Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed the announcement from Ticketmaster that they are going to close the Seatwave ticket selling website and replace it with a new fan-to-fan ticket exchange system, where tickets can only be bought for the cost price or less.

The Sinn Féin TD believes that promised legislation has contributed to this closure and said it highlights the need for Dáil time to be allocated for legislation that bans this practice in the next Dáil session.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“This is excellent news for the many fans that have been getting ripped off by ticket touts when trying to buy tickets for concerts or sporting fixtures.

“Ticket touting has escalated in recent years. With advances in technology, the practice has grown from traditional touts selling counterfeit, cancelled or extortionately priced tickets outside venues, to online sites, in the grey area of regulation.

“These events are designed to give fans of music and sport the opportunity to see their heroes live, and should be a positive experience all round, but the abuse of ticket reselling is reflecting badly on the industry.

“Each time tickets go on sale for a concert or sporting event, it is usually followed by a news report that outlines how the tickets sold out in minutes and are immediately reselling online at extortionate prices.

“Despite people’s best efforts in queuing and arranging to buy tickets online the morning of a sale, most have no chance as a result of the misuse and abuse of the system by secondary resellers.

“There has been considerable concern and pressure about ticket touting over the last couple of years, and I am glad to see some elements of the ticketing industry moving in the right direction.”

Crowe continued:

“Seatwave was a source of great annoyance and frustration for so many people across the country, with many rightly questioning how their tickets could sell out within minutes on one site, and then re-appear on another almost immediately, usually at vastly inflated prices.

“I believe this practice has gone on for too long and is making what should be an enjoyable experience for people into a nightmare, as they try to obtain reasonably priced legitimate tickets.

“The promised legislation on this issue has spooked Ticketmaster and the pressure is now on other ticket reselling firms to take a similar approach. There have been a number of bills submitted, including one from Sinn Féin, but the government needs to keep up the pressure on these ticket companies by moving ahead with legislation and making space for it to be dealt with in the next Dáil session.

“While it is extremely encouraging to see that the debate, conversation, and pressure around ticket touting over the past couple of years has brought about this change from Ticketmaster, and it will be of huge benefit to fans, it is vital that laws banning such practices are made sooner rather than later.”