Rep. Hemmer, Sen. Campbell push to increase access, transparency in concert ticket sales
Industry consolidation has hurt fan experience, lawmakers say
NASHVILLE — Music and sports fans could see the true cost of an online ticket purchase under new legislation proposed by state Rep. Caleb Hemmer, D-Nashville, and Sen. Heidi Campbell, D-Nashville.
The Nashville Democrats say the legislation is needed to improve transparency and fairness for consumers, who routinely see ticket prices explode by the time they checkout — or lose out on the ticket altogether.
“I learned about the bad blood between Tennesseans and third-party ticket vendors from my legislative assistant who was unable to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s upcoming concert at Nissan Stadium,” said Rep. Hemmer. “She was battling it out with other fans in an unfunctional ticket queue. Her not-so-love story with the ticket industry led me to start looking for answers.”
Rep. Hemmer and Sen. Campbell say consolidation in the ticketing industry has created problems for fans, artists and local venues. Meanwhile online ticket sellers have very little competition or incentive to improve the experience for buyers.
“The system is set up to cater to these corporations rather than fans, artists, and local venues,” Rep. Hemmer said. “The ticket market is the problem and everyone agrees.”
As introduced, HB1231 and SB1043 would require third-party ticket resellers to itemize the cost of a ticket and release more tickets to the general public. If passed, third-party resellers would be required to list the cost of the ticket, applicable taxes, any additional fees charged by the reseller, and the total cost of the ticket.
“Live music is vital to the culture of Nashville and Tennessee. It doesn’t take a mastermind to see that unfair practices in the ticket industry are stifling our local music institutions,” said Sen. Campbell, a musician and the former lead singer of a band. “While states like New York have passed similar legislation and lawmakers in DC look into the harmful effects of anticompetitive mergers, we know all too well that Tennessee has a responsibility to be a pioneer in making the ticket-buying process more accessible and transparent for consumers.
“Rep. Hemmer and I look forward to working alongside Tennessee’s music community as we push forward these bills,” said Campbell.