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Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen concert ticket fiasco may lead to new regulations

Legislation aimed at regulating the live ticket marketplace after many fans of Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift were left high and dry while trying to buy tickets for the artists’ ongoing tours has been introduced by two New Jersey congressmen.

The BOSS and SWIFT Act, named after the two music icons, was introduced by U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, and Frank Pallone, D-Long Branch. The revised bill “specifically addresses issues including hidden fees, on-sale transparency, buyer protections, speculative tickets, and deceptive white label websites,” according to a release from Pascrell’s office.

When Springsteen’s highly anticipated tour tickets went on sale last summer, fans were upset by high prices caused by Ticketmaster’s controversial dynamic pricing system as well as hidden fees, which left many priced out. Swift’s highly anticipated “Eras Tour” led to even more problems when fans’ high demand crashed Ticketmaster’s website, leading some to be frozen out and without tickets.

The result of the Swift tour fiasco has been increased scrutiny of Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, with even President Joe Biden speaking out against hidden fees on concert tickets, even mentioning so-called “junk fees” in his State of the Union address.

The legislation introduced by Pascrell and Pallone comes as Swift is set to play three sold-out shows at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford beginning Friday. Tickets on the secondary market for the three shows are going for thousands of dollars. When 14 million people and bots accessed the presale for Swift’s tour, Ticketmaster had to shut down the sale early because of insufficient supply.

“The recent experience of Taylor Swift fans being locked out of her tour is not new and Swifties are just the latest victims of Ticketmaster’s policies and a broken market,” Pascrell said in a statement. “For decades, the ticket market has been the Wild West: mammoth, opaque, speculative, and brutally unfair. A fan shouldn’t have to sell a kidney or mortgage a house to see their favorite performer or team.”

Pascrell’s press release announcing the reintroduced legislation included quotes from various consumer and fan advocacy groups.

“While legislatures across the country grapple with the opaque and ever-changing world that is live event ticketing, we welcome the BOSS and SWIFT Act and some direction from Congress that protects everyone seeking to buy and transfer tickets,” FanFreedom Project president Chris VanDeHoef said. “The BOSS and SWIFT Act is a giant step towards providing consumer protection to ticket buyers everywhere, and we encourage Congress to see this through.”

As Swift got set to make her return to New Jersey, one prominent Bergen County official had no trouble purchasing tickets for his daughter.

County Clerk John Hogan said he began making calls to get tickets in early January. A New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Board of Commissioners member suggested he fill out a ticket request form not available to the general public for MetLife Stadium. Hogan said he filled out the form and faxed it in and in March was told there were four tickets available for him to purchase. Including fees, Hogan paid $265 for each ticket. He did not list his official title on the form.

Source: northjersey