Pearl Jam Unhappy With ‘Flawed’ Ticket Reform Bill
Pearl Jam have taken exception to proposed legislation aimed at reforming the secondary ticket market.
Politico is reporting that the band sent a letter to a pair of Democratic Congressmen from New Jersey, Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone Jr., regarding their Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act, which they first proposed in 2009 and re-introduced last year. Pearl Jam has sent a letter to Pallone, the chair of the House's Committee on Energy and Commerce, saying that, while they agree with some aspects of the bill, it is "flawed" and will ultimately benefit the professional ticket resellers instead of the fans.
Their biggest problem stems with the bill's plan to ban non-transferrable tickets. They argue that if fans can't exchange tickets among themselves, scalpers will inevitably wind up with the tickets. "The benefits to bad actors in the secondary market ultimately hurt the consumers more than the challenges around restricting transferability as professional resellers get tickets meant for fans,” They wrote. For their upcoming tour in support of Gigaton, the band has launched its own program where those who have had a change of plans can re-sell their seats to other fans at face value with no additional fees.
Pearl Jam also don't like the provision that requires primary ticket sellers to reveal how many seats will be available in the week leading up to the general public sale. "[C]onsumers don’t make purchasing decisions based on how many tickets are available," they added, "bulk purchasers like professional resellers do." They cited their own own experience in being able to find additional locations, such as obstructed view seats, when a venue is close to selling out.
They were in favor, however, of the bill's aim to prevent "speculative ticketing," where reselling bots can hold tickets until a buyer is found, and that secondary market sites "should not be permitted to confuse consumers by using deceptive websites. They also appreciate that the bill requires "clear disclosure" of all fees, a major part of their mid-'90s feud with Ticketmaster.