The Cure priced tickets for its upcoming North American tour as low as $20 after promising to make the shows affordable for fans. The group also wrote on its website that it was working with its ticketing partners to prevent scalpers and avoid excessive resale prices.
Despite those efforts, some tickets went for more than double their base price Wednesday after fans added the cost of Ticketmaster’s facility fees, service and order processing fees.
Cure lead singer Robert Smith tweeted that he was “sick” of the Ticketmaster fees “debacle” and had no control over the site’s fees. “I have asked how (the fees) are justified,” he wrote. “If I get anything coherent in the way of an answer, I’ll let you all know.”
TicketMaster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But Smith tweeted Thursday night that Ticketmaster “has agreed with us that many of the fees charged were unnecessarily high,” and said the company was offering refunds to “verified fan accounts” of either $5 or $10, depending on the type of ticket was bought.
Smith claimed that any remaining tickets that go on sale from Friday would “be subject to lower fees.”
Ticketmaster has long received criticism for its sales practices. In December, the service faced a widespread backlash, as well as a lawsuit, when it canceled a public sale of Taylor Swift tour tickets after soaring demand caused its website to crash. And in February, concertgoers complained of technical problems using Ticketmaster and long lines after trying to snag Beyonce tour tickets.
The flood of complaints Quick ticket debacle also attracted scrutiny from lawmakers. Earlier this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel held a hearing on whether Live Nation Entertainment – the company that owns Ticketmaster – and several other ticket providers violated laws to preserve competition and must be broken up.
The Department of Justice is also investigating whether Live Nation has abused his power over the multibillion-dollar concert industry.