"The Denial of Secondary Ticketing - From Artist to Consumer" - Conference Report

Great success for the first edition of international conference "The Denial of Secondary Ticketing - From Artist to Consumer".held yesterday, Thursday 26 January 2017, at the Franco Parenti Theatre by Milan and was streamed on Rockol, RadioPopolare.it, Altroconsumo.it and in English on the portal of the British magazine IQ. The participation of the media, public and industry professionals was broad and particularly well prepared on the topic of the so-called 'online scalpingwhich has hit the headlines in recent months after the scandal revealed in the Le Iene broadcasts involving Live Nation in particular.

The conference developed into two sessions: in the morning the interventions of members of the Italian and international live music industry, while in the afternoon there was a round table which compared the opinions of experts, with interventions from the audience, and which focused on the problem of ethics also linked to the lack of specific legislation on the phenomenon.

In the morning, after the institutional greetings of the Milan City Councillor for Culture Filippo Del Corno, Claudio Trotta opened the proceedings by announcing the creation of a Permanent Anti-Secondary Ticketing Observatory.

The first guest to speak was Claudio Maioli, Ligabue's manager and creator of Riserva Rossa Management, who had already had harsh words on the phenomenon in recent months. Maioli said that only good information and a state law on the subject could stop the problem, while the nominal ticket could be part of the solution.

To follow Luca Montebugnolipresident of Best Union, urged industry players to remain united and united to fight the problem, noting the change in SIAE's attitude on the issue and calling for new regulations and more sophisticated IT control technologies.

Ticketonerepresented by its CEO Stefano Lionetti, argued that there are several players on the secondary market, including artists, as emerged just last week with the cases of Robbie Williams and Madonna. Lionetti, even at the risk of being unpopular, illustrated the various ways in which online scalping is fuelling ticket sales and dispelled some myths about ticket sale controls.

Adam Webb of the Fan Fair Alliance, an international body working to protect fans from phenomena such as secondary ticketing, outlined its mission and stressed the importance of worldwide legislation.

Artists have also come out against this market deviation: Elio from the stage pointed out that secondary ticketing is too good a name for a phenomenon to call instead pure parasitism. Besides him, other well-known faces sent their contributions because they were unable to attend the conference: Manuel Agnelli, Niccolò Fabi, Levante, Piero Pelu e Federico Zampaglione.

Ivo Tarantino, representing Altroconsumo, stated how the association has long been engaged in the fight against this phenomenon and that actions have recently been introduced to protect consumers before the Anti-Trust and other supervisory authorities.

Also Alex Brufordrepresenting the UK booking agency ATC Live, brought his international experience on the topic of combating secondary ticketing, recalling the statements of Mumford & Sons, who quantified their own economic loss from online scalping at $3 million.

Through the video contribution of Gaetano Blandini - Director General - and the speech in the hall by Gennaro Milzi - Director Convention Services Office - the SIAE pointed out that the problem lies in the lack of real financial control over transactions and explained to the audience the complaint filed against Viagogo, a secondary ticketing site that announced the availability of tickets for Vasco Rossi's Modena Park even before pre-sales had opened on the official sales channel. For Milzi, the solution to the problem could be a 'package' consisting of legislation, a code of ethics and precise sales policies.

Also speaking at the conference was the Honourable Brando Benifei, MEP for the Democratic Party, who pointed out that European directives are not enough to hinder secondary market transactions to date; rather, a real, shared European law will be needed.


After the break, the conference resumed with the presentation of a new Code of Ethics for the Live Music Industry by the lawyer Stefano RosaIt is a programme document that demands clarity and a commitment on the part of all those involved in Italian live entertainment, with a view to fair competition and the common rejection of a phenomenon that undermines this system at its very foundation, all in the light of the higher value of ethics to be revived and relaunched. This was the starting point for the round table moderated by Claudio Agostoni, programme director of Radio Popolare.

The first to speak was Giampiero Di Carlo, editor of Rockol, according to which secondary ticketing is the equivalent of what was the Napster phenomenon in the 1990s and which currently has revenues equal to those of the music streaming market.

The Honourable Sergio Battelli5 Star Movement MP and member of the Chamber's Culture Commission, relaunched the idea of the nominal ticket already used in football, but Cristina Trotta (Barley Arts Promotion) intervened from the audience, arguing that the system adopted in football is not suitable for concerts and that the relevant regulations should rather be changed.

The lawyer Anna Maria Steinan expert on competition and anti-trust, reminded how ethics underlies everything, and the debate shifted to the issue of dynamic pricing of the failure to fluctuate ticket prices in the secondary market.

The conference continued with speeches by Vincenzo Spera president of Assomusica, lawyer. Paola Savio - who referred to the possible criminal repercussions of the phenomenon - and Massimo Cotto interspersed with public participation including the proposal of BoxOffice Tuscany to temporarily shut down the main secondary ticketing sites and find a way to make them pay the fees owed to the State. Other artists also made their voices heard through the words of theLawyer Andrea Marco Ricci (President Legal Notes Association).

Claudio Trotta closed the proceedings by recalling the uniqueness of a day when the entire music industry took note of the need to fight the phenomenon of secondary ticketing by all means.

The video of the entire conference is available at the following link: http://bit.ly/2jbCT8h