Ticketmaster to offer discounts to Cure fans following fee complaints – Rolling Stone

In a relatively unprecedented move, Ticketmaster will provide ticket buyers for The Cure’s recently announced U.S. tour with partial refunds, following a controversy on Wednesday over fees that frontman Robert Smith said caused him “made ill”.

The refund, which Smith announced on Twitter on Thursday, comes a day after The Cure tickets first went on sale. Fans again expressed grievances to Ticketmaster over high ticketing fees, as well as technical issues which they claim prevented them from purchasing tickets. Some shoppers who had purchased tickets for as little as $20 per seat posted screenshots detailing that the fee was higher than the tickets themselves.

According to Smith, those who purchased tickets in the lower price range will receive $10 in return. Everyone else will get $5.

“After further conversation, Ticketmaster agreed with us that many of the fees charged were unduly high and, as a gesture of goodwill, offered a refund of $10 per ticket to all verified fan accounts for priced transactions. lowest (“ltp”),” Smith wrote on Twitter. “And a $5 ticket refund to all verified fan accounts for all other ticket price transactions, for all Cure shows at all venues.”

It’s not immediately clear when, if ever, Ticketmaster has taken such a step before, but part of it comes from how Smith expressed the band’s desire to keep tickets affordable for fans. Prior to the onsale, The Cure had taken significant steps to try to ensure that fans only paid face value for their tickets. They refused to use platinum or dynamic pricing to keep prices from skyrocketing in the primary market, and they made their tickets non-transferable so resellers couldn’t easily raise prices in the secondary market.

The Cure’s strategy comes at a time of intense discussion around the ticketing market. For years, and ever since Taylor Swift’s much-lamented Eras Tour went on sale in November, Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation Entertainment have come under heavy criticism from music fans as well as regulators who questioned whether the company had a monopoly on the live music industry.

The company is facing an ongoing DOJ investigation and was heavily questioned during a Senate court hearing in January. Live Nation denied monopoly claims. Since February, the company has become more active in pushing for ticketing legislation that it says would empower performers and limit reseller strategies. (The secondary sites themselves pushed back on the effort, which they said was singled out to avoid changes that would remove some of Live Nation’s pull from the industry.)

In a series of tweets on Wednesday following fan frustration, Smith took aim at scalpers as well as the dynamic pricing strategy, calling the latter a “scam” and noting that artists have a choice whether to participate. .

The customer screenshot that went viral details both Ticketmaster’s service fee, as well as the setup fee that the venue sets. (In this case, the venue was not owned or operated by Live Nation.) These fees combined made the fee higher than the price of the ticket itself.


“I’m sickened like all of you by today’s Ticketmaster fee debacle,” Smith wrote in a later tweet. “Let’s be clear: the artist has no means of limiting them. I asked how they are justified. If I get anything coherent in response, I’ll let you know.

Beyond the refund, Smith wrote that he would notify fans of ticket availability for Friday’s sale when he had more information.

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