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scalpers brokers are frequently blamed and vilified by musicians, their managers and promoters, and their fans for buying up large quantities of concert tickets and then scalping selling them at exorbitant market prices. For example, see the sign above, and see this rambling, deranged, all-lower-case, anti-scalper screed from the founding member of the band LCD Soundsystem, titled “fu** you scalpers.”
But wait now. An article in Buzzfeed identifies six reasons that it’s so hard (and so expensive) to buy concert tickets and guess what… only one of the six reasons has anything to do with ticket
scalpers brokers. And in fact, Reason #3 for high concert ticket prices is that many artists actually scalp their own tickets!
To highlight the six reasons that concert tickets are so expensive and hard to buy, Buzzfeed presents a breakdown of how the tickets to a recent Justin Bieber concert at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on January 18 were distributed (see graphic below):
1. Almost half of the tickets (6,000 or 43%) went to credit card companies like American Express and Citi, which routinely offer concert tickets to cardholders in special presale promotions, and also help promote the concerts.
2. Another 21% of the tickets (3,000) went to Justin Bieber’s fan club.
Together with the tickets for American Express and Citi, almost two-thirds (64%) of the total tickets available went to just those two sources.
3. Most of the artists get a guaranteed number of tickets that they themselves can scalp, and they also get lots of “VIP and guest list tickets.” For Justin Bieber’s Nashville concert, an investigation by a local Nashville TV station found documents that showed “that Bieber’s tour held back 500 tickets to be sold at marked-up prices as part of Ticketmaster’s Platinum Exchange program, along with some 900 seats reserved for various programs labeled as ‘VIP’ tickets.”
4. Then if you were one of the lucky fans to actually purchase one of the 1,000 tickets available for sale to the general public (out of 14,000), you get slammed with hefty Ticketmaster charges that can add up to 50% in fees to the ticket’s face value. And a percentage of those exorbitant Ticketmaster fees often gets paid….. back to the ARTIST!
Bottom Line: Instead of blaming ticket
scalpers brokers for high ticket prices, how about some fan outrage towards some of the real sources of high ticket prices and the limited availability of tickets for sale to the general public – the artists themselves and their managers and promoters, and their anti-consumer, co-conspirator – Ticketmaster.
HT: Bill Riley
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