Is Ticketmaster Powerless Before An English Accent?

You may have seen a rise in backlash against Ticketmaster fees coming from performing artists. Neil Young recently posted that exploitative ticketing fees were taking the fun out of touring. He also mentioned how the band The Cure had pressured Ticketmaster to refund $5 to $10 to ticket buyers who had been faced with these high fees.

Last weekend, The Cure took things a step further and announced 7000 tickets on secondary resale sites had been cancelled.

“approx. 7K tickets across approx 2200 orders have been cancelled.” The singer claimed those tickets were acquired with fake accounts and/or listed on secondary resale sites. “TM have identified specific locations from secondary postings,” he said. He then asked fans who think their tickets may have been wrongly cancelled to reach out to TM fan support (@TMFanSupport).

It makes me wonder how an 80s/90s era music group was able to pull this off while other more contemporary groups have shrugged at their powerlessness. Is it the English accent which we all find so charming and appealing? Is it the dark eye make up that makes front man Robert Smith look so brooding?

As I have mentioned in other posts, Ticketmaster’s customer is generally the venue and artist, not the ticket buyer. They have mentioned they are open to taking the heat for decisions other parties have made, likely because the higher fees are so lucrative for them.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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