If you are a reader here, you know my vehemence towards Ticketmaster. It's nothing newsworthy, everyone hates them. The good news is that Ticketmaster hasn't just been screwing you and your hot wife, they have been angering the vendors as well. Last year, universities starting turning away from Ticketmaster because of the exorbitant fees. Ticketmaster didn't care, because they had the grand enchilada of monopolies — the concert industry.
See, Ticketmaster had an exclusive contract with 'Live Nation'. What is Live Nation? They are Clear Channel. Yeah, they are the ones who own all the venues and radio stations. With the two teamed together against consumers, 'convenience charges' were hitting up to 40% of face value. Apparently, I am not the only one who stopped leaving the house because it was too expensive. Live Nation announced yesterday that they are dropping Ticketmaster.
This is HUGE and good and joyful news. Does it mean savings to the consumer, probably not. Still, I want Ticketmaster to suffer deeply. For too long, they took advantage of consumers, bullied artists, and tore apart fan clubs. How so? In the old days, a band could sell their own concert tickets to their fans. Crazy, huh? The Grateful Dead pioneered the mail order ticket business. Ticketmaster changed that, and wanted a cut. They also decided how many tickets a band could sell to it's own base. Ask the guys from String Cheese Incident about that little gem and the multi year lawsuit.
Seriously, you could not make up how evil they were. For example, Ticketbastard now lets you print your own tickets right at home. It saves them shipping, toner, and ticketstock paper. So, do you get a discount for using all of your own supplies? NOPE. They actually charge you $2.50 for the privilege. I can't wait to watch them go under and die a horrible, painful, and long death. I won't be satisfied until they come out and say "It's true, we took advantage of consumers and we are sorry. We paid the price, and accept the consequence of our actions."
I know, I'll hear that about as soon as I hear this administration apologize. Since Live Nation will now monopolize every aspect of the business, one can only hope they will pass on a modicum of the savings to us.
Let's have some fun and assess Ticketbastard's level of evil. Billy Joel is playing Denver next month. I would totally go if tickets were $50. Well, they started that way. A ticket that is face value at $29 becomes $46 after fees. That is more than 50% service charge. See for yourself, cut and pasted right from their site: Type: 2 Full price tickets, Ticket Price: US $29.50 x 2, Convenience Charge: US $11.05 x 2 Building Facility Charge: US $4.00 x 2
That $29.50 ticket is now $44.55 before tax. Man, that sure is super convenient. Oh, and it costs $20 to park at Pepsi Center, so I am not quite sure what that facility fee is. So, Ticketmaster will eat their just rewards soon enough.
One thing in closing, to our new masters at Live Nation, please stagger ticket onsales! We had a Saturday morning in Denver in the fall when almost a million tickets went on sale simultaneously (Broncos game, Rockies game, Rapids game, and several concerts). As always, the geniuses at Ticketbastard put everything onsale at 10 am. Assholes!