Thursday, May 17, 2012

Taking on Ticketmaster

Most music fans can agree that Ticketmaster is evil but unfortunately, there isn't much we can do, aside from complaining (something I do quite frequently). Even worse, Ticketmaster is an unavoidable monopoly, and unless you happen to be attending a show at an independent venue, you're stuck paying all those ridiculous charges. (Then there is always a slew of articles written about how concert ticket sales are down every year. Gee, I wonder why?)

Well, the jam-band String Cheese Incident is attempting to fight back. According to the New York Times, the band is buying a large amount of tickets to its own shows from Ticketmaster and then re-selling them to fans without service charges. Obviously Ticketmaster is still charging the fees though, so the band is essentially losing money in order to "stage a symbolic protest as part of a decade-long conflict with Ticketmaster."

The String Cheese Incident: our heroes in the battle against evil
"It costs us money to sell the tickets," said Keith Moseley, the band's bassist. "But we're going to eat that cost this summer in order to make a better deal for our fans and let them know how much we appreciate them."

This is a nice gesture for the fans, and I respect the String Cheese Incident members for their efforts. But unfortunately, Ticketmaster is still getting the money for those service charges, so in the end, it doesn't make too much of a difference. Too bad there isn't a better way to stick it to them. But still, it's nice to see high-profile artists drawing attention to how awful the concert ticket business has become, and at least the fans get a little bit of a break. Let's hope fans buy lots of merch at the shows to show their gratitude.


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