Friday, November 2, 2007

Do I boycott ticketmaster?

Check out the band Art Brut. They're amazing and are playing here in LA next week. Advertised as $18.

"Awesome. Let's go! I'll buy the tickets!"

Ticketmaster tells me:
$18 ticket.
$7.85 service fee PER TICKET.
$2.00 building fee PER TICKET.
$2.50 if you want to print out the tickets yourself.

All of a sudden an already pricey $18 show costs $30. Enraged by the ridiculidity of it all, I angrily tell my friends I'm not going. "I'm boycotting ticketmaster," I explain in an fuming email.

My friend, potential concertmate, and often my voice of reason responds:
"You should blame the venue as much if not more than any other's really the whole complex (managers/promoters, venues, ticketmaster) that fucks you. so if you want to be hateful and boycott things hate all equally...oh yeah, and never print out your own tickets, that is complete bullshit."

Yeah. Maybe you're right. But I'm still angry. Maybe it's because I missed Art Brut at Spaceland a couple of years back which would have been less than $12, including service fee (Huzzah for Ticketweb!).

I get that Ticketmaster needs to make some money from all of this. But $9.85 per ticket? How about $3.50 per ticket? That seems more reasonable. AND WHAT THE FUCK IS A BUILDING FEE?

I'm so confused. I'm not going to the concert. Where should my anger be directed?


Anonymous said...

The building fee is just that - a fee the venue adds. And the ugly truth is that the venue is getting 30%-50% of the service charge as well.

So in your example, the ticket company is getting right about what you suggest, about $4. The venue is collecting the rest, including a chunk of the $18 face value.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to avoid Ticketmaster fees -- simply buy the ticket at venue.

Aside from that, the prior commenter is correct: the bulk of the fees collected are split amongst venues, promoters, etc. See the Ticketmaster wikipedia page for more information.

By the way, Ticketweb is owned by Ticketmaster: