Swifties were furious at first Ticketmaster, the pop star Taylor Swift’s ticket broker. Now it’s coming to Swifties: Swifties who are fans of The Cure.
Anybody who tried to buy Verified Fan presale tickets Wednesday morning was confronted with a slew of additional fees. In some cases, these added fees more than double the ticket price to see the iconic English new wave band.
A Twitter user who purchased tickets to Detroit’s show shared a screenshot showing that she was charged $11.65 for each $20 face value ticket and $10 for a facility fee. The total order also had to be paid $5.50. This is $27.15 in fees for a $20 ticket.
Robert Smith, the Cure frontman, took to Twitter later in the day to voice his disgust at the fees. He wrote: “To be very specific: The artist does not have any way to limit them. I’ve been wondering how they are justifiable. ”
Prices for tickets
The Cure shared via social media on March 10 that they would offer affordable tickets for their North American tour. They wrote, “We have a wide (and think very fair) range in pricing at each show.” The agreement was with Ticketmaster, which it said will help to stop ticket scalping and reduce resale prices. Transferable tickets are not allowed. Instead, fans would be able to resell them via a face-value ticket swap.
The Cure announced that there would not be any “platinum” and “dynamically priced tickets” for their 30-date tour. It will begin in New Orleans on May 10. Smith called these higher ticket prices “a greedy scheme” on Twitter.
To compare, the face-value tickets prices for Bad Bunny (2022’s top touring artist according to Billboard) averaged more than $200 with the lowest tier at around $150.
Four months ago, Ticketmaster abruptly canceled the public sale of Swift’s Eras tour tickets. This was due to technical difficulties and long wait times. Ticketmaster also prematurely outsold its inventory of tickets via a multitiered presale that Verified Fans participated in. Resellers sold tickets for thousands of dollars all the time. Swifties who were disappointed filed a class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster accusing them of fraud, misrepresentation, and other antitrust violations.
Congress and Biden eye junk fees
President Joe Biden made a November announcement that he would take action against hidden junk charges, specifically processing fees for concert tickets. He tweeted “they’re unfair and deceptive and add up.” In February, Biden introduced Junk Fee Prevention Act which would clamp down on excessive entertainment ticketing fee.
Biden called for Congress to act by banning excess fees and requiring fees to appear in the face price of the ticket. He also demanded disclosure of ticket holdbacks that could lower the supply of tickets.
The Congress is paying attention. Members of a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee that oversees competition policy urged Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice to investigate Live Nation & Ticketmaster because they are believed to have monopoly power. A group of bipartisan senators wrote to the DOJ: “For too long, Live Nation, Ticketmaster have wielded monopoly powers anticompetitively and harming fans and artists alike.” This letter came after a January hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which probed the Taylor Swift ticketing scandal.
According to consumer advocates, Live Nation Entertainment was formed in 2010 by the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. It reportedly controls 70% of the market for live event ticket brokers.