Monday 3rd April 2017

Every year, Teenage Cancer Trust gets some of the biggest names in music and comedy to play a week of shows at the iconic Royal Albert Hall. With names like Ed Sheeran and The Pet Shop Boys, it’s not surprising that a lot of the nights sell out almost as soon as the tickets are released. But there’s a problem. Some of those tickets quickly appear on secondary ticketing websites like Viagogo for thousands of pounds.

Many ticket touts use computer programmes, known as ‘bots’, to harvest large numbers of tickets when they go on sale. When ticket touts scoop up tickets, it means that honest fans who want to come and show their support at our gigs aren’t always able to buy the tickets they want.

What are we doing about it?

Secondary ticketing for our Royal Albert Hall shows, and the fact that none of that resale money will be used to support young people with cancer, has been raised in Parliament over the last few years and we in the Policy team have been inputting to these discussions to support long-lasting solutions. And this year the problems were raised in Parliament again after we were spoke out publicly about the impact this has on us as a charity.

We know that, despite our Royal Albert Hall shows, we’re not the experts on secondary ticketing. To make sure that we’re up to date and on the right lines, the Policy team works closely with the FanFair Alliance, a group which unites members of the music and creative community to campaign against industrial ticket-touting. 

In March we saw a lot of action on secondary ticketing; Nigel Adams MP discussed our shows with Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions and soon afterwards our Director of Fundraising and Marketing was interviewed about the impact of secondary ticketing on Teenage Cancer Trust as part of a feature on BBC One’s The One Show.  Within a couple of weeks this was shortly followed by a statement in the Budget and a House of Commons Select Committee hearing on ticket abuse, which you can still watch here.

Our Director of Fundraising and Marketing on The One Show

Throughout all this, we’ve helped to brief MPs about the impact on us, as well as supported the FanFair Alliance to drive awareness of the changes needed. All of this work was covered in detail by the media, meaning that the issue of secondary ticketing, and the negative impact on our shows, was brought to people’s attention.

We feel that a lot of progress has been made this year – we know that the Government is aware of the problem and that the FanFair Alliance’s campaign is being listened to. We’re very hopeful that at our future Royal Albert Hall shows, secondary ticketing will be a thing of the past.

If you’d like to know more about the FanFair Alliance, you can get in contact with them here. As always, if you’d like to hear about our Policy work or if you’ve got any questions, just give us an email