Getting tickets to see The Cure perform live should be like heaven… but Ticketmaster is making the process hell for fans.
Robert Smith of the Cure tweeted to fans on Wednesday that he is “as disgusted as all of you by today’s Ticketmaster ‘Commissions’ debacle,” after fans voiced their grievances and posted footage of their Ticketmaster transactions.
“To be very clear, the artist has no way of limiting them,” continued Smith. “I have been asking how they are justified. If I get something coherent by way of response, I’ll let everyone know.”
The English post-punk and new wave band set out to keep ticket costs affordable, with some as low as $20. But fans shared screenshots of Ticketmaster shopping baskets tacking on exorbitant extra fees for their US tour.
Pop artist Tim Burgess shared a photo of the additional charges on Twitter.
“So @thecure and @RobertSmith wanted to keep ticket prices reasonable for fans on their upcoming North American tour dates. Of course @Ticketmaster absolutely flushed them with ridiculous add-on charges.” Burgess tweeted. “What is a service fee or a setup fee or a processing fee?”
On the screenshot of her transaction, she showed that she had added four tickets at $20 each to her cart. Ticketmaster then added an $11.65 service fee to each ticket, plus an additional $10 setup fee per ticket, and then a $5.50 order processing fee. In the end, his purchase of four tickets cost him $172.10, almost $100 more than what had been advertised for tickets.
Times columnist Suzy Exposito was among Cure fans who tweeted while trying to buy tickets. “Hahaha, no wonder the Swifties are suing Ticketmaster. Getting tickets to The Cure has been a clown show, error messages and blank windows galore.” she said before re-tweeting 40 minutes later: “Oh, the gothic gods have smiled on me. After more than 10 attempts, I have Cure tickets!”
But Exposito was another “verified fan” who charged additional fees, which totaled more than $120 on top of the sale price.
“We want the tour to be affordable for all fans, and we have a very wide (and we think very fair) price range on every show,” The Cure stated in a March 10 statement. post on twitter.
“Our ticketing partners have agreed to help us keep scalpers out of the way; To help minimize scalping and keep prices at face value, tickets for this tour are non-transferable.”
The “Boys Don’t Cry” singer has been posting frequent updates via Twitter for the past week, saying the band was not on board with the “dynamic pricing”, “price increase” and “ticket platinum” from Ticketmaster, calling it “a bit of a rip-off.
According to Smith, the band had final say on ticket prices for their upcoming Shows of a Lost World tour, which includes a three-night stay at the Hollywood Bowl from May 23-25. They did not want ticket prices to be “instantly and terribly distorted by scalping.”
He too wrote the group was convinced that Ticketmaster’s “verified fan page” and “face value ticket exchange” system, in which fans sign up for a chance to receive a unique purchase code prior to pre-sale , would help fight scalpers.
Smith said he would update fans if he gets more information on Ticketmaster’s fees. Meanwhile, he is “forced to notice” the “recurring elephant in the room” that no one “bought from the resellers.” . . so . . . X”
This is the latest in a major series of debacles with Tickmaster. The anger of artists and fans has been directed at the company for price gouging and software glitches that have caused fans hoping to see Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen to miss out on tickets entirely or face prices running into the thousands.
In December, 26 Burnt Swifties filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster, alleging that its parent company (Live Nation Entertainment Inc.) engaged in fraud, price fixing, and antitrust violations, as well as “intentionally and knowingly misleading ticket buyers.” tickets by allowing scalpers and bots access to TaylorSwiftTix presale.”
“The public brought all this on themselves,” Fred Rosen, the 79-year-old former CEO of Ticketmaster, told August Brown of The Times in January.
“I don’t sympathize with people who complain about high ticket prices,” he continued, blaming fans who downloaded music without paying for it during the Napster era for music file sharing. “They helped create this situation where artists have to make all their money on tours. The artists and the market set the prices, and you can’t pay the price of a Motel 6 and stay at the Four Seasons.”