Are you fed up with Live Nation’s monopoly on the ticketing industry? I’m guessing your answer is yes because surely you cannot be happy with charges like these being forced down your throat when buying tickets to see your favourite band:
Facility and Convenience charges? Get that bullshit out my face. Where the fuck is the convenience in paying an extra $10/Â£10 per ticket?
When people en-masse are not happy with a product or service, there is only a certain amount of time that they will continue to put up with it for, and i’m guessing Live Nation’s time is coming soon. Search for Live Nation or Ticketmaster on a large community website such as Reddit. Go on, I dare you to find someone saying anything remotely positive about either company.
So if the public are calling out for an alternative, realistically who can step in to become the people’s champion in our hour of need?
Well we have a few issues to overcome:
Fancy seeing the seductive Shakira or rap juggernaut Jay-Z live in concert?
You’ll be doing it under Live Nation’s terms and conditions. Shakira has signed a touring contract, and Jay-Z has signed a $152m deal to finance his entertainment ventures, live shows, tours and future recordings for the next 10 years. U2, Madonna, and Nickelback are in a similar position too.
You thought you were safe because your favourite band aren’t a stadium rock group, they just play at mid-size venues such as the Brixton Academy?
Wrong. Live Nation have majority control over some fan favourite venues in the UK such as the London Astoria, Shepherds Bush Empire and Brixton Academy. They also own a large amount of venues in the US.
You are now thinking to yourself “Oh that’s OK, it doesn’t matter to me because I just go to summer festivals where I can see all my favourite acts on the same bill”.
It does matter to you. Live Nation hold a 50.1% controlling share in Festival Republic which means your favourite events such as: Glastonbury Festival, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Latitude Festival, Download Festival, Wireless Festival and Hyde Park Calling are all under their control and therefore their pricing.
So now you must be thinking to yourself, “ok, i’m getting slightly worried now”. Wait. It gets worse:
Bruce Springsteen once said:
“…the one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near monopoly situation in music ticketing”.
Unfortunately for us, Bruce’s prediction came true, when on December 22, 2009, the Competition Commission decided to clear a proposed merger in the UK, the US then followed suit by approving the merger in early 2010.
That means that ‘Live Nation Entertainment’ as they are now known, currently control 70-80% of all concert ticket sales. So thanks to the clueless dickheads at the Government, they have allowed this monopolistic merger to continue unabated.
So what can we do? A good question.
Pearl Jam have famously been fighting against Ticketmaster since 1994 when they were disgusted to find out that service charges had been added to ticket prices for a pair of their shows in Chicago, Illinois. They have been boycotting the company ever since.
Over 15 years later, their stance against the industry giant has largely gone unnoticed. So if a massive band like Pearl Jam have struggled to make a dent in Live Nation’s domination, how can ordinary members of the public be expected fight back against this faceless profit making corporation?
A user on Reddit proposed a campaign to encourage search giant Google to create a ticketing alternative.
It may sound a tad unrealistic, but how many other companies in the world are in a position where they have the necessary finances and infrastructure to create a viable alternative to the current shambolic system?
If you want to help with the cause, type this phrase into Google several times “G-Ticket: Google’s Alternative To Ticketmaster”, and if nothing else, hopefully it will grab their attention so that someone will at least notice our cry’s for help.