As we begin to see COVID-19 cases decline, businesses reopen and hot summer temperatures appear in the seven-day forecasts, music and sports fans across the U.S. are eager for the return of live events. While this return to a sense of normalcy is overall positive, the live entertainment industry still faces a number of issues that have yet to be addressed; most of which date back to the days before the pandemic began. Now as bands and artists announce tour dates for the year, NBA and NHL teams duke it out in the playoffs, and baseball season steps into full swing, it’s as good a time as ever for us here at Fan Freedom to reintroduce our mission.
The Fan Freedom Project works with music, sports and art lovers across the country to combat emerging abusive ticket practices. Nontransferable ticketing uses discriminatory, anticompetitive and deceptive practices that make it harder for fans to buy, resell and use event tickets in a free market. Deceitful “White Label” websites create the impression of legitimate venue sites to sell event tickets above market prices and sometimes mislead fans into purchasing “speculative tickets” that do not exist at the time of sale. Live Nation Entertainment, Ticketmaster’s parent company, holds a virtual monopoly of the live event industry and utilizes a massive lobbying machine to push for anti-consumer legislation in both the federal and state governments, all in the name of maximizing profit. Fan freedom mobilizes people on the ground to fight for pro-consumer legislation and defend against efforts to control fans.
For many, one of life’s greatest pleasures is watching our favorite teams or artists in person, surrounded by fellow, like-minded fans. As the conversation turns toward solutions to bring fans back together, consumer safety, health, and privacy are paramount. We should insist that solutions be accessible to all fans, regardless of where they choose to buy tickets or what technologies they have available to them. We should prioritize flexibility to ensure fans have options if they determine they can or should no longer attend an event. And we should ensure technology is used to enhance the consumer experience, not limit it.
Let’s use this opportunity to do better than “normal” for fans across the U.S. Fan Freedom is eager to fight unfair ticketing practices so that fans can obtain the best possible experience at live entertainment events.
Fan Freedom will be providing blog posts highlighting some of the practices described above – providing guidelines on ways to purchase tickets and what “rights” you have as a ticket purchaser. Getting back to “normal” doesn’t have to mean getting back to giving your money to global conglomerates just to enjoy your favorite artists or teams – it’s our mission to provide fans the freedom they need to enjoy entertainment without fear of being caught in deceitful or anti-consumer traps.