Amidst the recent controversy of staggering concert ticket prices, many renowned musicians have been forced to cancel tours. In contrast, some have even become the victim of backlash from fans. A good example could be Bad Bunny, Billboard’s top touring act of 2022, allegedly charging an average price of $225, with the lowest slab being a menacing $150. In light of these incidents, last year Live Nation Entertainment were accused of violating antitrust laws and forcing customers into unfair arbitration agreements.
Faculty of the entertainment management program, at the University of Montana, Dr. Andrea Luoma stated to Scripps News that the rising prices are the result of inflation, which eventually impacts the cost of fuel, equipment and other necessities. “It’s at least 30 to 40% more expensive today to tour than it was pre-pandemic. And part of that is just because the cost of living everywhere has gone up so much,” Luoma said. “The only way the artist is really making money, they can’t they don’t make money because we get our music for free these days. They make money because they go on tour and then they sell merchandise.”
Popstar subjected to criticism on account of rising ticket prices
Pop sensation Taylor Swift found herself amidst recent controversy when over 13 fans from various states in the US filed a lawsuit, suing Ticketmaster in December 2022. After fans waited for over eight hours, unable to buy tickets for ‘The Eras Tour,’ the company faced allegations of fraud, price fixing, and antitrust violations. Joe Berchtold, president of Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, addressed the issue while speaking to BBC, as he stated that they do not set the prices and that the “majority of the added fees go to the venue.” In addition, former CEO, Frederic Rosen spoke to The Hustle stating that “it keeps about 20% of the fees it charges.”
The 32-year-old singer took to her Instagram to acknowledge the issue. She explained that she asked Ticketmaster “multiple times if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could”. The 52-date US tour by the artist became a brazing controversy as Live Nation refused to take responsibility for the chaos. That’s until the members of the US senate got involved!
12-times Grammy winner, Swift kicked off her Eras Tour on March 17 in Glendale, Arizona. Ahead of this, she announced the release of four previously unheard tracks on her social media. The four songs feature re-recordings of The Hunger Games songs Safe & Sound with Joy Williams and John Paul White and Eyes Open (Taylor’s version). If This Was a Movie from Speak Now was also re-recorded and published together with a whole new single — All of the Girls You Loved Before.
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The Cure artist Robert Smith is ‘sickened’ by Ticketmaster’s fees
Alternative punk pioneers The Cure is about to embark on a tour after a six year hiatus. Vocalist, Robert Smith issued a statement where he ensured affordable ticket prices to fans, saying “we have a very wide, and we think very fair range of pricing at every show.”
But to the band’s utter dismay, fans were charged close to double the price that was initially promised, thanks to Ticketmaster’s payment scheme. The issue quickly became viral as fans lashed out on social media with various screenshots of the disheartening incident.
One customer who bought four $20 (£16.54) tickets ended up paying $172,10 (£142), after service fees, a facility charge and an order processing fee were added. Having not agreed to the “dynamic pricing” system set by Ticketmaster, The Cure frontman clarified that the band had no part to play in this and explained to his fans that he was also “sickened” by the incident. “It is a greedy scam and all artists have the choice not to participate. If no artists participated, it would cease to exist,” he added.
Previously in 2019, The Justice Department had stated that Ticketmaster’s unfair practices have been under scrutiny for long. They had investigated complaints of anti-competitive practices by Ticketmaster in the 1990s, after a dispute with the Seattle grunge band Pearl Jam.
In conclusion, Ticketmaster has agreed to partially refund fans. “After further conversation, Ticketmaster have agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are unduly high,” Smith tweeted. Smith said the company agreed to offer a $5-10 refund per ticket for verified fan accounts “as a gesture of goodwill.”
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