The Louisiana House of Representatives has found itself in opposition to popular conservative Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) by aligning with ticket scalpers instead of prioritizing the interests of musicians, teams, and fans who aim to keep ticket prices affordable.
This controversy arises in the aftermath of the heated debate surrounding the sale of $25,000 Taylor Swift concert tickets last year. Coincidentally, as Beyoncé commences her world tour, with an average ticket price of $700 and a projected $2 billion in sales, it is presumed that she employed a different ticketing approach compared to Swift.
Louisiana’s HB 341 aims to address the Taylor Swift ticketing controversy by requiring original ticket sellers, such as Ticketmaster, to allow ticket buyers the option to transfer any tickets they purchase at the time of sale, even if they initially use a “nontransferable” ticket system.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) says Ticketmaster could adopt rule for tickets to be "non-transferrable."
He says that will stop bots, scalpers, and hold down ticket prices.
— Herb Scribner (@HerbScribner) January 24, 2023
This means that bands, like U2, who want to prevent scalpers from inflating ticket prices but still allow genuine fans to transfer their tickets if they can’t attend will be unable to do so in Louisiana. The bill has raised concerns among some, as it could potentially benefit ticket scalpers at the expense of musicians, teams, and fans who want to keep ticket prices affordable.
If the bill were to pass, it is likely that Beyoncé tickets would potentially be subject to even higher resale prices, facilitated by ticket scalpers, given the high demand for her tour. This speculation arises from the notion that Beyoncé’s tour seems to generate even greater interest compared to Swift’s, which could result in inflated ticket prices on the secondary market.
This approach contradicts the stance put forth by Kennedy during a Senate hearing earlier this year. He accurately pointed out that prohibiting ticket scalping would help prevent exorbitantly priced tickets in the tens of thousands of dollars. He clarified that such exorbitant prices were not set by the original ticket sellers for concerts and events but rather by independent scalpers or third-party websites involved in the resale market.
Additionally, adopting such legislation would align Louisiana’s stance on this issue with that of states like Illinois and New York. The motivations behind this decision remain an open question.