With the provincial state of emergency being lifted in BC, so do restrictions on live events.
In a statement Wednesday morning, the BC government said that it plans to regulate live event ticket sales in favour of the fans who wish to go.
Coming into force on Thursday, July 1st, the new Ticket Sales Act will prohibit bots and improve disclosure and refund requirements for consumers trying to buy tickets online.
The act will ban bots from buying large quantities of tickets for resale, establish clear rules on refunds for customers, and increase transparency about ticket prices, terms and conditions, and whether it is a ticket reseller that is offering the ticket for sale.
The province said that these new rules will affect business practices that were previously only subject to general consumer protection rules rather than specific laws relating to ticket sales and resales.
The act focuses on those who sell tickets as a business, rather than consumer-to-consumer transactions.
The problem came to a head during the Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem tour in 2016, when two-thirds of the tickets were snapped up by brokers and automated software, also known as bots.
Now, BC’s Ticket Sales Act is meant to give tickets buyers and fans more transparency, fairer processes, and better consumer protections when purchasing tickets for live events in BC.
Quebec and Ontario pushed similar legislation in 2012 and 2015, respectively.
“Before the pandemic, British Columbians told us they were frustrated with not being able to get tickets to live events in their local area without resorting to tickets sold on the secondary market at highly inflated prices,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“The Ticket Sales Act will provide greater transparency and accountability in the industry so people will have a fair shot at getting tickets and be confident that better consumer protections are in place.”
The ministry also consulted with self-governing First Nations in BC that are affected by the exemptions and worked with those expressing an interest in the regulations to ensure their feedback was reflected.
As part of the Ticket Sales Act, the province said it will establish enforcement and compliance tools to ensure the rules are followed.
“We are all excited to attend live concerts, sports and performances again,” said Bob D’Eith, Parliamentary Secretary for Arts and Film.
“We’re making sure consumers will be better protected when buying advance tickets, so they can look forward to enjoying the cultural activities we’ve all missed so much. This is how we’re building back better.”