The Cure’s Robert Smith said Ticketmaster will give partial refunds to fans who got hit with service fees that cost more than their seats for the English band’s upcoming North American tour.
“After further conversation, Ticketmaster have agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are unduly high, and as a gesture of goodwill have offered a $10 per ticket refund to all verified fan accounts for lowest ticket price (‘LTP’) transactions,” Smith tweeted late Thursday.
Smith continued in a second tweet that an additional “$5 per ticket refund to all verified fan accounts for all other ticket price transactions, for all Cure shows at all venues would also be instated. “If you already bought a ticket you will get an automatic refund; all tickets on sale tomorrow will incur lower fees.”
Smith earlier this week slammed Ticketmaster, which is owned by Live Nation, after the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band arranged for low prices for the tour that kicks off May 10 in New Orleans. Seats were as low as $20, and sales were limited to verified fans to avoid problems with resellers.
But when they went to buy tickets, the fees charged by Ticketmaster in some cases added up to more than double the cost of the seats.
The frontman said the band didn’t agree to “dynamic pricing,” or “price surging” or the “platinum ticket thing…because it is itself a bit of a scam?” In a separate post, Smith said the band had “final say in all our ticket pricing for this upcoming tour.”
The widely reviled Ticketmaster has come under intense scrutiny over the past year for its high charges and technological debacles related to acts like Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift.
Last month, it was the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler comedy tour that sent fans scrambling. In November, Swift said she is considering bringing the ticket selling process in house for future tours because the problems with Ticketmaster and to “improve the quality of my fans’ experience.”
Both Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation now face federal probes over the increasing number of problems fans face trying to buy tickets for their favorite acts.
Fans of The Cure praised Smith for his efforts in replies to his tweet. “Damn. Maybe you should moonlight in politics, Robert,” said one, adding, “(AFTER THE ALBUM COMES OUT).”
Others saw the potential for wider change if more performers follow suit. “Obviously, this isn’t very much, but it is a start,” said another, Nick Pollard. “It goes to show that it is possible, and other major acts no longer have any excuse not to follow this example. Ticketmaster are penetrable after all, and this must continue.”