Bruce Springsteen ticket prices seem to be cooling down a bit, though that’s relative. On Wednesday, the day its first handful of shows for 2023 went on sale, Ticketmaster sold its platinum tickets for a face value that went up to $5,000 before hundreds more fees were added. However, on Friday, with more tours on sale, the highest face value of any of the tickets appeared to be only $2,695.
Then the argument is over, right?
Not really. Much of Springsteen’s fanbase is still at best embarrassed and at worst enraged by the unexpected skyrocketing prices of some of his tickets on this tour. A little it’s a working word because there are different kinds of ducats for an artist’s journey in 2023 and many of them seem to be set to fixed values that cost $60-$400 if you manage to get in the online door at that point. when it opens in the morning. . But what quickly remains after they are gone are lingering “platinum tickets” with dynamic pricing that can and almost instantly rises to 10 times their original cost. These inflated prices are what most fans see when they finally break through the queue… and as this week has shown, they are taking screenshots and posting on social media, fueling outrage.
While anger over ticket prices is nothing new, there may never have been more mass anger over single tour prices than this week. And it seems reasonable to assume that neither Springsteen nor Ticketmaster foresaw this, since variable pricing has already been a fixture in the industry for several years. Sources say most of the tickets for the tour were in a more reasonable price range, but since they all sold out in minutes, most members of the public see that the remaining tickets were essentially self-bought. Without transparency about what percentage of tickets are and are not subject to price fluctuations, this doesn’t look great for a vibrant industry that still wants people back from their homes post-pandemic.
The Springsteen camps and/or Ticketmaster are reportedly preparing a statement that will reflect their views on the situation, but nothing has been reported as of Friday evening. This left irritated fans thinking less of “Uprising” and more of a funny one.
However, on Friday, platinum tickets were asking for less than on Wednesday, though it was not clear if this was due to the price cap being set or simply an algorithm that supposedly corrects for deviations in response to fewer requests. . Diversity looked at seating charts and ticket prices in several cities that went on sale on Friday, and what was available in the middle of the day varied greatly from market to market.
In Greensboro, NC, one of the tourist stops that went on sale Friday, a request for a couple of seats from Ticketmaster in the middle of the day resulted in 62 offers coming in as first sales from the site. (Resale tickets also offered by Ticketmaster were not included.) Ticketmaster’s average ticket price in Greensboro, calculated Diversity of those Friday deals: $903.39 before additional fees.
Of these 62 Greensboro Platinum ticket offerings, the highest was $2,695 and the lowest was $339. These were both exceptions. Only seven of those 62 pairs were offered for under $500, and only 10 sold for over $1,000, leaving most of them right in the high hundreds.
But you could see different extremes looking at two other cities that just went on sale earlier in the day, Albany, New York, and Denver, Colorado. In Albany, 109 pairs of platinum tickets could be ordered in the late afternoon, and all but seven cost less than $1,000 per ticket. But in Denver at the same time, there were only six pairs of remaining tickets available directly through Ticketmaster, and five of the six cost over $1,000. (Interestingly, in addition to being low on platinum tickets, Denver also showed the lowest number of resale tickets on the seat chart compared to other cities. Is Colorado a true bastion of true fans?)
In Mohegan, Connecticut, there were 41 pairs of platinum tickets available at the end of the day, and none of them were profitable. Only two of the 41 pairs cost less than $1,000 a ticket; six sold for over $2,000, leaving most of the remaining available non-resale tickets in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.
Those prices still seem outrageous to many fans, but they’re an improvement from what was reported Wednesday, when Ticketmaster was offering floor seats for over $4,000, with even platinum tickets being offered for $700 and up.
Music lovers who would like to see variable prices stop as a result of this anger are unlikely to find much satisfaction in this regard. Even if most may not have been well aware of it until now, the system has been controversial since at least Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” tour in 2018, when side-by-side swifts began to realize that prices they Fees for their seats varied by hundreds of dollars from time to time, depending on when they bought the tickets. Supporters of the system might point out that it could also work in favor of the fans by drastically reducing the number of tickets in the last leg if demand was met.
It’s also worth noting that there was no evidence that anyone had bought a ticket to Springsteen through Ticketmaster for $5,000 or even $4,000—just an algorithm tossing them around at that price and seeing if anyone took a bite.
But dynamic pricing is still a fairly new issue in the living industry, where a selloff can be viewed as a bad thing rather than a brag. From this point of view, it means that you have priced your tickets too much sensibly and left a lot of money on the table that StubHub took.
“What did Bruce know and when did he know it?” This question doesn’t seem to leave the minds of fans, even as they harass Stevie Van Zant and the other band members on Twitter for answers that don’t come from the camp. The most reasonable guess would be that the artist is well aware of dynamic pricing — and he wasn’t afraid to charge premium prices for his one-man show on Broadway — but he probably didn’t consider seeing the $5,000 price tag for standard arena tickets. becomes a leading meme.
Painters Can It is reported that the variable pricing strategy will be canceled or capped, although only a few have done so publicly. One such group was Crowded House. In 2020, the band released a statement saying, “While this may be common practice on other tours, we at Crowded House do not agree with the sale of any premium tickets as Live Nation describes it,” market prices, where the price is adjusted according to supply and demand. The band had no prior knowledge of these “In Demand” tickets and did not approve of the program. Our Live Nation promoters have agreed, at our request, that all ticket holders who have paid more than face value under the In Demand program will be reimbursed for the additional cost at the time of purchase.” (Live Nation responded, “The way their tickets are priced and sold is always up to the artist, especially with In Demand tickets as they are designed to ensure that all the value goes back to the artist and not line the pockets of profiteers.”)
The home of the artists who, along with Neil Finn and company, deliberately turned down extra money? Not so crowded.
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