Artists and fans have been clashing with Ticketmaster over the cost to go to a concert for years now. As one fan explained in a now-viral tweet (over 10 million as of March 16th), “The cure deliberately kept ticket prices low and [Ticketmaster] was like ‘lol bet’ and charges more in fees than the band is for the actual show.” Underscoring their message was a screenshot that showed the $20 ticket plus the service fee, facility charge, and order processing fees which add up to over $20.
While artists like Kid Rock have used other companies to avoid their price gouging, their “non-compete” contracts with many arenas, amphitheaters, and stadiums make that nearly impossible in 2023.
These exclusive contracts ensure bands have little to say in the matter, something 63-year-old frontman of The Cure Robert Smith addressed in tweets of his own.
“I am as sickened as you all are by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle. To be very clear: the artist has no way to limit them. I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent by way of an answer I will let you all know.”
Just on March 14th, he had said “We had final say in all our ticket pricing for this upcoming tour, and didn’t want those prices instantly and horribly distorted by resale.” He went on to say “We didn’t agree to the ‘dynamic pricing’/‘price surging’/‘platinum ticket’ thing … because it is itself a bit of a scam? A separate conversation.”
While trying to use the Verified Fan systems Ticketmaster has in place is a good idea in theory, they still turn a deaf ear to the real problem. Aside from an ancient system that crashed under Taylor Swift, their fees are exorbitant and quite honestly highway robbery. With online and app sales, fans are stuck under their thumb and forced to pay the fees. Bringing back the days of paper tickets and camping out for the box office to open is the only way to end this insanity.