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StubHub Slammed Over Q Awards

The FanFair Alliance, the industry-wide campaign group set up by several high profile managers earlier this year, has hit out at StubHub’s sponsorship of the Q Awards this year.

The eBay owned secondary ticketing company is the headline sponsor of the awards on 2nd November at The Roundhosue, which will be followed by a live show from The Charlatans.

The FanFair Alliance stated that they have “very real concerns that this partnership is simply an attempt by StubHub to buy legitimacy”.

A statement issued read: “StubHub is a business complicit with harbouring professional ticket touts, ripping off fans and extracting millions of pounds each year from the UK’s music economy. The company’s sponsorship of the 2016 Q Awards [now The StubHub Q Awards] comes at a particularly sensitive time, during an ongoing compliance review of secondary ticketing by the Competition & Markets Authority and with Government due to respond to the recommendations of Professor Michael Waterson that would help clean up a notoriously under-regulated sector”.

It continued: “As the FanFair Alliance we have very real concerns that this partnership is simply an attempt by StubHub to buy legitimacy. We will be writing to the managers of nominated artists to further highlight these concerns, as well as the damage that industrial-scale online ticket touting is having on the wider music business”.

In a deliciously ironic twist StubHub is selling primary tickets for the show, but are not currently allowing tickets to be resold for the event.

Patrick Horton, MD of Q publisher Bauer defended the move in an interview with Music Week, stating: “We work with a wide variety of commercial partners and StubHub already have a long relationship with music. They have sponsored nights at SXSW and they have partnerships with everyone from Apple through to promoters such as AEG, with venues like The O2.

Horton continued: “We understand that StubHub want to work closely with rights holders and the industry, and their involvement with Q underlines that. We at Q believe wholeheartedly in supporting musicians and the music industry.”

Which is all very well, but completely ignores the fact that such companies are siphoning millions of pounds out of the industry each year, resulting in a conversation that secondary ticketing is in fact the real ‘value gap’ in the music industry.

In related news, today at Prime Minister’s Question Time, Nigel Adams MP asked for the Prime Minister’s support to tackle mass scale online ticket touting. Following similar measures taken in New York, Adams has proposed an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill that would criminalise the misuse of so-called “bot” technology to unlawfully harvest event tickets. The amendment is due to be debated in Parliament by 27th October 2016.

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