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UK Music Chief Calls on Business and Trade Secretary To Give Music Fans A Christmas Gift By Tackling The “Grinch Gangs” Behind Rip-Off Tickets


UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl is calling on Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch to hold an urgent summit to tackle the touts behind “multi-million-pound scourge” of rip-off festival and concert ticket prices. 

The move comes amid mounting anger about the soaring cost of some ticket prices, as greedy touts and organised gangs try to fleece music fans desperate to buy tickets as Christmas presents for friends and family.  

Tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in the UK that went on general sale for £110 were soon on secondary ticketing sites for eye-watering prices of up to £2,600. Tickets originally costing £48.50 for Girls Aloud’s new tour were being offered this week on secondary ticketing sites for more than £2,000 each.

Concert tickets originally costing £81 for a Sugababes show were put up for resale at more than double face value at £177 and tickets for a Robbie Williams concert costing £100 were put on resale for £177.

Just hours after tickets for Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool in May sold out, they appeared on online secondary ticketing platforms for exorbitant prices of up to £9,000.  

UK Music, the collective voice of the UK music industry, who represent AIM, BPI, FAC, The Ivors Academy, MMF, MPA, MPG, MU, PPL, PRS for Music, is now calling on Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch to convene an urgent meeting to tackle excessive ticket prices and help millions of music fans already battling a cost-of-living crisis. 

In August 2021, regulators at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) made a number of recommendations to the Government to improve consumer protection in the secondary ticketing market. However, ministers have failed to tackle the problem.

UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl said the Government should meet music industry leaders and campaigners to hammer out a solution to stop unscrupulous sellers cashing in on music fans.  

Mr Kiehl said: “We need urgent action from the Government to end the multi-million-pound scourge of rip-off ticket prices for festivals and concerts.  

“Fans are being ruthlessly exploited by ticket touts who snap up thousands of tickets with a view to reselling them for huge profits. 

“The Government should give music lovers everywhere a Christmas gift by tackling the greedy Grinch gangs that are determined to rob them of their hard-earned cash. 

“We are keen to work with the Government and campaigning organisations like FanFair Alliance to look at new curbs to deal with extortionate resale prices and help protect consumers against the rip-off merchants behind this racket.  

“We hope the Prime Minister will listen to our request for a meeting so we can all unite behind a plan to combat this problem and help nurture the talent pipeline on which our world-leading music industry depends.” 

  • FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb said: “The UK is falling behind other major music markets who are taking affirmative action against unscrupulous online ticket touts and the rip-off websites they trade from. 

“FanFair believes British audiences deserve similar protections to countries such as Ireland, France and Australia, and that new legislation is now essential to stamp out unlawful and anti-consumer practices.”


The call for action on ticket touts is one of the recommendations contained in UK Music’s Manifesto for Music, published in September, which you can read here.

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