Although the British government has previously turned down the chance to legislate against secondary ticketers, “Put Fans First” hopes to secure the 100,000 signatures it needs to force a parliamentary vote on the issue.
It will be part of a three-pronged attack that has already begun with the lobbying of the government’s department for culture, media and sport. It will include a publicity campaign to nudge the country’s leaders into taking another look at the issue.
The campaign moved up a gear Nov. 28 when a Put Fans First delegation that was expected to include legendary promoters Harvey Goldsmith and Festival Republic managing director Melvin Benn met DCMS chief Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative MP who has taken office since his Labour predecessor Tessa Jowell passed up on the chance to tackle the touts.
That meeting was set up by Mike Weatherley, the Conservative MP for Hove, who is also a Put Fans First supporter.
The movement has cross-party support, as Sharon Hodgson, Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West, is another to have put her name behind the campaign.
At the moment it’s understood that PFF isn’t making press statements until it has “fine tuned” its strategy following the meeting with Hunt.
Others in support of PFF include Rob Smallwood of Phantom Music Management (Iron Maiden), IE Music (Williams, Jimmy Page, and Duffy), and agencies and promoters including The Agency Group, K2 Agency, Kilimanjaro Live, X-Ray Touring and 13 Artists.
Tony Smith, whose management CV includes Genesis and Phil Collins, Brontone Management (Muse and The Pogues), Arctic Monkeys’ management Wildlife Entertainment, promoter Phil McIntyre Entertainment Ltd., Stage Entertainment UK, Courtyard Management (Radiohead), and the organisations representing independent music companies and independent festivals are also believed to be on board.