US Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Jr. and Frank Pallone, Jr. have introduced House bill ‘Boss and Swift Act’ to bring transparency and regulation to what they describe as the “badly corrupted” live events ticket market.
The updated legislation follows the introduction of the ‘Taylor Swift bill’ in Massachusetts, which would require ticket-selling companies or resellers to disclose the complete cost of tickets, including all required and associated fees, before customers make a purchase.
The Boss and Swift Act is also aimed at regulating ticket sales. The legislation was named after Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift, after recent ticketing-related controversies associated with the stars’ respective tours.
It aims to address problems such as hidden fees, on-sale transparency, buyer protections, speculative tickets, and deceptive websites, according to the bill’s authors.
“For too long, millions of American fans have been unable to get a fair shake for their tickets and cry out for relief,” Congressman Pascrell said in a statement.
“The recent experience of Taylor Swift fans being locked out of her tour is not new and Swifties are just the latest victims of Ticketmaster’s policies and a broken market,” Pascrell added.
His statement was in reference to the recent ticketing fiasco involving Swift’s Eras tour when demand outstripped supply, leading to Ticketmaster’s website crashing during the ‘Verified Fan’ ticket sale and fans suing Ticketmaster in December.
This pricing system also sparked controversy during the sale of tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s 2023 US tour, resulting in some tickets being priced as high as $5,000 and generating widespread attention.
“For decades, the ticket market has been the Wild West: mammoth, opaque, speculative, and brutally unfair. A fan shouldn’t have to sell a kidney or mortgage a house to see their favorite performer or team.”
Congressman Bill Pascrell, JR.
“For decades, the ticket market has been the Wild West: mammoth, opaque, speculative, and brutally unfair. A fan shouldn’t have to sell a kidney or mortgage a house to see their favorite performer or team. At long last, it is time to create rules for fair ticketing in this country and my legislation will do exactly that for all the fans. I thank my good friend Congressman Pallone for continuing to support this important ticket marketplace reform bill,” said Pascrell.
The Boss and Swift Act will require mandatory all-in pricing to ensure that the true ticket price is displayed, clear disclosures of refund policies, transparency on the total number and cost of tickets that will be offered for sale, and preserving ticket transferability, among others.
The pair first introduced an early version of the legislation in 2009 when Congress was flooded with complaints from fans who were directed to secondary sites with inflated prices when trying to buy Springsteen tour tickets.
Pascrell has been a longstanding advocate for regulation in the live events ticket market, previously opposing the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger and urging the Obama administration to reject it.
The legislation builds on their previous efforts and addresses concerns raised in a Government Accountability Office study on consumer protection and competition issues in the ticket market.
“Consumers deserve to enjoy their favorite artists and live entertainment without breaking the bank. It’s past time to update the ticket marketplace to ensure it’s fair, transparent, and working for ticket buyers – not Ticketmaster or resellers,” said Pallone.
“Consumers deserve to enjoy their favorite artists and live entertainment without breaking the bank. It’s past time to update the ticket marketplace to ensure it’s fair, transparent, and working for ticket buyers – not Ticketmaster or resellers.”
Congressman Frank Pallone, JR.
The National Consumers League supported the bill, with Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud, John Breyault saying: “Buying a ticket to see your favorite artist, sports team, or Broadway show should not be an exercise in frustration.”
“Unfortunately, the average fan is at the mercy of a rigged system that makes it nearly impossible to get access to affordable tickets for popular events. And even when fans are able to find tickets to buy, hidden fees can more than double the cost to attend the event. The BOSS and SWIFT ACT is the common-sense solution fans need to bring sanity to the live event ticketing industry,” Breyault added.
Music Business Worldwide