History of STAR

STAR - the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers - was formed in November 1997 by a number of ticketing companies and organisations to promote high standards of service to consumers and to enhance and promote the public perception of the ticket agents' industry.

During the 1980s and early 1990s it had become clear that action would need to be taken against ticket touts who had threatened to bring the whole ticketing industry into disrepute by charging members of the public, including visitors to Britain, ticket fees vastly in excess of the actual price printed on the ticket. There were also suggestions of intimidation by touts, use of misleading information and the sale of forged tickets.

As a result of this, several reputable ticket agents decided to act. They felt that self-regulation would be the best method of providing the regulations and procedures needed to distinguish them from the touts and to promote high standards of service between ticket agents and the ticket-buying public. STAR was therefore created.

Over a decade later, STAR is the leading representative body for the UK entertainment ticketing industry, with members including the major ticket agencies and numerous venues, box offices and sales outlets across the country. Although the vast majority of ticketing transactions go smoothly, provision of consumer reassurance through a self-regulatory association that sets the highest standards of transparency and customer service is as important now as it was in 1997. In particular, the explosion of online sales outlets that has made tickets for many entertainment events more accessible has also created opportunities for unscrupulous outlets to sell tickets that are often not as described or may not exist at all; STAR membership is a visible sign of a ticket seller that treats customers fairly and in accordance with agreed high standards.

Since its inception, STAR has played a major role in cross-industry consumer protection initiatives, recently including the creation of standard terms and conditions for ticket sale, and continues to work with other industry bodies as well as the Office of Fair Trading and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on ways of combating ticket fraud and mis-selling.