The Cure's Robert Smith says Ticketmaster to issue tour ticket fee refunds: 'Sickened'
Ticketmaster is in hot water, yet again.
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Robert Smith of The Cure took to Twitter to say the ticket-selling giant will refund fans for small portions between $5 and $10 of some of said fees on certain tickets.
Smith said anyone who had already purchased a ticket would receive an automatic refund and that tickets on sale starting Friday would incur lower fees. Ticketmaster hasn't publicly confirmed the refunds.
USA TODAY reached out to Ticketmaster for comment.
The update comes after Smith spoke out on Twitter about Ticketmaster fees on what the group intended to be affordable tickets for its Shows Of A Lost World Tour. Per fans, some purchases more than doubled in price because of fees.
"I am as sickened as you all are by today's Ticketmaster 'fees' debacle," Smith wrote Wednesday in all caps. "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's beef with the company, which is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, comes months after Ticketmaster made headlines canceling a general ticket sale for Taylor Swift's Eras tour in November.
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After some back and forth with the company, Smith shared an all-caps answer over two tweets.
"Ticketmaster have agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are unduly high, and as a gesture of goodwill have offered a $10 per ticket refund to all verified fan accounts for lowest price ticket ('LPT') transactions … and a $5 per ticket refund to all verified fan accounts for all other ticket price transactions, for all cure shows at all venues."
Why are concert ticket fees so high?
Ticketmaster previously stated in a February blog post that it doesn't have much control when it comes to fees.
"Only a portion of the fees collected go to Ticketmaster," Ticketmaster said noting that that money goes to mostly operating costs.
A good part of fees paid by concertgoers is allocated to venues.
"Venues have a lot of expenses, including employing staff and keeping up with the rising costs to put on shows including building upgrades, insurance, paying suppliers and more," Ticketmaster wrote.
If fees were decreased, venues might need to charge artists more to perform which could result in higher ticket prices at face value, Ticketmaster said.
As a result, Ticketmaster is advocating for "upfront pricing" so buyers can see the full price from the get-go, including fees.
The Cure wanted to keep Shows Of A Lost World Tour ticket prices low
The Cure set out intending to sell tickets for their Shows Of A Lost World Tour – which includes 30 dates across the U.S. and Canada kicking off May 10 – at affordable rates.
The group said they had a range of prices for every show, and Ticketmaster published a blog post Saturday outlining how it would help to keep prices low – even during resale (in most states, New York and Illinois state laws prevent artists from restricting resale).
"Ticketmaster will be following the artist’s terms and any tickets sold on our platform will be non-transferable to prevent tickets being resold for a profit," Ticketmaster said.