First Ticketmaster incurred the wrath of Swifties — fans of pop star Taylor Swift — and now it’s coming for another group of devotees in decidedly darker clothing: fans of The Cure.
Anyone attempting to purchase a verified fan presale ticket on Wednesday was met with a series of additional fees that, in some cases, more than doubled the total cost of a ticket to see the famous English New Wave band .
A Twitter user who bought tickets to a show in Detroit shared a screenshot of a checkout page showing that for every $20 face-value ticket purchased, they were charged a service fee of $11.65 and a convenience fee of $10 , on top of which there was also a processing fee. $5.50 for full orders. The fee is $27.15 on a $20 ticket.
The Cure frontman Robert Smith took to Twitter later that day to express his frustration with the fees, writing, “To be very clear: The artist has no way to limit them. All I’m asking is how they are justified.” Are.”
Range of ticket prices offered
On March 10, The Cure announced via social media that it would be offering affordable tickets for its North American tour, writing, “We have a very wide range of pricing (and we think very reasonable) range.” The band said it came to an agreement with Ticketmaster to help prevent ticket scalping and help reduce resale value by not allowing transferable tickets. Instead fans would be able to resell them on the face-value ticket exchange.
The Cure also announced that there would be no “platinum” or “dynamic price” tickets for the 30-date tour, which begins on May 10 in New Orleans. On Twitter, Smith called these high price ticket levels “a greedy scam”.
For comparison, face-value ticket prices for Bad Bunny, the top touring act of 2022 (according to Billboard) averaged over $200, with the lowest level hovering around $150.
Four months after Ticketmaster’s public sale of tickets for Swift’s long-anticipated Eras tour was marred by technical difficulties, long wait times, and ultimately the premature cancellation of its catalog of tickets through a multilevel pre-sale to verified fans The aftermath caused an uproar among Cure fans. Throughout, resellers posted tickets worth thousands of dollars. The move prompted frustrated Swifties to file a class-action lawsuit against Ticketmaster alleging fraud, misrepresentation and breach of antitrust.
Biden and Congress eyeing junk fees
In November, President Joe Biden announced that he planned to take action against hidden junk fees, specifically referencing processing fees on concert tickets, saying “they are unfair, deceptive and manipulative. ” Then, in February, Biden introduced the Junk Fee Prevention Act, which would crack down on exorbitant entertainment ticket fees.
In a White House press release, Biden called on Congress to take action to prohibit additional fees, to disclose fees in the face value of tickets, and to mandate disclosure of any ticket holdbacks that reduce the supply available to consumers. called upon.
Congress is taking notice. On February 23, members of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee overseeing competition policy urged the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division to investigate Live Nation and Ticketmaster over concerns they held monopoly power. In a letter to the DOJ, the bipartisan group of senators wrote, “For too long, Live Nation and Ticketmaster have exercised monopoly power competitively, harming fans and artists alike.” The letter came after a January hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was embroiled in the Taylor Swift ticketing debacle.
Live Nation Entertainment — formed from the 2010 merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster — reportedly holds an estimated 70% of the live event ticket broking market, according to consumer advocates.