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Avenged SevenfoldKameron Pollock

Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows Weighs In On Ticketmaster Pricing Controversy: “If You Think Ticketmaster Sets The Price Of Tickets… You’re Wrong”


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While some of the ticketing practices of Ticketmaster and their parent company Live Nation have remained controversial and increasingly unpopular over the years, the recent debacle over tickets to Taylor Swift‘s forthcoming ‘Eras Tour‘ certainly served as a crucial flashpoint.

Amid growing price markups, chaotic server behavior resulting in infinite queues and crashes, and an apparent lack of supply to meet the crushing demand for certain artists; the U.S. Department Of Justice has been investigating the company for several months now. Reportedly they are seeking establish whether the company maintains a monopoly over the ticketing industry and whether they are abusing that power.

Upon the recent public reveal that such an investigation has been taking place, Live Nation issued this statement on the matter yesterday, November 19th. They opened that with the following paragraphs:

“As we have stated many times in the past, Live Nation takes its responsibilities under the antitrust laws seriously and does not engage in behaviors that could justify antitrust litigation, let alone orders that would require it to alter fundamental business practices.

The concert promotion business is highly competitive, with artist management in control of selecting their promoting team. The demand for live entertainment continues to grow, and there are more promoters than ever working with artists to help them connect with fans through live shows. The Department of Justice itself recognized the competitive nature of the concert promotion business at the time of the Live NationTicketmaster merger. That dynamic has not changed…”

The company later added:

Ticketmaster is also the most transparent and fan-friendly ticketing system in the United States. Ticketmaster does not set or control ticket prices, strongly advocates for all-in pricing so that fans are not surprised by what tickets really cost, and is the undisputed market leader in ticket security and fighting bots. Ticketmaster also does not embrace deceptive and questionable secondary ticketing practices prevalent on rival sites such as speculative ticketing.”

Taylor Swift‘s latest aspect of the Ticketmaster saga saw countless fans unable to secure tickets amid server meltdowns, delays and more. Despite pre-sales being offered through a verified fans program meant to deter bots and scalpers, the pre-sale for that trek marked the most tickets ever sold on Ticketmaster in a single day, with an apparent 2.4 million tickets for the tour being moved, despite all the issues. Given the excessive demand, it also saw tickets sold for the tour offered under the dynamic pricing model skyrocket.

Swift herself vented on her Instagram stories about the situation, putting the blame on Ticketmaster for the server outages and chaos, while adding: “It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”

Through a series of tweets, Shadows weighed in on the many woes leveled against Ticketmaster and Live Nation by consumers, chiefly focusing in on the rising ticket costs often being served up via dynamic pricing models for tours that are in high demand. A recently announced trek by Bruce Springsteen saw the dynamic pricing model agreed upon by Springsteen himself spike the cost of select tickets into the price range of several thousand dollars as well.

Speaking via a series of tweets on Twitter this past Friday, November 18th, Shadows offered:

“If you think Ticketmaster sets the price of tickets… you’re wrong – the artists does.”

“If the supply is 52 stadiums but the demand is 900 stadiums (per NYT’s) you don’t automatically deserve a ticket because you are a fan. Demand exceeded supply!”

“Per dynamic pricing…. Artists have watched front row tickets go for 10x-20x face value from scalpers but see none of the upside. Ask yourself if that is fair. It may suck… but is it fair?”

“Leave it to grandstanding politicians to get involved in something they know nothing about…. And leave it to artists to shrug their shoulders and point the blame.”

In follow-up conversation with fans, Shadows further weighed in on how in a way, the dynamic pricing option at least helps benefit the artists more than scalpers:

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