Bruce Springsteen Fans Betrayed by $5,000 Concert Tickets

Whether you followed the onetime blue collar balladeer since the Stone Pony days or if you just caught on, these prices are unforgivable
348

Bruce Springsteen fans across the country felt shocked and betrayed to discover that ticket prices to see their working class hero’s upcoming tour were growin’ up to the executive tier.

As Variety reports, Ticketmaster currently lists mid-range floor seats for between $4,000 to $5,000 and “less desirable” seats for a slightly more modest fortune. It only got worse when longtime devotees of The Boss learned he wasn’t quite the victim of sinister middlemen dealers holding the tickets hostage, rather the prices were listed at face value.

For many humans, this was their first interface with Ticketmaster’s “dynamic pricing” system, in which the most desirable “platinum tickets”—ranging from the back row to five feet from the performer’s face—ostensibly fluctuate in value as a direct response to how many people would want them. It is simple supply and demand, with a little extra something for the supplier.

The “dynamic” part happens when Ticketmaster matches its prices to what it suspects resellers could charge for them, holding onto the tickets as they gain value instead of releasing them into the wild—where they may be haggled over by fans and resellers, online scalpers and street scalpers… and on and on down the natural live-entertainment ecosystem.

With the “dynamic” method, Ticketmaster and Springsteen collect as much money as possible, while people who’ve been trading cassette bootlegs of his concerts since Nixon are left dancing in the dark.

Springsteen fanzine Backstreets was first to post complaints about the gouge on Twitter, asking readers, “Tampa mid-floor for $4,400, anyone?”

E Street band guitarist and Sopranos star Steven Van Zandt—who will be joining Springsteen on this tour, as he has since they were in Steel Mill together in 1970—was asked by one Twitter user if he had seen the numbers.

“Little Stevie” quickly responded that he had “nothing whatsoever to do with the price of tickets.” Van Zandt then reiterated, “Nothing. Nada. Niente. Bubkis. Dick.”

But such millionaire mea culpas are worth little in the boys’ original stomping grounds. An opinion column was published in NJ.com Thursday titled, “Bruce Springsteen does not care about you.”

In the piece, author Bobby Oliver remarked, “It is exceedingly clear that Bruce Springsteen does not care how much a given fan spends to see him play. If he did care, the rock icon who recently sold the rights to his publishing catalog for a cool $500 million — and whose concert tours typically rake in around $200 million at the box office — would refuse to work with Ticketmaster, finance the shows himself, buy permits to use unoccupied fields across America and set a ticket price he alone could control.”

Sounds like someone hasn’t heard that it’s hard to be a saint in the city.


Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.