Dutch artists are taking a stand against ticket scalping with a new manifesto demanding an end to high ticket prices on the secondary market.
Backed by singers and songwriters like Guus Meeuwis and Blaudzun, the newly-formed alliance presented the manifesto to culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven.
And this one’s quickly gaining steam. The opposition Socialist Party already backs the musicians in The Netherlands, calling for action against scalpers who reap profits without adding anything to the music ecosystem.
“Our fans pay through the nose, but the profits go to someone who adds nothing – except annoyance [and] lots of frustration,” the manifesto starts.
Titled “Stop profiteering from concert tickets,” the manifesto asks politicians to return music to the hands of real fans.
“Performances are therefore becoming less accessible to the real fans, who cannot always pay triple [the face value] for a ticket, so many seats are left empty unnecessarily.”
Van Engelshoven said in March that she planned to discuss the issue with industry stakeholders, including Ticketmaster and Mojo Concerts. She says meeting with industry stakeholders will help to determine if legislation is the answer to the problem.
At this stage, van Engelshoven has yet to propose any legislation to fix the problem. She says an outright ban on ticket scalping would be unenforceable but hopes the EU could find a solution together.
Dutch authority ACM looked into fraud in the secondary ticketing market in 2016.
But the regulator dropped the investigation after concluding that ticket prices were the result of high demand and limited supply.
Separately, some independent investigations into the secondary ticketing marketplaces place the blame at artists feet, saying that scalping is caused by musicians and their agents under-supplying and under-pricing concert tickets.
A study of Adele concerts in the St. Paul, Minnesota area found that only 5% of her tickets ended up on StubHub, thanks to restrictions she placed on ticket sales for the best seats at the show. However, tickets that did end up on StubHub were priced in the $700 range.