Monday, February 9, 2009


Yes, late last year, I posted a journal entry about a FACEBOOK grass roots group (FACEBOOK USERS VS. TICKETMASTER:( ) that started in protest of TICKETMASTER (ticketbastards) monopoly, and it's in house association with scalpers. Thousands of patrons have complained not only about TICKETMASTERS merger with U.S. promoters LIVE NATION (insuring TICKETMASTERS monopoly) but also about TICKETMASTERS shady and questionable business ethics as TICKETMASTER's website diverts users to a ticket agency (TICKETSNOW) that buys, sells and trades tickets for waaay more than the face value of said event. In essence, and in layman's terms this is SCALPING.
Being this is a very obvious and blatant abuse of fans, and an intrinsic corruption in the music business, these issues need to be addressed.
In regards to THE BOSS, (Bruce Springsteen), and Pearl Jam, (although I'm not a fan of PEARL JAMS music) not only do we have nothing against said artists, but we stand behind their boycott, and the courage them to challenge the unethical, and greedy business ethics of TICKETMASTER. Yes, I saw BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN 0ver 20 years ago, (5 times to date- awesome 4 hour marathon show) waited in line in freezing temperatures all night. Fans waited in line for an armband, a number lottery for order in line was called, if the starting number was 100, and your armband said 120, you were 20th in line for example. Even back then, music fans questioned whether or not TICKETMASTER allowed scalpers to monopolize tickets, or set aside a certain number of tickets for scalping agencies. Even back then, THE BOSS would put his tickets on sale just a week before the event, to ward off scalpers. Of course, SPRINGSTEEN will have none of TICKETMASTERS corruption and many other artists and fans feel the same. In house scalping certainly changes the economic class structure of SPRINGSTEENS fan base, speaking of the moral dilemmas of the working class.
Of course, now with an upgrade in technology, both fans and scalpers are purchasing tickets on the internet. BTW, TICKETMASTERS re direct to TICKETS NOW, was regardless of an events are sell out. If any other show (for instance ROADBURN)other than an artist as huge as SPRINGSTEEN sells out in 15 minutes, I bet you the face value of the ticket that more than half of those tickets are bought, or set aside for scalpers. Either way, it's bullshit.
BTW, one way to break TICKETMASTERS monopoly, is for venues, and clubs to boycott TICKETMASTER and to NOT do business with them. For instance, local music venue THE CHANCE THEATER now has TICKETWEB as a contracted ticket agency (ridding the region of TICKETBASTARD), THE VAULT has VIP ticket packages with plenty of goodies, there for more for you money.
Speaking of PEARL JAM, in the 90's the band did tours boycotting and avoiding TICKETMASTER and any venues contracted to said TICKET agency. The reunited PHISH (not a fan, but agree with the DIY ethic) also has it's own ticket agency, specific for fans and often pre sale. So if bands/artists and fans speak up, or used a DIY ethic to avoid shady middle men in the music business, it could either change questionable business ethics, Or put said agency out of business. However, TICKETMASTER is a monster that continues to grow and monopolize.
BTW, for SPRINGSTEEN fans exploited in this debacle, TICKETMASTER is offering a refund of the differential in face value of the diversion to TICKETSNOW. TICKETMASTER has taken TICKETSNOW off their website.
BTW, IRVING AZOFF has been an CEO at GIANT and GEFFEN records and also, chairman and founder of Azoff Music Management Group, Inc. In late 2008, he became Chairman and CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment. Shame on IRVING AZOFF for this TICKETMASTER scandal.
FROM IDOLATOR.COM: So after a New Jersey Congressman fired off a missive to the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division regarding Ticketmaster's policy of dumping users to its sister reselling site, TicketsNow, once tickets to Bruce Springsteen's shows in the Northeast sold out, Springsteen and his manager got in on the open-letter act, too, going so far as to use the verbs "abuse" and "condemn" in regard to the sorta-scammy practice while also getting salty about the ticketing behemoth's proposed merger with concert-promotion heavyweight Live Nation. Oh snap!

Springsteen's letter to fans, as posted on his official site:

We know there was much confusion regarding Ticketmaster and TicketsNow during last Monday's on-sale dates. We were as confused as you were, as we were given no advance notice of the major changes in the Ticketmaster-TicketsNow world. (Bear in mind that we are not clients of any ticketing company, and that all those arrangements are between venues and ticketing companies.)

