Sen. John Kennedy Is Fighting to Protect Consumers. Back Home, the Louisiana Legislature Takes the Opposite Stance.

The Louisiana House of Representatives has pitted itself against very popular, conservative Sen. John Kennedy in siding with ticket scalpers over musicians, teams, and fans looking to keep prices down following the fracas over $25,000 apiece Taylor Swift concert tickets last year—and just as Beyonce kicks off her world tour (notably with an average ticket price of $700) that is still expected to make her over $2 billion—presumably she used a different ticketing method than Swift.


Louisiana HB 341 purports to respond to the Swift ticketing scandal by banning original sellers of tickets, like Ticketmaster, from using a “nontransferable” ticket system unless they also offer ticket buyers the full ability to transfer any tickets they buy at the time of sale. So, basically, if a band like U2—who is going on tour shortly — wants to ban scalpers from jacking up the price of their tickets but allow ticket transfers between fans (so if a fan gets sick and doesn’t want their ticket to go to waste, another genuine fan can get it at a non-exorbitant price, they can), that band would be out of luck in Louisiana. (Spoiler alert: This is exactly what U2 wants to do).

Presumably, if the bill passed, it would also allow Beyonce tickets to sell (via scalpers) for even more than Swift tickets were set to go for since her tour appears to be even more in demand.

Weirdly, this approach stands in direct contrast to the one advocated for by highly popular and conservative Louisianan Sen. Kennedy in a Senate hearing earlier this year, where he correctly noted that banning scalping of tickets would prevent multi-tens-of-thousands-of-dollars ticket prices because those are not the ticket prices being charged by those originally selling tickets for concerts and events, but rather the resale prices being posted by scalpers independently or on third party websites.

It would also put Louisiana’s law on this subject in line with the likes of Illinois and New York (those states got called out by The Cure here). Quite why a state that is trying to be both more family-friendly than those states (and nothing says “family-friendly” quite like being asked to shell out $50,000 for Taylor Swift tickets for you and your daughter) and take a philosophically different approach to them across the board on policy would copycat the bastions of progressivism is an open question.


But it is also one the Louisiana Senate might want to think about before it proceeds to vote on this legislation.

Again, it’s worth watching Sen. Kennedy’s questioning in the US Senate on this matter from a few months ago:

As a side note, there is also federal legislation being considered on this general topic, which is obviously of massive importance compared to issues like the debt ceiling, the crisis on the border, ongoing inflation woes, and more. Sen. Amy Klobuchar seems to have made ticketing a part of her antitrust agenda, teaming up with “I Served In Vietnam But Not Really” Sen. Dick Blumenthal to push this bill, which would “clamp down on the use of long-term contracts to lock up the exclusive ticketing rights of U.S. venues and festivals.”

This is designed to hit Ticketmaster, whom no one loves, and it sounds nice. But it also appears that it would raise costs for consumers, not lower them—ironic when everyone remains worried about inflation and cutting costs.

Via Billboard:

Shorter contracts would either mean less money for venues, or greater risk that they would fail to repay the advances — in which case venues would either need to repay the remaining balance or negotiate that debt into a contract renewal. For example, a temporary four-month downturn in business is going to have a greater impact on a two-year, $2 million loan than it would on a four-year, $4 million loan. To protect themselves, ticketing companies would likely increase the fees added to tickets to recoup faster, thereby reducing the heightened risk of default — likely meaning higher costs to consumers.”


Sen. Ted Cruz has a competing bill that “would ban hidden ticket fees,” per Billboard. That seems like a better approach (I’m sure you’re shocked) than what Klobuchar and Blumenthal are pushing. Nonetheless, it still fails to address the core problem that Kennedy identified months ago—and which, as he correctly stated at the end of his questioning in the clip above, he basically solved for the world in a whole five minutes.

As a general rule, Americans—including his fellow Louisiana politicians—should listen to Kennedy more. This issue is another weird example of why and how.


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