which aims to address this issue and has two main objectives. Firstly, it will protect the ordinary consumer who buys tickets in good faith, only to discover that they cannot attend the event. This Bill would ensure that they will be able to dispose of their tickets, allowing up to a 10 per cent profit margin.
Secondly, the Bill will act to stop those who purchase event tickets with the sole intention of reselling them at a profit. This Bill will dis-incentivise these ticket touts by means of substantial fines.”
The Limerick politician feels the practice of consumers getting ripped off by ticket touts has continued long enough and the Electric Picnic case highlights the need for regulation in this area to protect Irish consumers.
by Alan Jacques