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No Free Lunch For Ticket Fees

04:29 PM Wednesday 6/3/09 |   |

Live Nation's summer promotion may cut service fees on tickets to select shed shows this season, but that doesn't mean all other fees are pulling a disappearing act.

The company's "No Service Fee Wednesdays" promo that kicked off June 3 did remove service charges, which can average as much as one-third of the original ticket price, for lawn seats to shows at more than 40 amphitheatres in the U.S.

"Throughout the rest of the summer, Live Nation becomes Free-Nation as it offers savings on concert tickets for hundreds of shows and millions of fans," LN announced June 1.

But when it comes to ticket fees, free may be a bit of an overstatement. Although Live Nation was clear that there would be no service fees, the company got a bit of blowback because the public equated no service fees with no fees at all. When charges such as parking, charity and facility fees showed up on the final price tag, media outlets like CNN and Rolling Stone made hay.

A quick review of the offerings on the LN site found plenty of other charges still tacked on to tickets that fell under the promo, including parking, facility, charity and ticket taxes that ranged from 25 cents to $8.

Despite those remaining fees, Live Nation spokesman John Vlautin told Pollstar that the promotion represents the largest one-day sale in the history of the company, which LN believes is great news for concert fans around the country.

"We have, for the first time ever, waived the service fee charged for processing the sale of the ticket," he explained. "Parking is charged like it is at every live entertainment gathering. We wish we could waive tax but that's not in our control."

The company has previously said that more than half of the lawn seats at a typical summer shed show can go unsold, so the promo is obviously aimed at getting more butts on lawns - especially those of people who might typically choose to stay home in today's economic climate.

"Summer concerts are a great escape in these tough times," Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said in the statement.

Still, times didn't seem to be too tough according to ticket sales outlined in the company's first quarter earnings report. LN reported that advance sales for summer concerts and upcoming events as of March were $696.2 million, outpacing the same quarter last year by nearly $136 million.

LN's summer promotion includes concerts featuring Aerosmith, Blink-182, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, New Kids on the Block, No Doubt, Phish and Toby Keith.

Comments

  1. slimjimdude wrote:

    03:01 PM, Jun 08, 2009

    The parking fees are really BS. What if you cab it or take a party bus or walk for that matter? Charging every ticket a parking fee is the worst. I'm sure who thought of that scam is living the good life. The (2)Coldplay tickets I bought for Charlotte were $253.34 and there not even covered seating. The ticket printed says 97.50 each. That's well over 50 dollars for taxes and fees. They should at least print the true cost of each ticket on the ticket. Scam Artists. Please don't allow a merger it will only make it worse.

  2. skychotic wrote:

    10:45 PM, Jun 04, 2009

    Unfortunately I've gotten so used to the damn fees that when it says $30 per ticket, I know in the end I'll be paying around $50. It's absurd.

  3. astan51 wrote:

    01:40 PM, Jun 04, 2009

    they should have regulation on ticket fees that keep livenation, ticketmaster and other companies from adding crazy fees and how much fees can be.

    also, this promo is lame. many of the amphs i have been to are huge and when i go to the lawn area to meet up with friends there i notice that there is no view of the band. you see the whole concert but not the bands. some have projectors or screens that dont get used and worse some have none. i dont bother with lawn seats, plus if it rains you are screwed

  4. lettherightonein wrote:

    08:49 AM, Jun 04, 2009

    Live Nation are ruining the touring industry. They treat the touring crews like crap. It's an absolute sham of a company and they should be hit with an anti-trust lawsuit.

  5. donisfun wrote:

    06:07 PM, Jun 03, 2009

    I like where they do the 4 tickets for $99.00 bucks (or whatever amount) and due to these fees it is anything but 4 for $99.00, matter of fact you actually have to pay for 4 parking spots and we usually ride together in one car.  It is a monopoly.  Just do one price for everything and give what you want to the entertainment and keep the rest.  I still think a CONVIENENT  charge is anything but convienent.  Oh yea, and Aerosmith RULES!!!

  6. smackerama wrote:

    05:39 PM, Jun 03, 2009

    People, see through the spin.  Many of these shows have a 4-Pack lawn price that is LESS than the price they want to charge you with NO FEES.  By the time you tack the fees onto the 4-Pack price, you pay close to the same price as the Wednesday Only sale price.  Basically, the price you pay is no different that the 4-Pack price you've been getting all along.  Where's the news here???

  7. hooterville wrote:

    05:02 PM, Jun 03, 2009

    instead of a one day publicity stunt,  a better option would be for LN (and TM) to cut all their fees to a reasonable and appropriate amount for the service they provide.  I'd say about $6.00 would be appropriate. A far cry form the ridiculous amout they usually charge.  

  8. monet2u wrote:

    04:37 PM, Jun 03, 2009

    They really should have cut fees on all their tix, that would have been nice.