Last Monday, we were informed that Ticketmaster was redirecting your log-in requests for tickets at face value, to their secondary site TicketsNow, which specializes in up-selling tickets at above face value. They did this even when other seats remained available at face value. We condemn this practice.

We perceive this as a pure conflict of interest. Ticketmaster is there to ensure that we have a good, fair sale of our tickets at their face value plus normal ticketing charges. TicketsNow is supposed to be a secondary site where people who already have tickets may exchange, trade, and, unfortunately, speculate with them. We have asked this redirection from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow cease and desist immediately and Ticketmaster has agreed to do so in the future and has removed its unwanted material from their and our site.

We know the many cynical arguments some make in favor of the Ticketmaster system: There are rumors that some artists or managers participate in Ticketmaster charges—we do not. There are rumors that some artists or managers are receiving a percentage of the amount above face value at secondary outlets like TicketsNow—we do not. Some artists or managers may not perceive there to be a conflict between having the distributor of their tickets in effect "scalping" those same tickets through a secondary company like TicketsNow—we do.

While many of you have sent notes to us and your local promoters, you may also send accurate informational letters to Albert Lopez of Ticketmaster and he will try to address your questions.

A final point for now: the one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near monopoly situation in music ticketing. Several newspapers are reporting on this story right now. If you, like us, oppose that idea, you should make it known to your representatives.

The abuse of our fans and our trust by Ticketmaster has made us as furious as it has made many of you. We will continue to do our utmost now and in the future to make sure that these practices are permanently curtailed on our tours.

Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff, seeing the possibility of one of his biggest moneymakers flying away, penned his own letter, one "of Apology," saying that in the future artists would be able to have a say in whether or not tickets to their shows would be made immediately available on secondary sites. (Yes, even artists not as big and influential as Bruce Springsteen! Uh, wait, do artists who aren't Springsteen even sell out arenas these days?) Azoff's full missive, which was sent through crabby music-biz observer Bob Lefsetz's e-mail newsletter:

An Open Letter of Apology to Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and the entire Springsteen Tour Team:

While we were genuinely trying to do the right thing for fans in providing more choices when the tickets they requested from the primary on-sale were not available, we clearly missed the mark. Fans are confused and angry, which is the opposite of what we hoped to accomplish. We sincerely apologize to Bruce, his organization and, above all, his fans.

We recognize that we need to change our course. We have committed to Bruce and state publicly here that we have taken down all links for Bruce's shows directing fans from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow. This redirection only occurred as a choice when we could not satisfy fans' specific search request for primary ticket inventory, but to make sure there is no misunderstanding in the future, we also publicly state that we will never again link to TicketsNow in a manner that can possibly create any confusion during a high-demand on-sale. Specifically, we will not present an option to go to TicketsNow from Ticketmaster without the consent of the artist and the venue, both of whom work together to bring the joy of live entertainment to millions of fans.

If any fans inadvertently purchased tickets in the resale marketplace believing in error they were purchasing from the initial on-sale, we will refund the difference between the actual purchase price and the face price of the ticket. (Please don't abuse this good faith gesture – we did not give brokers any preferential access to tickets.)

We are committed to helping deliver the most transparent and best live entertainment experience to fans. We will do better going forward.


FROM SCOPE.COM: Irving Azoff, CEO, Ticketmaster Entertainment
Bruce Springsteen is furious with Ticketmaster for redirecting fans trying to buy Springsteen tickets to their secondary ticketing site, TicketsNow, where ticket holders can resell and, at times, scalp their seats. The problem was that the redirect happened while face value tickets still remained. The Boss wrote a post on his Web site,, lambasting the company saying, “We condemn this practice…Ticketmaster is there to ensure that we have a good, fair sale of our tickets.” He compared what they are doing to a “near monopoly” and ensured fans it won’t happen again. Ticketmaster responded by apologizing and explaining that they thought they were doing the right thing by giving fans more choices but “missed the mark.” The site assures they will never again link to TicketsNow and they’re offering to refund the difference between the purchase price and face value of any tickets bought “inadvertently” on TicketsNow.
Thanks, Stay Metal, Stay Brutal, FUCK and BOYCOTT TICKETMASTER- \m/ -l-