Six Questions With... FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb

Six Questions With... FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb

Welcome to the latest edition of Six Questions With..., a weekly short and sharp interview with a live music figure. Email if you would like to take part or recommend someone for inclusion. 

This week's Q&A is with PR professional Adam Webb, campaign manager for anti-touting pressure group, FanFair Alliance. 

What was your first job in music?

Working for a software firm called Right Track Solutions, and helping process royalties for companies like Mute, Rough Trade Publishing and Pussyfoot. Not necessarily the most glamorous start - and tough for anyone who scraped a maths GCSE - but a solid grounding in music business finance. 

How long have you been in your current role? 

I've run my own PR and comms business for the past five years, working with a pretty diverse range of organisations and events. I continue to do that, but was approached by MMF to launch and manage the FanFair Alliance campaign in May 2016 - so just over 12 months. 

What is your favourite thing about working in the music industry? 

I'm a music obsessive. I caught the bug early. And I'm still excited about new music, discovering music from the past, and going to shows. It can still be magical. What a privilege to be connected to that.  

What is the one thing you would like to change about the business? 

End mass-scale online ticket touting, and support businesses that promote a transparent and consumer-friendly system of resale. Personally, I think anyone with a ticket who genuinely can't attend a show should have the option to resell at the price they paid for it. That seems fair. But I struggle to think of a more corrosive business model than the one currently promoted by the 'Big Four' so-called secondary ticketing platforms - where fans are actively directed towards ticket touts from the get-go, and where the identity of sellers is anonymised. It's madness. The impact is toxic across the entire industry - not just live music - and holds back innovation.  

I also think everyone should support Attitude Is Everything. Suzanne Bull and her team do incredible work partnering with venues and festivals to make live music accessible for Deaf and disabled audiences.  

What's the best gig you’ve ever been to? 

That's hard. My teenage years were a two-hour train ride from anywhere exciting, so I'll always remember trips to watch incredible bands like Fugazi, Throwing Muses, Pixies or Nirvana. And venues like Kilburn National Ballroom. The best recent gig was Young Fathers at Meltdown, the night after the General Election. They blew the Royal Festival Hall roof off. 

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

FanFair Alliance. Over the years, there's been a lot of hot air spoken to justify 'secondary ticketing' in its current form - usually by the corporations who benefit from it, but also by economists and politicians. I do think FanFair has genuinely helped change that conversation. Plus, by galvanising support, we've been instrumental in getting the law changed. Those laws need to be enforced and made workable, but that's for phase two of the campaign. 

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