Ireland to ban reselling tickets for more than face value

The Irish government is considering making it a crime to resell tickets for more than their face value.

Two elected officials are leading the effort, which appears to have the support of the country’s governing body. The sale of tickets for greater than their printed worth, a practice called “touting” in the European Union and the UK, has been studied for years and discussed with Ticketmaster, Seatwave and other groups involved in ticket sales, according to the Irish Examiner.

One of the legislators, Stephen Donnelly, believes the law will result in a “culture change.”

The tipping point seems to be the lightning-fast sell-out of a U2 concert in Croke Park in January 2017, with tickets popping up almost instantly on reseller and secondary market sites with prices in excess of €1,000. After a study by Parliamentarians, the government decided it had enough and additional protections for fans were needed.

‘While this is just in Ireland, it will be interesting to see if a similar bill is soon introduced in the UK and EU and eventually in the US,” writes Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0 for Hypebot. “While many artists, managers and promoters have tried to hold the line with ticket prices, many have used the secondary market as a way to exact higher prices from consumers without actually having to raise the face value of the tickets. Recent legislation to ban high-speed bots, which are the primary way that secondary sellers scoop up the good tickets before normal buyers even get a chance, is also another way that secondary pricing can be controlled.”

Ireland will be following in the footsteps of Belgium, reports, as the only nations in the European Union to prohibit the sale of tickets for greater than face value. “A quick search of Viagogo shows events in that country (Belgium) available for purchase, illustrating the difficulty of enforcing such a policy in a free marketplace.”

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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