The FanFair Alliance has hit out at StubHub's sponsorship of this year's Q Awards, accusing the eBay-owned secondary ticketing firm of trying to "buy legitimacy".
Launched in July by the managers of Arctic Monkeys, One Direction, Mumford & Sons and PJ Harvey, the campaign group was set up to lobby the government to clamp down on online touting.
The StubHub Q Awards in association with Absolute Radio take place at London’s Roundhouse on Wednesday, November 2 and is open to the public for the first time. It will also feature a live element, with a concert by The Charlatans immediately following the event.
The FanFair Alliance has not attacked the Bauer-published magazine's decision to partner with StubHub, reserving its ire for the resale site. "StubHub is a business complicit with harbouring professional ticket touts, ripping off fans and extracting millions of pounds each year from the UK's music economy," reads the statement.
"The company's sponsorship of the 2016 Q Awards [now The StubHub Q Awards] comes at a particularly sensitive time, during an ongoing compliance review of secondary ticketing by the Competition & Markets Authority and with Government due to respond to the recommendations of Professor Michael Waterson that would help clean up a notoriously under-regulated sector.
"As the FanFair Alliance we have very real concerns that this partnership is simply an attempt by StubHub to buy legitimacy. We will be writing to the managers of nominated artists to further highlight these concerns, as well as the damage that industrial-scale online ticket touting is having on the wider music business."
Bauer MD Patrick Horton defended the link-up in a recent interview with Music Week. “We work with a wide variety of commercial partners and StubHub already have a long relationship with music,” he said. "They have sponsored nights at SXSW and they have partnerships with everyone from Apple through to promoters such as AEG, with venues like The O2.
“We understand that StubHub want to work closely with rights holders and the industry, and their involvement with Q underlines that. We at Q believe wholeheartedly in supporting musicians and the music industry.”
StubHub is selling primary tickets for the show, but are not currently allowing tickets to be resold for the event. "There are some events that only allow people to list for after the primary sellers have sold out. Unfortunately this is one of them," it told one customer, in a message seen by Music Week.
Music Week has approached StubHub for a response to the FanFair Alliance's statement.