Ticketmaster Traps Faithful Fans


Published: October 25, 2007

In the words of Madonna, “Music makes the people come together.” Love for a musician or a band brings together millions of people across the world in the form of concerts, but with tickets becoming increasingly impossible to get, it’s difficult to go to a concert and not wipe out one’s bank account.

Ticketmaster has always been the one-stop-shop for buying concert tickets. Over the years it has been the trustworthy, reliable source where the majority of large venues allow their tickets to be sold. In the past, its only problem was the additional charges and fees which angered consumers. Now those customers can’t even get tickets if they tried. Tickets are being bought up off the site in large quantities and resold at higher prices by a third-party competitor, leaving the fans in the dark.

The concept of what has been deemed “impossible tickets” is a painful reality, and fans aren’t willing to face the music. Recent shows which sold out minutes after going on sale include those of artists like The Police, Hannah Montana, Bruce Springsteen and Van Halen. So how is it that mere minutes later, tickets wind up on sites like StubHub.com, being sold at higher than face value?

FCLC students feel that this is an outrage. “It’s a shame that people manipulate the system, buy tickets and then resell them higher just to make extra cash. It says something about the world we live in,” Leidy Reyes, FCLC ’09, said.

Concerts have always been a form of entertainment that not only brings one closer to a favorite performer but also creates a deeper love and appreciation of the talent on stage. Now with Ticketmaster being flawed by not even having tickets, fans are missing out.

“I love going to concerts, but somehow Ticketmaster never has good seats available, if they have any at all,” Daniel Durkin, FCLC ’11, said.

Retailers like Ticketmaster used to pretend that the issue was out of their hands, claiming that techniques such as mandatory word verification prevented illegitimate sources from buying up tickets. Feeling the pressure from fans and now state officials, Ticketmaster recently filed a lawsuit against a software company called RMG Technologies and several other ticket brokers who claimed that they figured out a way to get around Ticketmaster’s attempts at protection. At the Oct. 15 hearing, the judge ordered RMG to stop selling software that enables people to buy mass amounts of tickets at once. It was a victory for Ticketmaster that will hopefully be a success for the fans as well.

Yet there still is no protection from people who lack concern for the common fan who actually wants to see the show. “Money makes the world go around. I doubt any performer is aware of the state of the ticket buying business because they’re still getting paid,” Lemonia Mavrogeorgis, FCLC ’09, said.

National awareness of the issue is on the rise. As stated in an Oct. 6 New York Times article, it was pointed out that complaints have been made to government officials in states like Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Missouri as a way to prevent these music industry injustices from happening. Not only is it unfair to fans, it’s upsetting the passionate youth who don’t understand the bigger issue.

“My cousin loves Hannah Montana and cried when her mom told her they couldn’t get tickets. It was worse than when she found out Santa didn’t exist,” Maria Xerakia, FCLC ’09, said. Tickets for Montana’s upcoming New York show are currently going for as high as $2,000 on StubHub.com.

This Ticketmaster trap of impossible tickets prevents the entertaining experience of going to a concert. It was more understandable several years ago—with the pandemonium around bands like *NSYNC—that tickets would instantly sell out, but at least the crowd would actually be packed with fans who obtained the tickets fairly at regular price. Even earlier this month, tickets for one of the Spice Girls reunion shows in London sold out in 38 seconds. When tickets sell out on a site like Ticketmaster, fans are forced to look elsewhere and the price they pay is usually very steep.

“True fans are willing to dish out the money and other competitors know that and abuse it. It’s like the state of the music industry has gone down the drain,” Christine Jurado, FCLC ’10, said.

Some say that the situation is a reality of a Web-based music business. But while this seems to be an inevitable trend in the industry right now, it certainly doesn’t seem vogue to the fans.