Ticket Disaster

Ticket Disaster

TicketMaster’s hold on the live entertainment industry leads to a frenzy

The pre-sale of The Eras Tour tickets on Ticketmaster left people in line for hours, only to be met with no tickets and unreasonable resale prices. It went so horrifically that Ticketmaster had to cancel general sale. 

While the unprecedented demand of Taylor Swift played a part in this massive mistake, the overarching issue is within Ticketmaster and its death grip on the entertainment ticketing industry. 

In 2023, CNBC reported that Ticketmaster and Live Nation, a venue operator and promoter, merged in 2010 to become Live Nation Entertainment. Since then, the company controls nearly 70% of live entertainment ticketing. 

I’ve dealt with the struggles with ticketmaster this past year when I was trying to get tickets for Olivia Rodrigo. While my wait in line wasn’t concerning, the prices when I entered were shocking. The lowest were near the side of the stage, up in the nosebleeds, for over $300, not including the foreseeable fees and services. 

Ticketmaster has little competition within ticketing companies. With that kind of control over artists and fans, ticketmaster has the ability to upcharge tickets through hidden fees. 

One notable event where hidden fees caused major issues was with the band The Cure, who attempted to sell their tickets at lower prices, but fans were met with unreasonable fees during pre-sale. Eventually, The Cure was able to get some money back to their fans and lower the fees for general sale, but rarely, if ever, does that happen on Ticketmaster

It is impossible for even artists to attempt to lower prices for fans with Ticketmasters control over the ticketing industry. Ticketmaster is, in every way, a monopoly that continuously exercises their power over other ticketing companies and artists. 

However, ticketmasters wrongdoings have not gone without notice. In early 2023 there was a hearing where senators questioned the Live Nation CEO about the Taylor Swift ticketing issues. CNN reported that senators pressed CEO Joe Berchtold about whether or not his company is overly dominant, therefore harming musicians and other companies. 

Even with outrage by fans of many different artists and a court hearing, Ticketmaster is still the top choice for selling tickets by big and small artists well into 2023. Whether we see any change in the way tickets are sold seems to be dependent on legal action being taken on ticketmaster, or artists finding new ways to sell tickets. Either way, Ticketmasters’ unfair power over musicians and competing companies won’t be disappearing anytime soon. 

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