A Reminder That Ticketmaster Fees Are Atrocious

With money advanced by the band, each person had enough to buy eight tickets at $49.95 apiece for the group’s show in July. Once all tickets were in hand, almost 400 of them, they were carried back to String Cheese headquarters in Colorado and put on sale again through the group’s Web site — for $49.95.

“We’re scalping our own tickets at no service charge,” Mike Luba, one of the group’s managers, explained in an interview last week. “It’s ridiculous.”

Every so often, an article will come out to remind us how much Ticketmaster gouges concert-goers with “processing fees.” Last winter I saw that Yelle was going to have a concert at Webster Hall for $23, which is a totally reasonable price to pay to see an act that you like! The ticket ended up being $30.75 because Ticketmaster typically tacks on fees equal to 30 to 40 percent of the cost of the ticket. I ended up selling the ticket on Craigslist to an NYU student for $30, and using that money to go to dinner instead.

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11 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

What are those fees even FOR??

DrFeelGood (#401)

These fees are soo stupid. If you’re seeing a concert in town, you can go directly to the box office to buy the tickets yourself, with no added fee! This is also true of things like sporting events… I waited in line for 2 hrs on opening day for baseball tickets for the season, because otherwise it would have been an additional $10 per ticket per game for processing fees.

Not always true! Sometimes the venue charges fees, too, but they’re usually less than Ticketmaster… and I guess at least you’re giving the extra money to the actual venue and not Ticketmaster so that’s better.

Tuna Surprise (#118)

@DrFeelGood

I schlepped all the way to Radio City Music Hall thinking I was gaming the system by not paying the online fee and the in-person box office also charged a fee. D’oh.

@Tuna Surprise the worst!!!!!!!!!!!

So, real question here, did you sell the ticket out of spite? Or just cause you felt like it wasn’t worth the extra $7 and that it was better spent on dinner?

I mean you bought the ticket so Ticketmaster still got their fees and you missed a show by a band that doesn’t come around all that much.

In any case, I’ve come to accept it as a fact of life and mentally tack on $10+ to the face value of any ticket before I decide to go see a show.

An even bigger scam is StubHub.

Mike Dang (#2)

@forget it i quit Not out of spite! I would have still gone, but day-of, I didn’t feel like going to a loud dance-y concert, and I was able to sell that ticket quickly on Craigslist. I considered selling it for more than I bought it, but decided against it, because then what right would I have to complain about high ticket prices?

Anon (#893)

I work in the ticketing industry and without fees, I wouldn’t have a salary with which to pay my bills and put a roof over my head. Here’s how fees work: The show sets the prices for the ticket price and based on full disclosure laws, that’s what we have to print on the ticket. If you want to be in a venue with seats, air conditioning and/or heat, bathrooms and electricity to amplify the sound, you pay a facility fee. That also pays for the maintenance staff that comes in before and after the show to make sure it is not a health code violation. The price you pay for processing your ticket when you purchase it by phone pays the wages of an entire call center, the mail costs, stationery, physical tickets and ink, and contracts with database agencies that host your address and protect your credit card from hacking or fraud. If you want to walk to the box office and pay a box office attendant cash for the flat price of your ticket and facility fee, that is your best bet for keeping yourself out of that system. However, for the convenience of being able to log onto a site and order concert tickets in your pajamas, you have to pay for that. Because these online platforms don’t run on our love of live entertainment, the development to keep up with ever changing technology so you can order them from your smartphone or tablet and new browsers costs real money and that’s not cheap. I completely agree. It is annoying that if you want to go to a concert across the country you cannot access their in person ticket selling service and thus have to pay for it. However, if there were no fees, there would be no support structure to make live events possible. So find the time on your lunch break or send a friend to the venue to buy your tickets. Or appreciate that your fee payments are actually helping to sustain a branch of the economy and keeping live entertainment from becoming obsolete.

@Anon see reply below.

@Anon I call BS!

“However, if there were no fees, there would be no support structure to make live events possible.”

That’s a mighty big leap there, sir.

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