Friday Music Day – Ticketmaster is bad

Whether you are a event-goer having to use Ticketmaster or not, I think everyone is aware how bad and expensive the ticket buying process is in general but especially if using Ticketmaster. Lots of news lately about trouble getting tickets and/or the expense with the mega-acts like Taylor Swift or Bruce Springsteen but it also trickles down to the lesser acts. I'll describe my experience this week.

Nick Cave is coming to the State Theater in October and since I follow Nick Cave, I received information on a Artist Presale for this past Monday, a full four days prior to the "general public sale" happening today. I'm a huge fan and would be willing to pay for good seats. So on Monday, I log into Ticketmaster a few minutes prior to the presale and get put in the queue. 10:00a rolls around and I'm like #240 or so, which was disappointing but whatever. As soon as my number comes up, there's a technical issue and I'm put back in the Queue. Now I'm like number 450! I wait around and this time I get in but now all the good tickets are gone. What!!!??

There's literally more presales during the week so I think I will try those but just for the heck of it, try about 30 minutes later in case some tickets got released. Oh I have a $50 Ticketmaster Gift Card, so I'm not as price sensitive as I may normally be and I'm willing to pay for good seats. Sure enough I found a Row O ticket for the face value of $110, even though I was hoping for better. In the process of buying the ticket, I noticed a ton of seats are now being released but now at a higher price. First 7 rows or so are now $217 and tickets around Row 0 are $135 (this is before fees mind you). The $217 ticket are "Premium" and the $135 are due to dynamic pricing. They were literally not available 5 minutes after the presale opened but are now 45 minutes later.

I close the sale and thank my lucky stars I got the seat that I did at the price ($30 in fees which is 27% btw). I was curious so I checked the State Theater presale yesterday right at 10:00a. There was probably less than 100 ticket listed for sale (all at those higher prices). So if you got a presale notice from the State Theater and thought you had a decent chance of getting a ticket to see Nick Cave, you were sadly mistaken.

This is definitely a "First World Problem" and frankly I don't know how to change it but it is frustrating nonetheless and I am worried that fans are getting priced out of seeing their favorite acts. Also the Artists need to take a stand as well, like Robert Smith did of the Cure. I know they get a cut of the fees and increased dynamic or platinum pricing so they are in on the game too.

Anyway, drop your lists if you got them or just feel to vent about Ticketmaster.

12 thoughts on “Friday Music Day – Ticketmaster is bad”

  1. Procol Harum - Conquistador
    The Pretenders - Pack It Up
    Queens of the Stone Age - Little Sister
    Rob Zombie - More Human Than Human
    Semisonic - F.N.T.

    Moxy's Music Party - A Better Man
    Local H - Bound For the Floor
    The Psychedelic Furs - Pretty In Pink
    Lo Fidelity All Stars - Battleflag
    Jon Secada - Just Another Day

  2. I haven't listed to it yet but the YFBS podcast (Tyler Mahan Coe of C&R fame) did an episode of ticketmaster yesterday. It sounded like they were going to break it down kind of seriously why still showing the humor this specific usually has. Will check it out sometime this week.

    1. Thanks for sharing FTLT - I wasn’t aware of this podcast but I’m definitely interested in hearing more.

      I don’t have anything to add - what free said is all spot on with my recent (i.e., 2022-early ‘23) experiences. My wife is sorta bored with the concert scene and though I can nearly always find friends to check out a band with, the cost has frequently been high enough that I only ask around if it’s a “bucket list” or longtime favorite artist. And even there, I didn’t go after Springsteen, Stones, RHCP, etc. recently because of the exorbitant price of admission.

      1. so lots of cursing in the pod. be ready for it! With that said the main takeaway is everyone has gotta get paid and ticketmaster is happy to be the bad guy so your favorite bands get paid. Went into a lot of detail on how middle/small bands really get hurt by this. Interesting/fun/bummer listen if you get the chance.

        1. Blame Boomers and older Gen X for all this. Too much money in their pockets, willing to shell it out to see the Boss or other geriatrics like the Stones. 🙂

          Yea, I don't know what the solution is either. Bands' earnings from record sales have plummeted, so it's pretty much all about touring now. Not the first time that The Suits have found ways to screw artists and squeeze the public.

          1. Turns out the artists aren't really getting screwed here, well at least not the legacy acts.

            1. Exactly FTLT. The dirty little secret is that the big acts negotiate a cut of the Ticketmaster fees. Also they ok the dynamic pricing and premium seat sales, and get their cut. It hurts the smaller acts who don't have the oomph to ask for the same, but the fees remain the same regardless. Like said above, Ticketmaster is willing to be the bad guy for in exchange for the $$$$

              Also the fact that we becoming a society of haves and have nots is fueling this too. No way 15 years ago could you fill the X with 20,000 people willing and able to pay a minimum of $200 for a nosebleed seat at a Springsteen show, much less pay thousands for decent seats. That literally happened a few weeks ago in St. Paul.

  3. I'm attempting to purchase tickets to an NPR taped event and Ticketmaster notified me that there will be resale tickets lumped into the general public sale "at a higher than face value price". I'm all for a secondary marketplace to sell tickets peer to peer but this seems like an encouragement to buy and pump up the price for maximum profit. The likely outcome is that we don't go because the price point is just too gross.

    1. We just bought tickets to Bluey's Big Play. We decided not to purchase insurance despite the high costs as we figure if we're sick we can probably find some desperate parents to sell them at face value for

  4. On the other hand, I got into the Red Hot Chili Peppers presale and picked up four pretty good (and expensive) tickets thinking my concert-going group could use them. Oops, I guess Saturday of Easter weekend isn't good for anyone, and now it's looking like I'll be lucky to sell the tickets for half of what I paid.

    (Related, why are RHCP and The Strokes and King Princess also playing in Fargo two days before attempting to fill US Bank?!?!)

    (Related, for my kids I got into the fan club presale for one of the BTS members playing in Chicago. Thankfully we were number 800 on one of our two presale codes, which required fan club signup. By the time the second account got in, there were only a couple singles and resale tickets in the $800 range. Oof!)

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