'An arm and a leg for a concert ticket?', Ticketmaster faces backlash for GUTS World Tour tickets

Sep 21, 2023 01:54 PM IST

Ticketmaster faces backlash for creating an exclusive concert ticket market with exorbitant prices, highlighting economic disparities in America.

Ticketmaster, a giant in the ticket-selling industry for regular concertgoers, has come under fire for its role in creating a concert ticket market where exorbitant prices often dictate access to live music.

FILE - Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)(AP)
FILE - Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)(AP)

This issue highlights a growing divide in America, where economic disparities influence basic experiences like attending concerts.

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The story begins with a poignant example involving Zach Bryan, an artist whose fans eagerly awaited his tour.

On the day tickets were released via Ticketmaster, excitement quickly turned to dismay as prices soared. It was $400 price tag for tickets. This steep cost left them grappling with the choice between purchasing tickets and affording basic necessities.

The culprit behind these astronomical prices is dynamic ticket pricing, which adjusts prices based on market demand. While it aims to curb ticket reselling on platforms like StubHub, it often results in fans paying staggering amounts to see popular artists.

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Bruce Springsteen's tickets, for instance, were reported to have reached $4,000 due to dynamic pricing.

While Ticketmaster's dynamic pricing strategy has bolstered its prosperity, fans are left bearing the financial burden.

Live Nation, Ticketmaster's parent company, has reported staggering revenues, with total earnings reaching $16.7 billion in 2022.

Average Americans question whether live concerts are becoming an unattainable luxury.

Concerts are supposed to be inclusive events, where people from diverse backgrounds can unite through their shared love of music. Ticketmaster, however, has marred this experience by prioritizing profit over accessibility.

The traditional practice of waiting in lines outside box offices has evolved into a digital lottery where fans rely on luck to secure tickets. Verified fan pre-sales were introduced to ensure genuine fans have access, but bots and scalpers continue to exploit the system.

Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour pre-sale witnessed over 3.5 million people registering for tickets, but only 1.5 million received codes to access the sale. The influx of fans and system failures due to bots led to disappointment for many.

Even many users didn't even receive Olivia Rodrigo's presale code emails for the coming concert. Which drives fans to go crazy over social.

In response, several memes sparked, and fans initiated lawsuits, accusing Ticketmaster and Live Nation of antitrust violations.

A bipartisan Senate Judiciary subcommittee also investigated the system's flaws. But, despite the attention, no concrete policies have been implemented to address the crisis.

Potential solutions include making tickets non-transferable to deter scalpers and bots or breaking up Ticketmaster and Live Nation to encourage competition among ticket vendors.

More fan outrages:

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