I can get so aggravated with the tiniest itsy bitsy issue, simply because of the principle of it, or lack thereof. Yes, this is going to be that kind of article, a principles based one.
Let me set the table. I love live music. I go see and listen to a lot of live music. If I kept all the money that I spend on live music, well it would be a fair amount. Yet I am glad because, as some researchers have found, live music does something to our brains that releases a happy thing. I agree, it sure does! This is not surprising, generally doing anything you enjoy releases those endorphin things, but I digress in getting too deep in the science.
The positive and outright elatement occurs at the point of ticket purchase, at least it used to. Here is where I join the Pearl Jam camp in a way. I never had an issue with ticket fees, for the most part. I did grow up in a time when I slept out for concert tickets, so perhaps this affects how I feel about fees. Back then, it was miniscule, generally $2 on top of the ENTIRE ticket order. For example, if I were to buy 2, 3, 4 or more tickets at $20, the grand total would come to $42, $62 or $82. Not unreasonable.
Then the online thing occurred and I rejoiced. No more sleeping out and having to explain I am not homeless, nor do I need your change, but thanks anyway and find someone who can use it please.
I keep things, a lot of things. Perhaps, when I am near death, I will open my drawer with all my ticket stubs and reminisce. When I look back at some early online ticket purchases, it was the same as “the old days”, with a small fee added to the entire order. This is back in the 90’s, when I made my first online ticket purchases. In the early 2000’s, in crept a couple more fees, but again minuscule and added to the entire order. Someone has to pay for the servers and bandwidth, I suppose.
Here we are in 2017 and my ticket purchases are way down, like 10% of what I used to shell out, and it has been this way for about 5 years now. I just don’t go see as much live music that requires a ticket purchase beforehand. Yes, I do know if I went to the box office generally they remove most of those fees, however, plenty of shows I go to involve a 2 hour drive to Toronto or Detroit, so this is not a reasonable solution.
I still go see a lot of live music, it just now happens to be local bands that I pay a small cover for, and no fees whatsoever. You see I am thoroughly outraged that somehow this gouging has crept in. I recently went to buy 2 tickets for a band that I would love to see again having gone to their show twice before. Tickets are $35 each, a tad steep for a club setting, but worthwhile. Upon adding to my cart, the total comes to $94. $10 per ticket in one fee and $2 per ticket in another fee. Per TICKET fees irk me! This is akin to buying an almost complete 3rd ticket or a roughly 33% tack on in fees. This is not right and I am just not going to buy tickets with that much of a percentage tacked on top of the order. I can think of 8 shows I chose not to go see this summer alone, because of this extravagant addition in fees. What would I consider reasonable? Add $10 for every $50 of total order, this is fair. You see, I do not expect zero fees, as there are costs to doing business and I get that. I have done my research and 7 out of the 8 shows I left tickets in a cart rather than buying were half sold or less in some cases.
Here is where I quote the K.I.S.S./KISS principle. For one, keep it simple smart/stupid (insert another S word here) and, furthermore, KISS for over 40 years has sold-out many venues year after year because of their low cost to entry. They would rather sell out the show and get more people buying merchandise etc. Yes, I know they have extravagant meet n’ greet tickets, but that is your choice; there is always a very low cost of entry overall and they sure give you your money’s worth in a show. That said, I still think $20 tickets with $10 in fees is ludicrous per ticket. Another business principle: volume. Look it up, promoters/ticketing agencies.
So my solution has been to supplement my need for live music with local music and my endorphins are much better for it, as is my wallet.
- Blair De Abreu