Originally Posted by Uncle Erik
This is why I, unfortunately, only go to one or two Ticketmaster events each year. The fees make me angry - there's no justification other than ripping people off.
I read an article last year (can't find it, unfortunately) that quoted a profit-per-ticket for Ticketmaster that was actually relatively small (I think it was about $3 but not 100% sure). Now, granted, $3 per ticket adds up pretty quickly when you sell millions of tickets. But it's not as heinous as you would think from all of the fees they tack on. Having tried to compete for hot tickets on a bunch of different websites, I can also say that Ticketmaster is far and away the winner in terms of not crashing or crapping out when 10,000 people (and scalper-bots) are hitting their servers - so they are spending more money than their competition on infrastructure.
It's probably easier for me not to hate them, though - very few of the venues I go to are affiliated with Ticketmaster or LiveNation. Last year I went to 50+ shows and I think only 6 were at venues that sell through TM. All of the smaller venues are switching to other services like TicketWeb or Brown Paper Tickets. I've actually had a TM gift card burning a hole in my pocket since December and haven't managed to spend it yet...
Really the best solution to this problem is to like less popular bands The best show I've been to this year was $18... including fees. $18 for front-row seats, autographs, talking to the band after the show... It's a little more time-consuming to find the less well-known bands that are really good, but it's worth it if you like live music.