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Ticketmaster Taxes Reach Absurd High: 75%

(antiTorial) My backside is stinging a bit having just been raped by the Ticketmaster monopoly. The problem with their monopoly is glaringly apparent when you are charged 75% over the face the value of tickets after Ticketmaster gets done adding all of their various fees.

I logged on to their site at 10:00 am hoping to score orchestra seats to Iron Maiden's upcoming concert in Irvine. Of course by 10:00:25, after filling out all the fields on the form, all of the orchestra seats were gone. (Check scalper sites later today for those) Since the orchestra seats were the same price as the lodge and lower terrace, I opted to get two $20 lawn seats since you can still see pretty well on the lawn at Irvine Meadows (I refuse to call it by it's corporate sellout name).

So I submit my order and the screen with all the various Ticketmaster monopoly taxes comes up and low and behold my $40 worth of tickets had suddenly become $70.45. If you failed math that's 75% in additional charges (I opted for the free mailing). To add insult to injury they tried to sell me insurance on top of what they already bilked me for.

This has just gotten ridiculous. I went to see Heaven and Hell this past summer at the same venue and was going to buy tickets at the window since a few were left (It was the band's second swing through the area). Walking up we were approached by a ticket scalper who had decent seats and offered them up for $5.00 over the face value. So we ended up buying from a scalper at a huge savings over what we would have paid buying them through the legal scalper (Ticketmaster).

I can understand adding some charges to handle their overhead, but when it reaches 75% of the face value of the tickets something just isn't right. Convenience fees, order processing fees, facility fees-- the only thing missing is the Vaseline fee.

I was really looking forward to this tour since Iron Maiden is revisiting their famed World Slavery Tour. I was just a kid when it rolled into Long Beach arena for a historic four night stand. My older neighbor ended up with an extra ticket, so at the last minute he asked me to go. That show was later immortalized in the "Live After Death" album and video. The video was just reissued on DVD, go grab it (if you haven't already) as it's one of the best live concert videos in existence! That concert really changed my life, helping fuel my love of music and kind of ruined shows that followed since no band could live up to it (not even KISS in makeup). But it's doubtful that with the high rape fees added to tickets now, that anyone would buy extra tickets like my neighbor did 20 some years ago. So some 11-year-old kid will be deprived of being introduced to the world of music by a kindhearted neighbor or friend. As it stands, I'm going to think twice about buying tickets in the future, let alone extra ones.

Let's hope that Live Nation does go forward with plans to cut out Ticketmaster and sell tickets direct for their events and that they won't follow Ticketmaster's example of ripping off fans. Eddie Vedder where are you when we need you?

Keavin Wiggins
March 1, 2008

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