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COMMENT: Music fans to benefit from ‘new politics’

Monday, 20th August, 2018 7:59am

Story by Tony McCullagh
COMMENT: Music fans to benefit from ‘new politics’

Photo: Darren Kinsella

COMMENT: Music fans to benefit from ‘new politics’

Photo: Darren Kinsella

IT’S not everyday that you get to praise a politician… so (deep breath) here goes.

The Government’s recent announcement that it is to introduce legislation to clamp down on ticket touts is a rare example of so-called ‘new politics’ at work. This came about largely as a result of two TDs from rival parties – Fine Gael’s Noel Rock and Stephen Donnelly of Fianna Fáil – working together on an issue for the common good. 

Their proposed legislation will ban the above face value selling of tickets for sporting and entertainment events in designated venues with a capacity of 1,000 or over. It will also prohibit the use of bot software to purchase tickets in excess of the numbers permitted by event organisers.

Even though the Bill has yet to pass through the Dáil and Seanad, it is already being hailed as a success after Ticketmaster announced the closure of its controversial Seatwave site last week (something, it claimed, was already in the pipeline). Whatever the reason for its demise, it’s safe to say that Seatwave had provided Ticketmaster with a PR nightmare.

Separately, the GAA announced that any All-Ireland hurling and football final tickets found to be on sale online in excess of their face value price would be cancelled.

Deputy Noel Rock welcomed both developments and said he was satisfied to see the legislation already having an immediate effect, despite the fact it has not even been enacted yet.

He stated: “This proves the desire for change is there and that sporting organisations such as the GAA are showing their support for their fans who have continuously backed their teams with passion for long periods of time.”

While progress is being made on the issue of ticket touting, the face value cost of attending major events can still be prohibitively expensive. We’re now living in a post-CD era and even the revival of vinyl can’t sustain the revenues of modern recording artists. 

How we consume music has changed radically in the past decade. Streaming has done to paid music downloads what iTunes did to CD sales. Bands now need to constantly tour to put bread on the table and rely heavily on merchandising at concerts. 

As a result, ticket prices for many concerts can be beyond the reach of many music fans – and that’s without the touts getting their grubby hands on them! Our superstars would want to be careful that they don’t price themselves out of a gig.

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