Ticketmaster’s policy to increase prices based on demand makes tickets inaccessible to fans.
More than likely, as fans of something, we have all been exploited due to the fame of whom we support. The more fame an artist has, the more fans are exposed to exploitation through various activities. Unfortunately, fans and fame are directly related to one another. Naturally, if a fan loves an artist, they want them to succeed, so fans try to share the artist’s work with more people.
One example of exploitation that fans commonly face is the merchandise conundrum. If you have ever gone to a concert, then you have surely seen a merch stand selling an array of items. More often than not, merchandise can be anywhere from $20-$80. Typically, the bigger the concert arena, the higher the prices. This is because venues charge artists for a percentage of their merchandise sales.
Playing a big venue costs a lot of money for an artist. Merchandise sales help a band make profit from the shows they perform. Artists love their fans, but even they have financial needs of their own. This forces artists to inflate the prices of their own merchandise.
Bands with smaller followings are affected even more by this. They will play a smaller venue and have to sell their merchandise cheaper. So how do they make money? They are forced to offer VIP events. One example of such an event is a soundcheck ticket, which allows the holder to enter the venue early and watch the soundcheck. These tickets are usually sold separately from the ticket actually needed to get into the concert. Bands will typically also sell these tickets on their own personal website to avoid the charges taken by ticket selling websites.
Another example of an exploitation that fans are subjected to are “dynamic prices.” According to Ticketmaster, the cost of tickets are “market-priced,” meaning that “prices may adjust over time based on demand.” They further justify their supposed right to inflate their prices by comparing this pricing mechanism to airlines and hotels. Basically, if Ticketmaster sees that an event is going to sell out, then they will inflate the ticket prices due to supply and demand.
It is not the artists who charge their fans a preposterous amount for their tickets, it is, in fact, the ticket selling companies. One example of this appalling behavior is a ticket for Panic! at the Disco that originally cost $45 being inflated to $90. Believe it or not, this is actually one of the smaller discrepancies in Ticketmaster’s pricing.
Last week, tickets for My Chemical Romance’s first reunion tour in the United States went on sale via Ticketmaster. The original ticket prices ranged from $60-$200. Their entire United States tour sold out in roughly six hours. These were all stadiums with maximum capacities above the 15,000 person range. As one can imagine, the experience of getting a ticket was trying, to say the least.
I logged onto Ticketmaster’s website 30 minutes before the tickets went on sale. I then entered the online waiting room as soon as it opened. The time came for when tickets went on sale, and I was still stuck in the online waiting room. I sat there for 40 minutes waiting to purchase tickets.
Finally, I was able to enter the webpage that allowed me to pick tickets. I was absolutely shocked to see the nosebleed tickets that were originally $60 were now $200. I bought the ticket because they are one of my favorite bands that I have never gotten the chance to see live. The ticket I bought had been inflated to over three times its original price. Ticketmaster basically scalped their own tickets. Currently, scalpers are reselling their tickets cheaper than Ticketmaster charged.
Many fans were outraged by the dynamic pricing. Thousands of fans took to Twitter to voice their anger. “Ticketmaster” was trending with over 200k tweets. Also trending, was “Sue Ticketmaster.”
Sometimes being a fan is not easy, especially when both the venue and the ticket selling companies want to make as much money as they possibly can off the fans. Fan exploitation has always been around, but it is only getting worse with each passing year.