U.K. Ticket Scalping Under Fire from Mumford & Sons Ahead of Government Report

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Mumford and Sons perform live on stage at Autodromo de Interlagos on March 12, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Mumford & Sons are calling on fans to sign a petition calling for tougher legislation against the secondary ticketing market.

"If getting onstage is one of the best things about being a musician, seeing your audience get ripped off is undoubtedly the worst," says the Grammy-winning British band in a statement posted on its official website.

The group, led by Marcus Mumford, goes on to say that while the band works "hard to ensure that true fans have the best opportunity of getting into shows, at the right price, but are often powerless when faced with organised industrial-scale ticket touting."

"At the moment, the law makes it easy for these shady operators to hoover up tickets and profit at your expense," the statement goes on to say, before calling for fans to support a petition calling for "tougher sanctions for resale websites, and also require ticket resellers to reveal their identities."

Mumford & Sons’ call for action, which uses the hashtag of Toutsout, has been endorsed by U.K. girl group Little Mix, Keane and One Direction, who tweeted "Music fans should be able to get tickets fairly. Touts get in the way! Stop them by signing the petition."

So far, over 15,000 people have signed the petition, which was set up by Mumford & Sons’ manager Adam Tudhope. Under U.K. law, if more than 100,000 people sign the petition it has to be considered for debate in Parliament.

Last fall, the British government announced a review of the secondary ticketing market as part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Focusing on the re-sale of tickets for U.K. sporting, entertainment and cultural events, the review, which is chaired by chaired by Professor Michael Waterson, called for submissions from promoters, primary and secondary ticket sellers and online ticket sites, as well as pledging to examine how well consumers were protected by existing legislation. It is expected to announce its findings later this month.   

Mumford & Sons have long been vocal in their opposition to the secondary ticket market. According to its own estimations, the band's 2015 U.K. tour saw around 6,000 tickets sold on secondary ticketing sites, including 1,500 for each night at London's 20,000-capacity O2 arena.

"People may argue that those tickets have already been sold and we’re getting the money anyway. But that’s not how we see it," said the band in a December 2015 blog post. "We want fans of the band to be able to get into our shows for the right price, to feel that they’ve got value for money. We want every seat in a sold out show to be filled with a fan. Why do we care so much? Because it’s not right, it hurts our fans and it’s a problem for all artists."