Last week, the British alt-rockers announced a 30-date tour across the US – their first extensive U.S. run of dates since 2019 – which will kick-off at New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center on 10 May, and conclude at Florida’s Miami-Dade Arena on 1 July.
But yet another big tour announcement to get fans giddy has been beset by the seemingly never-ending saga over how to purchase tickets – and chiefly, over the principal ticket operator, Ticketmaster.
Writing on Twitter, The Cure’s frontman called out the operator after the tickets went on sale, and was keen to emphasise the autonomy Ticketmaster have over the pricing.
I AM AS SICKENED AS YOU ALL ARE BY TODAY'S TICKETMASTER 'FEES' DEBACLE. TO BE VERY CLEAR: THE ARTIST HAS NO WAY TO LIMIT THEM. I HAVE BEEN ASKING HOW THEY ARE JUSTIFIED. IF I GET ANYTHING COHERENT BY WAY OF AN ANSWER I WILL LET YOU ALL KNOW. X
— ROBERT SMITH (@RobertSmith) March 16, 2023
“I am as sickened as you all are by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle,” Smith wrote. “To be very clear: the artist has no way to limit them. I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent by way of an answer I will let you all know.”
Smith has vowed to keep prices for The Cure’s shows low, and in an email to fans said the band have agreed “there will be no ‘platinum’ or ‘dynamically priced’ tickets on this tour”, aside from a few charity seats at the Hollywood Bowl show.
And Smith is by no means the only high-profile artist to take aim at Ticketmaster of late.
In November, there was huge uproar from legions of disappointed Swifties by the way the ticket distributor handled the sale of tickets for Taylor Swift’s ‘The Eras Tour’.
Not only did the operator’s website crash, but many were left angered by the system of ‘Verified Fans’ – designed to weed out bots – which complicated the process and ultimately left many unable to purchase tickets.
The situation even led to two sets of fans suing Ticketmaster over the affair, alleging that it engaged in “fraud, price-fixing and antitrust violations” and intentionally misled fans.
The U.S. Justice Department had also opened its own antitrust investigation into the company, as originally reported by The New York Times.
In words not dissimilar to Smith’s recent remarks, Swift didn’t specifically mention Ticketmaster at the time, but said: “It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans.
“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.”
It’s not often Swifties and The Cureheads are bonded by an issue – and indeed they’re not the only sets of fans to have a gripe against Ticketmaster. Expect the issue to rumble on for a little while longer.