'Taylor Swift bill' signed into Minnesota law

Legislation dubbed the "Taylor Swift bill" has passed in Minnesota in an effort to help people buy concert tickets.

The bill, officially called House File 1989 in reference to Taylor Swift's hit album and the year she was born, was signed into Minnesota law on Tuesday.

It will require sellers offering tickets to people in the state or tickets for concerts being held there to disclose all fees up front and prohibit resellers from selling more than one copy of a ticket, among other measures.

Minnesota State Representative Kelly Moller, chief author of the bill, pushed for the legislation after she tried to get tickets to one of Swift's concerts in 2022.

Ms Moller said she was among thousands of people who became stuck in ticket sales company Ticketmaster's system after it crashed amid the huge demand for Swift concert tickets and attacks from bots, which tried to buy tickets for resale at inflated prices.

The situation led to congressional hearings but no federal legislation.

Governor Tim Walz, who signed the bill into law at First Avenue, a popular concert venue in downtown Minneapolis, said it was "protection so you don't get a bad ticket, a fraudulent ticket, and resellers can't snatch them all up before you get an opportunity".

Two young girls - one wearing a shirt that said "A LOT going on at the moment" in a nod to Swift, and another wearing a shirt that said "Iowa 22" in reference to basketball star Caitlin Clark - attended the bill signing with their dad, Mike Dean, who testified in support of it.

Mr Dean said his daughter came to him in December and said she wanted to see Clark play. He said the website initially showed the tickets would cost $300 total, but they ended up costing over $500 because of hidden fees.

The timer had begun in the online checkout process, so he had just minutes to decide whether to buy the tickets for the higher price or lose them.

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He ultimately bought them, but he told the Associated Press these practices mean customers can't make informed decisions. The new law, he said, will bring transparency to the process.

A spokesperson for Ticketmaster said: "We applaud Governor Tim Walz, Representative Kelly Moller, and Senator Matt Klein for championing protections for Minnesota consumers and holding ticket resellers accountable.

"We've long advocated for a ban on speculative ticketing, mandating all-in pricing, and enforcing stricter bot laws. This legislation enacts one of the nation's strongest ticketing reform laws."

A spokesperson for fellow ticket sales giants StubHub said: "StubHub has long advocated for legislation that protects fans from anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices in the ticket buying process.

"We share the goals of HF1989 and look forward to continuing discussions with policymakers to advance policies that provide more transparency, more control, and more choice for ticket buyers."

The law takes effect from 1 January 2025 and applies to tickets sold on or after that date.