In a recent interview, Bruce Springsteen talked about inflated ticket pricing for his concert – and it wasn’t the flex he thought it was.
In case you have been under a rock the past couple of days, the live music community is in a bit of an uproar, thanks to the absolute mess of a situation with Ticketmaster and Taylor Swift’s ‘The Eras Tour’.
Long story short: Ticketmaster’s pre-sale for Swift’s upcoming concert series was, to put it kindly, a disaster. High traffic and demand caused their website to crash. Some fans had to wait for hours in a queue to even get a fighting chance at a ticket. Others revealed that the platform had gouged ticket prices for select seats – with some being sold for thousands of dollars.
The scale of the incident and the massive uproar prompted the Justice Department to open an investigation into Ticketmaster’s operations, but inflated pricing on third-party platforms has been an issue for a long time now. The problem is, Bruce Springsteen might not see it that way.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Springsteen was asked about the bonkers pricing for his 2023 world tour – where some tickets went for as much as $5k – and his response was the equivalent of ‘It do be like that.’
“What I do is a very simple thing. I tell my guys, “Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let’s charge a little less.” That’s generally the directions. They go out and set it up. For the past 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there under market value.” he started.
“I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been great for the fans. This time I told them, ‘Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.’ So that’s what happened. That’s what they did [laughs].” Springsteen said.
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He then went on to address dynamic pricing for some of his tickets, which causes costs for tickets to go up (or down) based on the tour’s demand.
“The bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable. They’re in that affordable range. We have those tickets that are going to go for that [higher] price somewhere anyway. The ticket broker or someone is going to be taking that money,” he said, before going on to defend platforms.
“I’m going, ‘Hey, why shouldn’t that money go to the guys that are going to be up there sweating three hours a night for it?’ It created an opportunity for that to occur. And so at that point, we went for it. I know it was unpopular with some fans. But if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back.” he said.
When asked whether he had anything to say about the criticism the pricing prompted, he doubled down and claimed he took ‘it in stride’. “You have to own the decisions you have made and go out and just continue to do your best. And that was my take on it.” he said.
Springsteen’s response, of course, was very different from the outrage Taylor Swift expressed about her ticket sales. In a statement posted on Friday, Swift called out Ticketmaster for violating the trust between herself and her fans.
She said: “I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could. It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”