Senator Cornyn Convenes with Austin Entertainment Leaders on Event Ticketing Challenges.

A panel discussion centered around ticketing issues in the entertainment industry was held at the Moody Center in Texas on Friday, May 19th, and among the invited guests was Kate Testone, a native of Austin and a die-hard Taylor Swift fan from a young age. Testone expressed her disappointment at being unable to secure a ticket for Swift’s Eras Tour due to long waitlists and resale prices that far exceeded the original costs.

Testone was invited to participate in the panel by U.S. Senator John Cornyn, who shared details of a bill he is working on called the “FANS First Act,” which aims to tackle some of the ticketing issues in the industry. The act will seek to improve transparency in ticket pricing, increase consumer protection, restore market integrity, and penalize perpetrators of predatory ticket sales practices.

The discussion touched on the various issues surrounding ticketing, including the use of bots to purchase tickets in large quantities which is contributing to exorbitant resale prices, as well as the prevalence of fake tickets being sold to unsuspecting buyers. Panelist Amy Corbin, C3 Presents’ promoter, spoke of how bot activity had negatively impacted her company’s ticketing platform on several occasions, leading to lost ticket sales and frustrated fans.

The panel also featured several other notable guests, including country music artist Robert Earl Keen, Chris Almendarez, president of Round Rock Express, Andy Loughnane, president of Austin FC, Drew Martin, executive senior associate athletic director for external affairs at UT Austin, and Michael Owens, VP of programming at Oak View Group (Moody Center).

In Texas, legislation aimed at regulating ticketing practices was also being considered. SB 1639 passed both chambers and awaits the governor’s signature. The panel provided an opportunity to discuss these issues and potential solutions that can protect fans, artists, and the industry at large.

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