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Live Performance Australia demands that ticketing companies protect consumers

Live Performance Australia demands that ticketing companies protect consumers
December 18, 2015

Live Performance Australia (LPA), the peak industry body that administers the Ticketing Code of Practice for the live performance industry, has this week reminded Australia’s ticketing companies “that any company releasing ticket proceeds in advance of an event should ensure that proper measures are put in place to ensure that consumers can receive a full refund if an event is cancelled.

“This may include obtaining a guarantee from a bona fide financial institution securing the amount equal to the ticket proceeds to be released prior to any such release of funds.”

Amid uncertainty over ticketholder refunds from the now cancelled 2016 Soundwave Festival, LPA noted its concern about the increasing number of ticketing agents in the market that release ticket proceeds to promoters and presenters in advance of an event taking place.

Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah had reportedly criticised ticketing company Eventopia for refusing to release finances from ticket sales to fund the festival and help pay artists booked for the event, despite the practice of not releasing ticket proceeds to promoters in advance of an event taking place being part of the Ticketing Code of Practice.

However, in a letter sent to Australia’s ticketing agencies on Wednesday (16th December) – before the cancellation of Soundwave, LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson expressed concern at industry ticketing practices and the increasing number of ticketing agents in the market that release ticket proceeds to promoters and presenters in advance of an event taking place.

She suggested that this practice poses a significant risk to consumers and the industry, citing recent events with respect to festival cancellations that reinforce the importance of the Ticketing Code and the need to protect consumer money.

Richardson wrote “it is the (LPA) Executive Council’s view that this practice poses a significant risk to consumers and the industry more broadly.”

The letter continued “a key objective of the Ticketing Code is to promote ‘best practice’ across the industry in order to protect consumers and the reputation of the live performance industry. Compliance with the Ticketing Code is mandatory for all LPA Members.

“As you are aware, LPA administers the Ticketing Code of Practice for the live performance industry. A key objective of the Ticketing Code is to promote ‘best practice’ across the industry in order to protect consumers and the reputation of the live performance industry. Compliance with the Code is mandatory for LPA Members and there are specific provisions in relation to industry protocol for ticket proceeds received in advance of events and the circumstances in which ticket proceeds may be released prior to an event taking place.

“With respect to commercial operators, it is expected that a guarantee from a bona fide financial institution securing the amount equal to the ticket proceeds released will be in place prior to release of any such funds.”

Later in the letter, Richardson expressed that “the (LPA) Executive Council has serious concerns about the negative impact on consumer confidence and the industry’s reputation should the 2016 Soundwave Festival be cancelled and consumers not provided with full refunds.

“We are also aware of other recently cancelled festivals where consumers are still waiting on refunds, a requirement under Australian Consumer Law.

 “It is the view of LPA that all ticketing companies should comply with the Ticketing Code of Practice and that they have a responsibility to ensure that business practices with respect to releasing ticket proceeds to third parties protect both consumers and the reputation of the live performance industry. If situations continue to  occur where consumers are unable to receive refunds due to the release of ticket receipts by ticketing agencies prior to an event taking place, our industry runs the real risk of ACCC intervention and possibly enforced regulation.”

Click here to read LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson's letter to Australia’s ticketing agencies in full.

17th December 2015 - SOUNDWAVE CANCELLATION LEADS TO TICKET REFUND DISPUTE

11th September 2014 - LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA BACKS VENUE ENERGY EFFICIENCY INITIATIVE

20th February 2013 - LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA EXPLAINS ACCEPTANCE OF THE TICKETING CODE OF PRACTICE

31st October 2012 - TICKETEK AND TICKETMASTER LISTED AMONG AUSTRALIA’S ‘SHONKIEST’ PRODUCTS


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