While it’s the sale of tickets to Taylor Swift’s newly announced tour that currently has consumers up in arms with Ticketmaster, Swifties aren’t the only music fans who have been burned by the ticket retailer this year. When Bruce Springsteen tickets went on sale earlier this year, some buyers saw the prices soar to $5000 thanks to the implementation of Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing model. Now, The Boss has spoken up about the outrage over the ticket-buying process, and it goes along the lines of, “Let them eat cake.”
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Springsteen breaks down what happened behind the scenes:
“What I do is a very simple thing. I tell my guys, ‘Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let’s charge a little less.’ That’s generally the directions. They go out and set it it out. For the past 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there under market value. I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been great for the fans.
This time I told them, ‘Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.’ So that’s what happened. That’s what they did.
But ticket buying has gotten very confusing, not just for the fans, but for the artists also. And the bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable. They’re in that affordable range. We have those tickets that are going to go for that [higher] price somewhere anyway. The ticket broker or someone is going to be taking that money. I’m going, ‘Hey, why shouldn’t that money go to the guys that are going to be up there sweating three hours a night for it?’
It created an opportunity for that to occur. And so at that point, we went for it. I know it was unpopular with some fans. But if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back.”
While some encountered sky-high sale prices for tickets to see Bruce and the E Street Band, Ticketmaster says the average cost of a ticket for their world tour was $262. Nonetheless, it’s a system that ultimately only serves Ticketmaster, as consumers get hit with mysterious processing fees and fluctuating prices, and artists take on continuous flack for the sales process. With little competition, musicians lack options when it comes to selling tickets to their events.
However, any criticism Springsteen’s received does not seem to bother him too much. (And why would it? The process has made him rich.)
“I’m old. I take a lot of things in stride,” Springsteen says. “You don’t like to be criticized. You certainly don’t like to be the poster boy for high ticket prices. It’s the last thing you prefer to be.”
“But that’s how it went,” he continues. “You have to own the decisions you have made and go out and just continue to do your best. And that was my take on it. I think if folks come to the show, they’re going to have a good time.”