Alongside policy action at the state level, the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Congress are turning attention to proposals that would set new national rules for those that sell concert tickets on the both the primary and secondary sales markets. The League, in partnership with the Performing Arts Alliance, is a member of the Fix the Tix Coalition, and is analyzing all active proposals for the impact on orchestras. We are supporting immediate action to stop predatory activity in the secondary market that is hurting audiences and creating substantial financial and reputational harm to orchestras. The League is also watching the fine print of all proposals to make sure new transparency requirements will support nonprofit and season-based ticket sales models.

Congress Considers New Ticketing Laws
Multiple legislative proposals with a range of approaches to this topic have been introduced in the U.S. Congress. In March of 2023 a Senate bill was introduced that represented the Biden Administration’s wide-ranging legislative approach, described as a “junk fee” policy proposal.

Since then, negotiations have yielded two bipartisan approaches that both received action in the week of December 4. Senate cosponsors introduced S. 3457, the Fans First Act, which would prohibit the use of deceptive websites and speculative tix sales, and create new requirements for all ticket sellers to disclose all-in prices and fee details. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved H.R. 3950, the TICKET Act, which would create new transparency requirements for all ticket sales and restrict some harmful activity in the secondary market. Of the multiple legislative proposals recently considered in Congress, the Fans First Act has the strongest protections against harmful actions in the secondary market.  

In early 2024, Congress will continue to negotiate the terms of a package of ticketing reforms, and it is essential that elected officials hear directly from orchestra advocates about the harm they are encountering in the secondary market, and how these issues impact nonprofit ticket sellers, subscription-based and packaged sales, and donor-supported concert activity.

Biden Administration Proposes New Ticketing Regulations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed new national rules for marketing and sales of a wide range of goods and services, following scrutiny of hidden fees. The draft rules would require sellers to display the total price of items for sale where prices are displayed and advertised, and to accurately represent the nature and purpose of fees that are charged. Many states have similar requirements in place or under consideration.  

The League, in partnership with the wider nonprofit performing arts sector, analyzed the proposal and submitted comments to the FTC to surface questions about how the rules would be applied to the nonprofit, subscription-based, and donor-supported ticketing models, and to go on record with concerns related to predatory activity in the secondary ticket sales market. The comment period closed on February 7, 2024. The FTC will now review all comments before issuing final rules, along with an implementation timeframe. 

Contact Congress

Raising your voice about key issues before Congress is essential. Contacting Congress is easy to do, and your communication with elected officials will ensure that communities nationwide continue to benefit from orchestral music.

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