Squadron Brings The Grammys to Senate Floor In Call to Fix Tix Law

Squadron Continues Long Song for Putting Fans Above Special Interests

Squadron Highlights Ticket Law Flaws With Grammy-Winning Songs Since '10

ALBANY – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron cited lyrics from Grammy-winning tracks since 2010 on the Senate floor (video here), in opposition to extending of New York’s status-quo broken ticket reselling law. Squadron has pushed for reforms to the state’s broken ticket reselling law to prioritize fans above special interests since its first (and now annual) extension in 2010, including introducing the Fans Against Inflated Rates for Tickets (FAIR Tickets) Act (S.5178) earlier this session (one pager attached).

Squadron’s FAIR Tickets Act would: create a more transparent marketplace by requiring face values on tickets, clear information on the number of tickets available, pricing, and other policies, and identification of secondary sellers; establish a fairer process for fans by instituting a 48-hour “cooling off period” before resale is permitted, ending speculative sales, and requiring clearer fee-disclosure; as well as stop profiteering on free or charity event tickets.

Squadron has previously cited musicians including Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Bruce Springsteen, as well as the Broadway musical “Hamilton” (201420152016 floor speeches).  

Squadron’s full floor speech is below:

Beginning in 2010, Albany began to extend this identical law that has benefitted brokers and special interests at the cost of fans. Here today, in 2017, the proposal is to do so yet again. That’s unacceptable. Waiting from 2010 to today to get a fair shot at fairly priced tickets, to protect artists, and give consumers information -- that's not acceptable. 2010 was a long time ago.

Back in 2010, Beyoncé's anthem for “Single Ladies” won a Grammy. To paraphrase Bey:

All the ticket brokers

(All the ticket brokers)

Now put your hands up

If you liked it cause you're profiteering on it

If you liked it cause you're profiteering on it

And you liked it cause you got cha-ching on it

If you liked it cause you're profiteering on it

In 2011, the Grammys gave Lady Gaga a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance award. Meanwhile, Albany was caught up in our own “Bad Romance”:

Ah-ah-Albany

Ah-ah-Albany

Caught in a bad romance

Ah-ah-Albany

Ah-ah-Albany

Caught in a bad romance

They take your tickets and

They need your resales

Alb-any could write a bad romance

They want your tickets

All the brokers resale

Lobby-ists could write a bad romance

Ah-ah-Albany

Caught in a bad romance

The following year (2012) brought us Adele's “Rolling in the Deep.” Of course, it did not bring us any reforms to New York’s ticket law:

There's a fire, starting for our fans

Reaching a fever pitch, and it's bringing fans out the dark

Finally, they can see you crystal clear

Go 'head and sell them out and they’ll lay your ship bare

Resellers have it all

Rolling in the cheap

They have Albany in thrall

Rolling in the deep

2013’s Grammys brought us Fun.’s “We Are Young.” The State Senate kept delivering Fun. for special interests over fans:

Toda-a-a-a--y

Law’s not you-ung

So let's set the law on fire

We can learn brighter, than this nu-uhne

In 2014, the Grammys honored Rihanna’s album “Unapologetic” featuring the great song “Diamonds.” The Senate delivered diamonds for deep money ticket resellers, not fans:

This time it’s gotta end

This time it’s gotta end

This time it’s gotta end

Horrible to pass one more time

2015 brought Pharrell Williams a Grammy -- Session ended with nothing for fans to be “Happy” about: 

Fans unhappy

Vote a no if you feel it’s a law without a tooth

Fans unhappy

Vote a no if you feel like transparency is the truth

Fans unhappy

Vote a no if you know what happiness is to fans

Fans unhappy

Vote a no if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Last year we had promise -- Attorney General Schneiderman's issued his report, Governor promised a ticket reselling working group, and Senator Lanza put forward a bill that had significant reforms in it, and we beat back bots bipartisinally together. The Grammy’s awarded “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. To fans, I sadly have a funky message from Albany:

'Cause Alb’ny funk gon' give it to you

Don't believe me just watch uh

Don't believe me just watch uh

Don't believe me just watch

Won’t fix it just botch

Hey, hey, hey, oh

This year’s choice is particularly fitting for any fan that feels like they’re talking into an abyss. The Grammys honored “Hello” by Adele:

Hello, it's me

I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet

To go over everything

They say that time's supposed to heal ya

But this law ain't done much healing

Hello, can you hear me?

I'm in NY Senate dreaming about what tix used to be

When we were younger

And free

I've forgotten how it felt before the world fell at lobbyists' feet

Hello from the other side

I must have spoke a thousand times

To tell you

I'm sorry

For everything that you’ve done

But when I call, you already seem to be spun

Hello from the outside

At least I can say that I've tried

To tell you

I'm sorry

You’re breaking fan’s hearts

But it don't matter

It clearly

Doesn't tear you apart

Anymore

Anymore

Next year the Grammys come back to New York after 15 years. Real progress on this law would be music to every fan’s ears, and something that we owe them. And if we do, I’ll never drop lyrics on the floor again.

I vote no.

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Squadron recently called for progress on fixing the law and a promised ticket reselling working group, along with musicians and managers. Previously, he has: pushed for oversight hearings on the law; worked with the Archdiocese of NY and Senator Schumer to denounce profiteering from the Pope’s New York visit; and urged ticket reselling websites to remove charity event profiteering event listings. Last year, Squadron was instrumental in the adoption of a law to crack down on illegal ticket purchasing “bots.”

 

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