VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Legislation is expected later this year to help more concert lovers in BC buy tickets at face value. The NDP government plans to spend the next three weeks gathering public input.
Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says he needs to hear more from regular ticket buyers before cracking down on the industry which has prompted numerous complaints dating back more than 15 years.
“So, we hear from what the public has to say, what the industry has to say. I don’t want to pre-judge anything at this point. What we want to do is have this consultation done by the end of March, so that we can have a report that is out early in the summer and we can look at legislation for the fall,” says Farnworth.
He’s launched a three-week survey to gather feedback about the current distribution system being unfair.
“So we get to hear not just from the public, but from artists themselves, but from those involved in the entertainment industry about what particular challenge, what practices are, other things that could be changed that could assist fans in being able to get tickets.”
He says it’s not as simple as demanding picture ID like required for anyone buying a ticket to fly.
“At the U2 concert in Vancouver, for example, you had to show your credit card for the ticket and the reality is it ended up causing a huge nightmare in terms of the checking and the getting in, so I think, what we want to do is to ensure that whatever solution puts in place, we can make sure that we get it right.”
In recent months, online brokers have been selling tickets initially set at less than $200 for almost $9,000 each.
Last year, Ontario passed legislation capping prices at no more than 50 per cent above face value.