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U.S. Lawmakers Take on Concert Ticketing Reform With New Bill Proposals: What Does This Mean For You?

'From ensuring fans get refunds for canceled shows to banning speculative ticket sales, this bipartisan legislation will improve the ticketing experience,' U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said.

Ticket Legislation
Source: MEGA

A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers are trying to reform the ticket purchasing process.

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In a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, federal lawmakers from both parties are trying to reform the ticket purchasing process through new proposals in the U.S. House and Senate. There is significant overlap between two bills that made headlines this week,Ticket News reported.

The proposals are a response to increasing public outrage over the price of concert tickets and the difficulties fans have had buying them. Both bills include a nationwide mandate for all-in pricing, which means sellers would have to clearly show the final ticket price (including all service fees and charges) in advertisements and at the beginning of a transaction. The Senate bill would require sellers to provide an itemized list of any charges, as well.

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Ticket Legislation
Source: MEGA

A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers are trying to reform the ticket purchasing process through new proposals in the US House and Senate.

The bills would also outlaw speculative ticketing on the federal level. That's when sellers list tickets for sale that they don't currently possess. People engaging in the practice are essentially betting that they'll be able to purchase the tickets and resell them. It's already illegal in many states.

The House proposal would require sellers to provide customers with refunds or replacement tickets if an event is canceled or postponed.

It would also make sellers disclose whether they're a primary or secondary marketplace. Secondary marketplaces would be barred from claiming or implying they're affiliated with an artist, venue or team unless there's a written agreement between the two parties.

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The Senate proposal would also strengthen existing 2016 legislation that bars people from using bots to buy tickets and impose stricter penalties on resellers engaging in illegal practices.

"Buying a ticket to see your favorite artist or team is out of reach for too many Americans," US Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, said in a statement obtained by Variety. "Bots, hidden fees, and predatory practices are hurting consumers whether they want to catch a home game, an up-and-coming artist or a major headliner like Taylor Swift or Bad Bunny. From ensuring fans get refunds for canceled shows to banning speculative ticket sales, this bipartisan legislation will improve the ticketing experience."

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Ticket Legislation
Source: MEGA

The TICKET Act was advanced by the US House's Energy and Commerce Committee on Dec. 6.

Both bills line up closely with reforms that have long been pushed by Live Nation, the largest ticketing company in the US.

"We’ve long supported a federal all-in pricing mandate, along with other measures including banning speculative ticketing and deceptive websites that trick fans," the company said in a statement obtained by Billboard. "We’ll continue working with policymakers, advocating for even stronger reforms and enforcement to stop predatory practices that hurt fans and artists."

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Ticket Legislation
Source: MEGA

A group of bipartisan senators proposed the Fans First Act on Dec. 8.

The Fix the Tix Coalition – an advocacy group supported by the National Independent Venue Association and Universal Music Group – applauded both proposals.

"Predatory resellers have made the ticket-buying experience a nightmare for fans. Fake tickets, deceptive marketing practices and websites, and shady pricing harm live entertainment's integrity and siphon money away from artists, venues, festivals, fans, and communities," the group said in a statement on Dec. 8. "The Fans First Act will chip away at the fan entrapment that has become an everyday part of trying to go to our favorite shows."

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Ticket Legislation
Source: MEGA

Many fans have struggled to get tickets to see their favorite artists at a reasonable price in recent years.

So what might this mean for you? If passed, the bills would ease the confusion around buying a concert ticket in the internet age. You would know right away if an advertised price is the actual face value of the ticket, as sold by the actual promoter or venue, rather than a secondary seller up-charging for seats that might still be available for less somewhere else. There would be no more sticker-shock at checkout from ballooning service and venue fees that seem to appear out of nowhere right as you go to hit "purchase." Staying ahead of bots has often been a game of Whack-a-Mole for all types of online retailers, but any action to curb the widespread system-gaming would surely be good news for ticket-buyers.

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