Ticketmaster has been convincing more and more artists to scalp their own tickets by offering Gold and Silver packages that give the fan access to the first 10 to 20 rows from the stage, at a steep premium. After years of blasting ticket brokers for reselling tickets, Ticketmaster is selling these seats for many times the original face value and passing on most of the profits to the artist.
Take Rob Thomas at the Tucson Music Hall; you can purchase a face value ticket for $56 plus service charges at the time of this post, that will seat you in the Orchestra, Row V, or you can buy a Silver Package, which seats you in Orchestra, Row L, 10 rows closer to the stage, for a whopping $350 each. Or, you can go all out and buy the Gold package, with 2nd row seats at $450 each. Rob Thomas, $450? Even most ticket brokers would agree that $450 is an over-the-top price for an artist such as Rob Thomas.
This isn’t an isolated case either. There are a whole slew of artists looking for big bucks at a time many of their fans are hurting financially. Kanye West and Lady Gaga just started selling Fame Kills GA VIP Packages through Ticketmaster, with a $500 price tag for a standing room only, general admission ticket! Have they lost their minds! Many of today’s artists have no idea how to treat their fans. Rather than cut prices during the worst recession since the great depression, they come up with these outrageous promotions with prices fans cannot afford, and honestly, these guys aren’t worth it.
And this is only the beginning. More than just a few artists have jumped on the program to scrape as much money out of the fans as possible, using the excuse that this is how they earn their living to support their lavish lifestyles. At some point soon, they will break the bank and fans will start staying away in droves and find other ways to spend their entertainment dollars.