Greedy Artists Hide Behind Their “Fans”

screwedI’ve long suspected that musicians were profiting from the so-called secondary concert ticket market.  How else to explain the availability of premium seats on Ticketmaster’s TicketExchange site literally seconds after they go on sale?  The site is advertised as a “fan-to-fan” source for the best ducats, which is a joke.  These people are speculators , not fans.

But it turns out that the speculators are the artists themselves, according to a story in the WSJ.  After discussing how Neil Diamond and Celine Dion profited from the practice, writer Ethan Smith added:

Selling premium-priced tickets on TicketExchange, priced and presented as resales by fans, is a practice used by many other top performers, according to people in the industry. Joseph Freeman, Ticketmaster’s senior vice president for legal affairs, says that the company’s “Marketplace” pages only rarely list tickets offered by fans.

The vast majority of tickets are sold by the artists and their promoters with the cooperation of Ticketmaster.

That’s not the sleaziest part.  These greedy rock stars – the article named Bon Jovi, Van Halen, and the upcoming Elton John/Billy Joel tour, but no doubt there are many more – masquerade as fans:

The ticket listings are offered in small batches, each at a price, such as $1,164.01, that mimics prices set via online auctions. After inquiries from The Wall Street Journal, the “tickets posted by fans” message was removed from the TicketExchange Web site. Prices also fell, narrowing the gap between Ticketmaster and TicketExchange Marketplace.

Yeah, big surprise.  Here’s another non-shocker:

Spokesmen for Bon Jovi and Ms. Dion had no comment. A spokesman for Van Halen said that the band could not be reached. A booking agent for Messrs. Joel and John did not respond to requests for comment.

For years, groupies tried to screw rock stars.  Now the rock stars are screwing the fans.

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One thought on “Greedy Artists Hide Behind Their “Fans”

  1. Thanks for exposing that nasty little practice Mike. As one of the many local musicians who still smiles (mostly) while hauling gear back and forth down icy sidewalks from some back parking lot in the dark,to be able to perform for friends and the sheer love of playing, I say “shame on them.” We do understand that there are countless hours spent on song material and practice, that instruments and support gear are expensive stuff, and that we all play need to get paid to cover the cost of travel, food and life. Lyle Lovett said not too long ago that he made no money at all on records, and had to rely on touring to make a living. I suspect concerts have simply become the golden revenue stream that hit records once were to some artists. Let’s hope that spectators start demanding a dinner, small talk and a kiss at least from those artists who are taking advantage of their current success.

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