Robert Smith from The Cure expresses disgust towards Ticketmaster’s fees

Robert Smith from The Cure expresses disgust towards Ticketmaster's fees
Robert Smith from The Cure expresses disgust towards Ticketmaster's fees

When The Cure announced their 2023 US tour, they assured fans that they had worked hard to maintain low ticket prices for all attendees.

The band stated that they aim to make the tour affordable for all fans, and they have set a wide and fair range of pricing at every show.

However, when fans attempted to purchase tickets on Wednesday through Ticketmaster, they discovered additional fees that, in some instances, doubled the price set by the band.

Robert Smith, the frontman, expressed his disgust at the result. He addressed the extra charges and stated that “To be very clear, the artist has no way to limit them”.

He also promised to keep fans updated if he received any coherent justification for the charges. During the tour’s release, Ticketmaster’s pricing breakdown was shared by fans.

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One customer bought four tickets at $20 (£16.54) each, but ended up paying $172.10 (£142) due to service fees, a facility charge, and an order processing fee.

Another individual who desired to see The Cure in Phoenix, Arizona, paid $72.25 (£59.75) for a ticket that was originally worth $20 (£16.54). The additional fees differed depending on the location, with one fan in Massachusetts reporting a $16.75 (£13.87) service fee, while another in Toronto stated it was $15 (£12.42). These extra charges were not always more than the base ticket price, as some of the pricier seats cost $90 (£74.50) each.

Earlier this month, The Cure issued a detailed statement regarding their ticketing strategy for their first US tour since 2016. They made a promise of lower prices and stated that, aside from a few charity seats at the Hollywood Bowl, they would not offer “platinum” or “dynamically priced” tickets for this tour.

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The band also announced that tickets would be non-transferable in order to prevent scalpers from interfering. However, if a fan is unable to use a ticket they have purchased due to unforeseen circumstances, they will be able to resell it on a face value ticket exchange.

Following the sale of tickets, the musician took to Twitter again, expressing his determination to find some answers. He stated that he would return with further updates if he received any substantial information on the Ticketmaster fees.

He also noted that it was obvious to him that if people stopped buying tickets from scalpers, it would make a significant difference. The BBC has reached out to Ticketmaster for a response.

In recent months, the pricing policies of the company have been put under intense scrutiny, leading to its executives being summoned to the US Senate in January to answer questions about its dominance. The hearing was sparked by Ticketmaster’s systems being overwhelmed by demand for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour, which raised concerns about price inflation.

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During the hearing, Senator Amy Klobuchar questioned Joe Berchtold, president of Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation, about why the company hadn’t done more to reduce fees given Ticketmaster’s market power. Berchtold responded that Ticketmaster does not set ticket prices and that the majority of added fees go to the venue, not to Ticketmaster.

According to the company’s former CEO, Frederic Rosen, Ticketmaster keeps around 20% of the fees it charges. However, the lack of transparency about these fees and their purpose has left many fans feeling frustrated.


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