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Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Monday, 23 February 2009
Ticket site aims to control touts
Radiohead
Radiohead gig tickets can resell for more than their value

A new website has been launched to try to help fans buy secondary gig tickets more safely.

The Concert Promoters Association (CPA) has developed the website and says it is in response to a lack of government action on touts.

Anyone will still be able to use the site, but the CPA says their stringent checks to verify tickets make it safer for fans to use.

A CPA spokesman admits they are powerless to stop touts altogether.

The new website, called OfficialBoxOffice.com, will operate "at cost" rather than "for profit" and will charge a 12.5 per cent booking fee to the buyer - whilst it's free for the seller.

In the event that a buyer is let down by a seller, the CPA says attempts will be made to get the fan into the gig anyway or offer a 100 per cent refund.

The site will force sellers to reveal ticket information such as seat number, purchase references and ticket number so that promoters can check they are genuine.

Outlawing touts

On 20 February the government announced plans for a consultation on ways to improve the ticketing market.

Although the CPA stands by the government's findings on ticket touts, it says it feels let down that there have been no subsequent changes in the law.

We're trying to make it a secure marketplace for people who are desperate to buy concert tickets and who will pay over the odds
CPA spokesperson Rob Ballantine

Rob Ballantine, CPA spokesperson said: "The government did disappoint us after the select committee enquiry when they didn't outlaw touting.

"We now accept that it's here to stay, we are powerless to do anything about it. We will keep campaigning for the government to outlaw it and we encourage music fans to do so.

"But while they're saying the secondary market should exist then we're trying to make it a secure marketplace for people who are desperate to buy concert tickets and who will pay over the odds."

In the event that the government changes laws on ticket touts and shuts down the secondary market, the CPA says it will close down the site in its current format and provide a "fan-to-fan exchange site with tickets passed on at face value."



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