Thursday, May 17, 2012

String Cheese Incident Takes On Ticketmaster

String Cheese Incident image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
We all hate paying convenience charges when buying concert tickets. It's hard not to feel ripped off when you're suddenly asked to pay as much as a 50% premium on the face value of your ticket. There is sometimes a way around that though; buy your tickets at the box office where sometimes those fees are waved, instead of from Ticketmaster.

That's what the jam band String Cheese Incident did recently at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles in order to supply their fans with the cheapest tickets possible. The band gave 50 friends about $20k in cash to each buy 8 tickets apiece (the maximum number allowed). The band then advertised those tickets online and sold them to fans for only the face value and the cost of shipping.

The fact of the matter is that most bands already get about 8% of the tickets that they can sell at face value or give away, but SCI wanted more and was refused, so they responded with a grass roots workaround.

But here's the thing about convenience charges, as Bob Lefsetz laid out so well in his newsletter (he's a skeptic of the situation, by the way); that's how both the venues and the promoters stay in business. With acts demanding 90+% of the gate, there's not much money left, and sometimes the superstar acts even demand some of those convenience charges as well.

While SCI could have just lowered it's guarantee in exchange for more face-value tickets, that's not the way the business is built these days. It would take the power of a Live Nation to change the current pricing policies, but we all know how unlikely that's going to happen. In the meantime, it's at least nice to see a band think about their fans a little.

You can read more about this in a New York Times article, and on the Lefsetz newsletter.
You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...