July 9, 2024

The Cure sickened by Ticketmaster’s ‘sneaky’ ticket pricing

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The lead singer of The Cure, Robert Smith, expressed his frustration with Ticketmaster’s mandatory fees shortly after the company implemented a “verified fan” process on March 15 to distribute tickets for the band’s upcoming American tour. Smith had insisted on the additional layer of security to prevent scalping and inflated ticket prices, but was dismayed to learn that Ticketmaster had included extra fees for buyers. Taking to Twitter, Smith wrote an angry post in all-caps, stating that he was “as sickened as you all are” by the “fees debacle.” He also clarified that the artist had no control over the fees and expressed his confusion over their justification. Smith promised to update fans if he received a satisfactory explanation, adding that tickets were still available, albeit through a slow process.

A tweet that went viral highlighted the extent of malpractice by the company, revealing that a fan’s reasonable ticket price of $20 had more than doubled due to processing fees and charges. Despite The Cure’s decision to avoid a demand-driven “dynamic pricing” payment structure for their upcoming tour, and to make all tickets nontransferable, scalpers still managed to acquire a significant number of tickets for the resale market. Although StubHub removed these listings in states without protective laws, Smith expressed his disdain for dynamic pricing, which he deemed a scam. This situation serves as a reminder that the Biden administration is taking steps to diminish the power of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, who hold a substantial monopoly over the concert industry. In February, the White House proposed the Junk Fee Protection Act, which aims to prohibit excessive fees, require disclosure of fees in ticket prices, and mandate disclosure of ticket holdbacks that reduce available supply. Whether it’s a weekday or the weekend, this is an issue that requires attention.

How does dynamic pricing work exactly?

Dynamic pricing in ticket selling refers to the practice of adjusting ticket prices based on supply and demand. Rather than setting a fixed price for a ticket, dynamic pricing algorithms take into account various factors such as venue capacity, historical sales data, and real-time demand to determine the optimal price for a particular event at any given moment. As demand increases, ticket prices rise accordingly, and vice versa. This pricing model is commonly used in industries such as airlines, hotels, and sports teams, and has become increasingly prevalent in the live entertainment industry. However, it has faced criticism from some consumers and artists who argue that it can lead to inflated ticket prices and pricing inequities for fans.

The below meme made by a Norwegian Depeche Mode fan group was published on our Facebook page a while ago and also attacks the outrageous prices.

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Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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