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Congressman Rejects Pearl Jam’s Criticism of BOSS Ticket-Reform Act

Eddie Vedder addresses the crowd during
Christopher Polk @POLKIMAGING/Shutterstock

New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., the principal sponsor of the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing (BOSS Act) designed to reform the live-events ticket market, today rejected Pearl Jam’s call to reject the bill.

Calling the bill “flawed,” the group said in a letter yesterday that it “blocks non-transferable ticketing” and “requires primary ticket sellers to disclose the total number of tickets offered to the general public a week before the primary sale.” Some consumer advocates argue that allowing ticket transfers is a key protection for consumers; the group said several reforms in the bill are worthy.

In a statement today, Pascrell rejected the group’s arguments. “For decades now, millions of American fans who want nothing more than to enjoy a little entertainment for their buck have been victimized by the opaque live events marketplace,” he said. Fans have been pinched, gouged, squeezed, soaked, and outright heisted by a seemingly endless litany of hidden fees, add-ons, and gimmicks created by the unregulated ticket monopolies who operate in the dark with impunity. My bill would be the first comprehensive overhauling of this corrupt marketplace. Music and sports fans have waited long enough for relief.

“Pearl Jam may know a thing or two about making great music, but they’ve been led astray about my legislation. I would be happy to speak with the band about why Live Nation-Ticketmaster doesn’t care about their fans and wants to preserve a corrupt marketplace.”

Pascrell is the principal sponsor of the BOSS Act, which aims to bring greater transparency to the ticket industry so fans have a fair chance to purchase tickets on the primary market, and also seeks to protect consumers who choose to use the secondary market to purchase tickets. The legislation is currently being considered by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

He is among several Congresspeople who have called for an investigation of the troubled ticketing industry, which for decades has been plagued by accusations of corruption and insider dealing. Last fall, Senators Richard Blumenthal of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota requested a Department of Justice antitrust investigation into competition in the ticketing industry, as well as Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company.