Support rich culture through proper distribution of sports, music tickets

The Yomiuri ShimbunMany people being able to enjoy music performances and sports events for reasonable prices — stronger measures to achieve this objective are called for.

A law that bans the illicit resale of tickets for such events has come into force. The legislation is chiefly aimed at regulating online ticket scalping, which has been difficult to control.

Subject to punishment are such acts as repeatedly reselling tickets for more than the list prices without the consent of event organizers; and obtaining tickets from others with the intention of reselling them. Violators will be punished by imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to ¥1 million.

Besides tickets for concerts and other stage performances, tickets for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, purchase procedures for which are to start shortly, will be covered by the law. There is also the Rugby World Cup slated for this autumn. It is appropriate to have this legislation at this juncture.

In recent years, moves to buy tickets in bulk and sell them at high prices via online resale sites have become conspicuous. This has created a situation in which a number of fans have been unable to buy tickets at list prices. Musicians have issued a statement expressing their opposition to ticket resales at high prices.

Even if tickets are resold at high prices, there is no apparent damage inflicted on event organizers, as the proceeds from the sales of tickets at full price would come in. But if young people with low incomes become unable to go to concerts or theaters due to the resale of tickets at high prices, this might lead to a decline in musical and theatrical culture over the long run.

Having tickets find their way properly to those who want to buy them — it is important for the enforcement of the new law to promote such a situation.

Expand authorized resales

To counter illicit acts, efforts have been spreading such as registering the names of ticket purchasers at the time of the sale and identifying them at the time of their admission into events. The new law also imposes on event organizers an obligation to make a sincere effort to implement such measures.

If the people admitted to events are identified as the ticket purchasers, there will no longer be any room for scalpers to get involved. But it costs a lot of money to adopt the latest technologies, such as facial recognition systems. Conducting identification work more strictly would also invite such problems as slowing the flow of admissions.

Ways and means that do not make fans feel inconvenienced are required.

Also, not a few people become unable to go to a public performance due to an urgent situation, despite having bought tickets.

An online site has been created through which tickets can be resold for their list price or lower, with the consent of event organizers. Expanding such a system is essential.

In the music industry, while the volume of sales of such products as CDs has declined, sales of tickets for live performances and concerts have been rising. This has apparently been spurred by the growing inclination among people to spend money in ways that focus on experiences.

Musical and theatrical performances are a promising sector where growth can be expected to continue in the future. Rich culture should be supported through the proper distribution of tickets.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 17, 2019)Speech


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