Well, this was a bit awkward. StubHub presumably paid out a pretty penny to sponsor last night’s Q Awards – and got a whole host of winners lining up to attack secondary ticketing for its money.
Music industry secondary ticketing pressure group the FanFair Alliance had already criticised the resale site’s sponsorship of the awards, accusing the eBay-owned firm of trying to “buy legitimacy”. And last night, it was the artists’ turn to put the boot in.
The one saving grace for StubHub will be that no one called it out by name. But it was pretty obvious what Jack Garratt, James Bay and Bastille were referring to.
Garratt started the ball rolling in relatively oblique fashion as he picked up his Breakthrough Act award, saying the fans who voted for him “deserve fair ticket pricing for the shows they want to go and see”. But Bastille’s Dan Smith didn’t hold back when he said: “Exploitative secondary ticketing is fucking bollocks – it’s shit for fans and it’s pretty shit for the bands as well.”
And even James Bay, usually the politest man in rock, chipped in as he picked up the Best Solo Act gong. “Apologies to my fans for ever having to deal with secondary ticketing sites,” he said. “I hope we see an end to those.”
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’s involvement certainly hadn’t hit attendance at the awards, however, with a stellar array of talent turning out for the veteran music magazine’s annual bash, including The Edge and Adam Clayton from U2, Muse, Ray Davies, Meat Loaf, Madness and Blondie. The revamped format, which saw the bash move to the Roundhouse in Camden, North London, members of the public allowed in for the first time and a live set by The Charlatans at the end of the evening, also proved a big hit with industry and punters alike.
Here’s the full list of winners:
Breakthrough Act – Jack Garratt
Best Track – Bastille (Good Grief)
Best Video– PJ Harvey (The Community of Hope)
Best Album– The 1975 (I Like It When You Sleep…)
Best Live – U2
Best Solo – James Bay
Best Act in the World Today – Muse
Innovation In Sound Award – MIA
Hero – Meat Loaf
Classic Songwriter – Ray Davies
Q Hall of Fame – Madness
Classic Album – The Charlatans (Tellin’ Stories)
Gibson Les Paul Award – The Edge
Outstanding Contribution to Music – Blondie