String Cheese Incident is fed up with the fees Ticketmaster charges when completing transactions, so the jam rock band has decided to be proactive in their battle with the ticket-service provider by purchasing 400 tickets in protest of fees.
A few Fridays ago, String Cheese Incident along with about 50 fans stormed the Greek Theater in Los Angeles with $20,000 in cash in hand to purchase every available ticket by Ticketmaster in order to circumvent fees.
We're scalping our own tickets at no service charge, Mike Luba, one of the group's managers, told the New York Times. It's ridiculous.
According to the report, each person purchased eight tickets, which cost $49.95 each, with money advanced from the band. The band then posted the tickets they purchased for sale directly on the band website, in order to sell tickets directly to their fans without fees tacked on by Ticketmaster.
It costs us money to sell the tickets, Keith Moseley, String Cheese Incident's bassist told The New York Times. But we are going to eat that cost this summer in order to make a better deal for our fans and let them know how much we appreciate them.
But this is the first time String Cheese Incident and Ticketmaster were involved in a battle. In 2003, the band sued Ticketmaster for abusing its market power by denying the group more than the 8 percent of tickets it customarily makes available to acts. A settlement was reached to give the band control of ticket sales, but it expired in 2009, prompting the latest move.
Typically, the band sells tickets on its website, Luba said, but was unable to do so with the Greek Theater. So the band found that there would be no surcharge for fees for tickets purchased on site, which led to the mass purchase at the Greek.
String Cheese Incident will sell the tickets for the Greek Theater on their band website, with a $12 shipping charge, which is still cheaper than fees charged by Ticketmaster, the band said.
Ticketmaster has been under fire for years for the fees affixed to the cost of tickets. A class action settlement in 2003 said the company profited from processing fees and failed to report their profits, prompting a settlement granting anyone who purchased tickets between Oct. 21, 1999 and Oct. 19, 2011 a refund of $1.50 per ticket.