×

Pearl Jam Tell Congressmen BOSS Ticket-Reform Act Is ‘Flawed’

UPDATED: The BOSS Act is legislation designed to crack down on improper practices in the secondary ticket market — bots, price-gougers and the like — spearheaded by New Jersey Democratic Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone Jr. The bill, which is officially named the “Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act” and was first introduced in 2009, has generally met with a positive response from the industry, but Pearl Jam — a band that has been deeply involved with ticketing since they went after Ticketmaster in 1995 — has written the two congressmen a letter pointing out what they perceive to be flaws in the bill, which was re-introduced last year. The news was first reported in Politico.

While the group praised some of the reforms in the bill, they also note 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, however, argue that allowing ticket transfers is a key protection for consumers.

“We write to you as one of the biggest touring bands of the last three decades,” the band wrote. “We also write to you as the working musicians and the MUSIC FANS we were for years before that. … For almost thirty years, we have learned from our successes and failures; we have real time experience making sure people buying our tickets actually attend the shows and do not merely sell seats at a markup … H.R. 3248 has been presented as a protection for concertgoers to get access to live concerts. Instead, we believe that it primarily, if not entirely, benefits professional ticket resellers using the so-called ‘secondary market.’”

The band then lists what it describes as “challenges” with the act:

  • “It blocks non-transferrable ticketing: CONSUMERS NEED ARTISTS TO LIMIT SCALPING AND TICKET FRAUD to use and ensure that tickets go to fans instead of profit seekers; transfer restrictions make that possible.
  • “It requires primary ticket sellers to disclose the total number of tickets offered to the general public a week before the primary sale. THIS HURTS CONSUMERS MORE THAN IT WILL HELP, because consumers don’t make purchasing decisions based on how many tickets are available—bulk purchasers like professional resellers do. Many times in final planning, after tickets have gone on-sale, we are able to create additional ticket opportunities. Artists need to retain this flexibility, for example, to open “obstructed view” seats after a concert nears sellout.

“While H.R. 3248 as it is currently written would ultimately hurt our fans, we do think it contains some reforms that would benefit both consumers and touring artists,” the letter continues. “We support the elements that prevent ‘speculative ticketing,’ where ‘bots’ hold many tickets until they find a buyer, preventing real fans from buying tickets directly and misleading others into thinking they’re guaranteed a particular seat. We also agree that the secondary market should not be permitted to confuse consumers by using deceptive websites and support the provisions requiring clear disclosure of all fees attached to a particular ticket.

The band then asks the two congressmen to oppose the act.

A rep for Congressman Pallone referred Variety to the Energy & Commerce Committee, whose press officer noted that an investigation is currently underway and provided the following statement.

“The live event ticketing market has gotten out of control,” he wrote. “Consumers have little insight into schemes designed to drive up prices and efforts to limit their options once a ticket has been purchased. The BOSS Act begins to tip the scales in favor of consumers by providing them greater transparency and control.”

More Music

  • Micheal Stipe

    Michael Stipe Unveils Collaboration With The National’s Aaron Dessner (Watch)

    R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe took to YouTube today (March 29) to premiere what he described as the “first take” of “No Time for Love Like Now,” a new solo ballad written in collaboration with The National’s Aaron Dessner. In the clip, Stipe sings live over an electronic beat playing from an unseen speaker. Although written last [...]

  • john prine

    John Prine Reported in Critical Condition With Coronavirus Symptoms

    Singer-songwriter John Prine, who received a Grammy lifetime achievement award this year, is in critical condition with symptoms of coronavirus, his family relayed via his Twitter account Sunday. “After a sudden onset of Covid-19 symptoms, John was hospitalized on Thursday (3/26),” the statement from the Prine family said. “He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues [...]

  • Joe Diffie12th Annual ACM Honors, Show,

    Joe Diffie, '90s Country Music Star, Dies of Coronavirus at 61

    Joe Diffie, an icon to many country fans for his string of No. 1 hits in the 1990s, has died from complications related to the coronavirus, a spokesperson revealed Sunday afternoon. He was 61. “Grammy-winning country music legend Joe Diffie passed away today, Sunday, March 29, from complications of coronavirus (COVID-19),” the statement read simply. [...]

  • Trisha Yearwood and Garth BrooksMusiCares Person

    Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood Sign On for Impromptu Live CBS Special

    The live-stream home concerts that have become more of a phenomenon during the coronavirus crisis are now crossing over to prime-time TV. In what is being described as an outgrowth of the kind of web shows that Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood have already done, CBS has scheduled an hour-long special, “Garth & Trisha Live!,” [...]

  • DJ D- Nice'The New Edition Story'

    How DJ D-Nice's Club Quarantine Became an Isolation Sensation

    DJ D-Nice’s Instagram Live virtual dance parties have been the sensation of isolation, drawing upwards of 150,000 viewers — among them, both Democratic candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, former first lady Michelle Obama, Drake, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — and helping relieve anxiety during this time of stress [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content