Bruce Springsteen is finally walking fans through a controversial process in which Ticketmaster used so-called “dynamic pricing” for its 2023 reunion tour with The E Street Band. Reports followed by exorbitant ticket costs which exceeded $5,000.
“What I do is a very simple thing,” Springsteen said Rolling stones. “I tell my guys, ‘Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let’s pay a little less.’ These are generally the guidelines. They go out and set it up. For the last 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there below market value. I have enjoyed it. It’s been great for fans.
“This time I told them, ‘Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers,'” Springsteen added. “So that’s what happened. That’s what they did.”
As the name suggests, dynamic pricing adjusts the price of tickets in real time based on supply and demand. Costs eventually went through the roof for Springsteen’s first shows with his longtime group in six years. Some fans were left furious and disenchanted, and New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. went so far as to make one exciting letter to Ticketmaster calling for reform.
Springsteen admitted that “ticket buying has become very confusing, not only for the fans, but also for the artists,” but he insisted that “most of our tickets are completely affordable.” Besides, scalpers will always exist: “The ticket broker or somebody will take that money. I say, ‘Hey, why shouldn’t that money go to the guys who have to be up there and sweat three hours a day and night for it?'”
He said he didn’t like being “the poster boy for high fares. That’s the last thing you’d prefer to be, but that’s how it went. You’ve got to own the decisions you’ve made and go out and just get on with to do your best.”
Springsteen has released a soul covers album, Only the strong survive. Announced dates for this tour will begin in February in the US and then continue into the summer across Europe.
Whether dynamic pricing will be implemented again at subsequent dates is still an open question. “I think, of course, in the future we’ll talk about it,” Springsteen said. “It changes from tour to tour. We’ll be back. I’m sure we’ll play outside a bit. It’ll be a completely different discussion when it comes. I won’t say anything now, but we’ll see what it happens.”
Springsteen remains confident that he and his E Street cohorts will make every show worthwhile, despite the ticket controversy. “I know it was unpopular with some fans,” he argued, “but if there are any complaints coming out, you can get your money back.”
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