Ticketmaster’s Platinum tickets are hurting fans

While acquiring tickets from Ticketmaster should be a breeze, it feels a lot more like a shambles.

On the morning of July 20, thousands of dedicated Paramore fans prepared to purchase tickets for their upcoming 2022 tour through Ticketmaster, expecting a face value of no more than $100 per ticket. As a nearly 15-year-old fan, I was considering buying tickets when Paramore announced their tour earlier this month. However, my hopes were quickly dashed when I took to Twitter and saw that Paramore was trending: Within minutes of Ticketmaster going on sale, most tickets sold out before fans could buy them.

Even more discouraging, these freshly sold tickets were immediately listed for resale on Ticketmaster. And their prices were drastically higher than the original ticket prices — ranging from $300 to a whopping $8,000 per ticket.

As of now, the only tour stop of the 12 dates spared by ticket resellers is the show on October 14th in Bonner Springs, Kansas, for which tickets are still available starting at $36. The remaining shows are either sold out or only the more expensive resale tickets are available. Understandably, Paramore fans are frustrated that Ticketmaster’s resale is taking otherwise affordable concert tickets out of their budget and preventing them from seeing Paramore on tour for the first time since 2018.

“After two years of turmoil and stress and a lack of live music, it was exciting for me to have the opportunity to see my favorite band again,” Bailey Sandin, CD 92.9 FM DJ and longtime Paramore fan, told Mashable. “But being locked out and honestly not being able to afford tickets because Ticketmaster has no real policy to help the average concert goer and because of scalpers and boxes and people playing the system lightly I can’t go. And I’m not special, I’m not the only one.”

Sandin has been selected by Ticketmaster for presale as part of the company Verified Fan Feature, which was created to prevent bots from getting tickets before fans did. Although Sandin and many other fans logged in at 10:10 a.m. (presale ticket for verified fans started at 10:00 a.m.), Sandin and many other fans were unable to get tickets before the resellers. Fans took to Twitter to express their frustration with Ticketmaster:

“This isn’t just about, ‘Oh, I can’t see my favorite band,'” Sandin said. Music, music and concerts shouldn’t be a bankruptcy luxury.”

It’s not the first time fans have had trouble getting tickets through Ticketmaster. It happens on almost every in-demand tour. Even at the beginning of July, people could not afford it Bruce Springsteen concert tickets – which jumped up to $4,000 due to Ticketmaster’s “Official Platinum” feature, which adjusts ticket prices based on real-time demand. According to Michael Rapino, Chief Executive Officer of Live Nation Entertainment (Ticketmaster’s parent company), the dynamic pricing feature is designed to both reflect the true value of tickets and help artists maximize their profits from ticket sales.

“We’re the only product on the market that’s worth more the second it’s sold,” Rapino said in one interview for the podcast The Connection & Friends in May. “In the business world, you generally just base price on the market, but we’re looking at the artist’s brand and what makes sense.”

Unfortunately, while the feature helps artists make more money from touring, they do so at the expense of their fans. In March 2022, John Oliver has broken down why Ticketmaster is so unpopular with consumers, with reasons ranging from ticket scalpers who steal and resell tickets to music artists who only issue a small number of tickets directly to the public. Ticketmaster has not responded to Mashable at the time of publication.


John Oliver explains why Ticketmaster sucks

Although a large number of Paramore fans can’t get tickets to see their favorite band on tour again, this recent Ticketmaster debacle is a reminder of the strength of fandom. Some fans who were selected for the “Verified Fan” feature offered their additional presale codes if they bought less than the four ticket limit, while others sold their additional tickets at face value to ensure that at least some people locked out were excluded from the Ticketmaster sale would be able to attend any of the shows.

Sandin hopes Ticketmaster will cap the price of resale tickets in the future so more people can buy tickets at an affordable price. A couple of bands are known for fighting Ticketmaster’s sales practices, notoriously until recently Pearl Jam, to prevent resale at high prices. Unfortunately, most venues and artists seem to choose Ticketmaster because of the variable pricing model. And this model aims to price out scalpers by selling tickets at a higher price. However, it only makes Ticketmaster appear like the real scalpers.

Given the state of Ticketmaster’s system, it’s easy for fans to feel powerless. But there are some independent resale marketplaces that try to put fans first. pages like Twitter and ticket pass claim to be more ethical through fairer resale models and donating ticket winnings to charities. Still, that does little to ease fans’ ticketing anxiety.

“It’s heartbreaking for me because live music is an experience where you can just stand and scream into the void and everyone in that stadium is your best friend for those three, four hours that you’re there. I just hate to see the average person excluded from that,” Sandin said. “Life is hard enough and we just went through two hellish years. At least you should be able to scream your little heart out to ‘Hard Times’.”

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