Robert Smith Addresses Cure Ticketmaster Ticket Fees & Tour2 min read
Photo: Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns
Robert Smith is sickened; if only there were a Cure. Hours after Ticketmaster began the “verified fan” process on March 15 to distribute tickets for the band’s first American tour in years — an additional layer of security that Smith insisted upon to prevent scalpers and unaffordable prices — the front man wrote an angry screed against the company for the mandatory fees they snuck in for buyers. “I am as sickened as you all are by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle,” he wrote in an all-caps Twitter thread. “To be very clear, the artist has no way to limit them. I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent by way of an answer I will let you all know … There are tickets available, it is just a very slow process. I will be back if I get anything serious on the TM fees.”
One particular tweet gained virality for showcasing the extent of the company’s malpractice: A fan’s reasonable ticket price of $20 was more than doubled due to processing fees and charges. Despite Smith and the band eschewing a demand-driven “dynamic pricing” payment structure for the tour, which most recently enraged Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift’s respective fanbases, as well as designating all tickets nontransferable, Smith admitted that scalpers were still able to get a fair share of tickets for the resale market. However, StubHub pulled those listings in states where there are no laws protecting the hustle. (He also called dynamic pricing a scam, which, indeed so.) This Cure saga serves as a reminder that the Biden administration is attempting to weaken the power of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, which hold a substantial monopoly over the concert industry. In February, the White House proposed the Junk Fee Protection Act, aiming to “prohibit excessive fees, require the fees to be disclosed in the ticket price, and mandate disclosure of any ticket holdbacks that diminish available supply.” Whether it’s on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or that other day.