Skip to comments.A Band Battles Ticketmaster on Sales Fees
Posted on 05/16/2012 11:28:48 PM PDT by nickcarraway
One Friday afternoon recently, about 50 fans and friends of the band String Cheese Incident took $20,000 in cash to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles to take a small stand against the system in this case, Ticketmaster.
With money advanced by the band, each person had enough to buy eight tickets at $49.95 apiece for the groups show in July. Once all tickets were in hand, almost 400 of them, they were carried back to String Cheese headquarters in Colorado and put on sale again through the groups Web site for $49.95.
Were scalping our own tickets at no service charge, Mike Luba, one of the groups managers, explained in an interview last week. Its ridiculous.
String Cheese Incident, a jam band with a solid if under-the-radar following, wants to offer tickets to its whole summer tour without the service fees, now ubiquitous, charged by Ticketmaster and other vendors. To do that it is going through much more rigmarole than almost any group would bother with, but feels strongly that the effort is worthwhile.
It costs us money to sell the tickets, Keith Moseley, the bands bassist, said. But we are going to eat that cost this summer in order to make a better deal for our fans and let them know how much we appreciate them.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Awesome. I am so sick of Ticketmaster. Talk about a monopoly and unfair business practices.
There is a lawsuit winding through the courts here in Arkansas about this very issue - Arkansas law forbids “scalping” and clearly defines the practice. Yet for some reason, Ticketmaster is given a free ride (is it that they term it “service fee” or “convenience fee” instead of “our pure profit margin on top of our commission”?
Try as I might, I don’t see why scalping is bad for anyone.
No one is forcing anyone to buy the tickets from the scalpers.
The scalpers only make a profit, if the show sells out. They assume the risk that they might get stuck with unsold tickets. In that sense, scalping tickets is like any other futures market.
It doesn’t sound like the band is against scalpers, but against the fees Ticketmaster charges. I guess buying them in person gets around a lot of the fees?
I just got three tickets to RUSH.
Ticket Price: $ Too much but worth it x 3.
Facility Charge: $ 3.00 x 3
Convenience Charge:$ 15.55 x 3
Additional Taxes: $ 0.78 x 3
It was online (hence the $15.55 charge?), and got on 5 seconds after it opened. All of the floor had already been sold out. Many by scalpers. So even if the show is not sold out, if you want a decent seat on the floor you probably need to go through a scalper.
“So even if the show is not sold out, if you want a decent seat on the floor you probably need to go through a scalper.”
IOW, the scalper takes the risk of selling those tickets; meanwhile, the band has a sure thing. It’s (IMHO) not much different than a wheat farmer selling his expected crop on the futures market. The farmer (or band) gets protection from market fluctuations.
Perhaps. And the various venues (or bands?) run their own plans to offer VIP seats ahead of the mass ticket sales for “a seat within 20 rows of the stage, poster, and t-shirt) for double the price of the same seat on the normal ticket sale.
Hey - if you have the money, yes, buy the VIP thing or from a scalper.
I’m not sure I would equate it to the price of wheat though. Isn’t that were one never knows what the actual price will be (due to weather, demand, etc.). Popular rock bands I imagine know that they are going to pretty much sell the joint out (or at least the good seats worth scalping), and the ticket prices aren’t going to fluctuate.
I guess all the good band names are taken by now.
I think Toe Jam Football, and Walrus Gumboot are still available.
Don’t forget The Spinal Crackers.
Wow. That's enough to make me not want to use them.
I can understand back in the “dark ages” bands that draw fans from all over the country needing a centralized location where fans could call or go to buy tickets. But these days it would be fairly trivial for venues and bands to set up their own web sites that allow online ordering. I don’t see why anyone would want to go through a third party these days.
Yes - on a RUSH blog I follow people complain after concerts about the great seats in front of them where the folks are only half-interested in the show. Surmise that they are “special guests” as they spend most of their time running back and forth for the free beer.
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