I have been a fan of Justin Timberlake’s for over 15 years now, I realized yesterday. That is quite the long-term love affair. As a teen, I saw *NSYNC in concert either 2 or 3 times and then saw JT at Madison Square Garden about 5 years ago. They were all shows in which I had an incredibly fun time. The memory of the MSG show I hold dear because I love loved his Future Sex/Love Sounds album as well as numerous singles off of Justified, his first solo efforts. I received an email the other day informing me that Justin would be playing the Barclays center in Brooklyn in November. Sunday night’s email told me I could purchase tickets at 10 am yesterday (Monday). I quickly rounded up a buddy to go with and started looked forward to another great show, since I knew I could be there ready to purchase tickets right as they went on sale.
Monday morning, I had my IPhone ready at 9:55 am, waiting until the clock turned 10:00 on the dot. With rapid reflexes, I click the “Find Tickets” button right as the clock turned 10. There’s no way I won’t get 2 tickets now! Well, “no tickets available” I was informed. Tried it once more, knowing that time wouldn’t work if the first didn’t, which of course it did not. Epic fail. Right at 10 am to the second and I still couldn’t get tickets.
This is a common experience for users trying to get concert tickets, available almost solely on Ticketmaster nowadays. Exorbitant service fees and mark-ups and difficulty purchasing has made Ticketmaster the villian in the world of ticket-buying. Multiple court cases have been brought up against the site, including a class-action lawsuit that tried to prove in a court of law what many people already believe — that the Live Nation/Ticketmaster combination is an unfair monopoly, intent on using excessive fees to siphon off customer’s cash. To settle an eight-year-old lawsuit over its fees for shipping and “order processing,” Ticketmaster will offer two kinds of purchase credits to people who bought tickets on its Web site from Oct. 21, 1999, to Oct. 19, 2011. For each order, a customer will be eligible for $1.50 off future transactions, and people who paid for expedited ticket delivery by United Parcel Service can get a $5 credit. Sounds like total B.S. and a whole lotta nothing that no one even knows about. $1.50? That’s a joke. If there was a price to put on making up for the hassle of using and dealing with the site, it most certainly wouldn’t be $1.50 or even $5.
It would be excellent if musical acts could follow in the steps of Pearl Jam and boycott Ticketmaster. Or Kid Rock, who maxed out tickets at $20 for his most recent tour. Kinda makes Justin and Jay-Z look like jerks for their $200 ticket for their recent “Legends of Summer.”
Justin, I have been a fan of yours since The Mickey Mouse Club. The fact that I cannot get tickets to your show even though I applied for them the very second they went on sale is honestly unjust, and unfortunately makes me pissed off at YOU, in addition to the website. It’s really time musicians and bands start thinking about what its like for the fan to be frustrated and taken advantage of by Ticketmaster and offer alternative ways to concert ticket buying. And I don’t mean StubHub tickets that cost 3x the ticket price.