Tthere is no doubt about it Harry Styles is one of the biggest pop stars on Earth – maybe even like him Don’t worry, honey co-star Florence Pugh called him earlier this week “the most famous man in the world.” It follows that when Styles announced that he would be bringing his Love on Tour back to the United States after international dates, tickets were hard to come by. Styles announced his comeback following the release of his latest album in May Harry’s house, with residences in five cities. But the frustration over the unavailability of tickets did not stem from rage alone fans who spent an arm and a leg to get the whole experience. This was also related to Ticketmaster.
In March, Last week Tonight with John Oliver dedicated A 20-minute segment explaining why tickets are so hard to come by these days. The gist of the argument in the episode is that Ticketmaster – the largest ticket broker – and its parent company Live Nation are to blame for the price hikes, astronomical fees and ticket retention.
Although Styles has already played two nights in Toronto and has 40 more shows lined up — 15 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, five in Texas, five in Chicago and a closing set at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles — tickets are either incredibly expensive , or simply not available. Like more videos from the first two shows in Toronto distribute onlinetensions are mounting as fans scramble to snag tickets for the first show in New York on August 20 – and much of the anger is aimed at Ticketmaster.
In line with One Direction fans – known to be some of the most zealous internet users – Harry Styles fans have a similar intensity. Some concertgoers share TikToks of themselves creating their looks for the show. But another subset of videos involves fans complaining about how hard it is to I receive reasonably priced tickets (the hashtag #HarryStylesTickets has over 8.2 million views).
The rise in prices was highlighted in a TikTok to a fan who made a spreadsheet comparing prices by class of tickets. Ticketmaster calls Styles’ Madison Square Garden residency “Official Platinum.” This user’s data shows that the average ticket price is over $600, and a seat costs more than $3,000. There are also inexplicable price discrepancies, as one fan pointed out Twitter.
Why Ticketmaster seats are so expensive
In the simplest terms: Ticketmaster and Live Nation. The Last week tonight segment reports three reasons why people are paying significantly more money for tickets these days. The first is that average ticket prices have more than tripled since the mid-1990s, even before they hit the resale market, in part because increasingly complex productions for touring large arenas. Second, the fees charged to each ticket can be as high as 78% of the ticket price. These fees are shared between venues, promoters, artists and Ticketmaster.
Finally, the biggest reason it’s getting harder to get tickets is that Ticketmaster keeps up to 90% of tickets for the aftermarket – credit card companies, promoters, radio stations or artist fan clubs. Meanwhile, others are bought in bulk by distributors who use bots to resell them at a premium. They usually [go] of professional brokers charging exorbitant markups, which according to a 2018 government report can range from an average of nearly 50% to an astonishing 7,000%,” According to Diversity.
Criticism of Ticketmaster is far from new – and bands like it Pearl Jam and on Pixie have experimented over the years trying to cut them out of the process. But their dominance of the industry has made them largely unstoppable, and fan fervor like Styles’ continues to shine a light on the ongoing frustrations of artists and fans alike.
How to win cheaper tickets
High demand equals high prices, so finding affordable tickets will be a challenge, but there are some options for those looking to snag seats at the last minute. Gametime and Seat Geek are two reliable ticket resale apps for every major show, and the prices are sometimes lower than Ticketmaster. Stubhub can be a great resource also, but customers should be careful as this platform has also had issues with high fees and markups.
Even with these apps and websites, the problem is unlikely to improve in the near future. Inflation has caused costs to skyrocket, and venues have faced staff shortages due to jobs being hit hard by pandemic disruptions to live concerts. The federal government is also on the case with a group of lawmakers proposing legislation that would change the way Ticketmaster does business. They argued that Live Nation has too much control over the industry and called on President Joe Biden and his administration to launch an investigation into the ticket broker’s “monopoly” more than a decade after the 2010 merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. For now, fans’ ability to enjoy their favorite artists live remains a challenge.
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