Longtime Bruce Springsteen fanzine, Backstreets, is closing its proverbial doors after 43 years in operation in protest of The Boss’ exorbitant ticket prices.
Videos by American Songwriter
Videos by American Songwriter
The outlet noted a “three-part predicament” when considering the move, saying, “[Springsteen] concerts that we can hardly afford; that many of our readers cannot afford; and that a good portion of our readership has lost interest in as a result.”
The fanzine added, “hardcore fans in the Backstreets community” are not able to afford to see Springsteen live because The Boss has opted into Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing model for his 2023 tour. Said model has inflated ticket prices as high as $5,000, causing fans who have previously championed the music of the people to criticize him as an elitist.
Said Springsteen about this choice, “Most of our tickets are totally affordable.” He’s also said the show will be worth whatever cost someone pays.
[RELATED: Bruce Springsteen Responds to $5,000 Ticket Prices: “Any Complaints on the Way Out, You Can Have Your Money Back”]
“We hear and have every reason to believe that there will be changes to the pricing and ticket-buying experience when the next round of shows go on sale,” explained Backstreets publisher and editor Christopher Phillips. “We also know that enterprising fans may be able to take advantage of price drops when production holds are released in advance of a concert.
“Whatever the eventual asking price at showtime and whether an individual buyer finds it fair, we simply realized that we would not be able to cover this tour with the drive and sense of purpose with which we’ve operated continuously since 1980. That determination came with a quickening sense that we’d reached the end of an era.
“Know that we’re not burning our fan cards, nor encouraging anyone else to do so. In fact, as diehard music fans, we have every hope of rekindling enthusiasm for what we’ve always believed to be a peerless body of work. If any of this is to reflect on Bruce Springsteen here at the end of our run, we’d like it to be that his extraordinary artistry inspired an extraordinary fan response that lasted for 43 years. That’s extraordinary.”
He added that while work on the magazine’s headquarters will “continue for some time,” including a forthcoming final print issue, the outlet will eventually be shuttering. Fans can check out the entire statement HERE.
Read more on Springsteen’s ticket issues HERE.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
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Because I could not afford a ticket for Bruce’s latest tour, I very much anticipated the wave of YouTube videos from his Tampa and Atlanta shows that I knew would be posted. I understand that video cannot capture the essence of Springsteen live, and I also recognize that he is 73 years old, but there was definitely something “off” about some of the performances I viewed. My overall impression is that of a performer (and their band) simply going through the motions. Bruce’s voice has not aged gracefully; it was at times flat, unaffecting, and missing the passion Bruce has always exhibited. Little Steven’s guitar playing, while always a bit sloppy, was exceedingly erratic during several solos; it’s as though he was missing notes on purpose. Nils’ work on the guitar was excellent, but he looked bored. There were a few other things I noticed, but don’t have time to go into here. Again, maybe it is the disconnect between recorded and live, or maybe I’m just jealous that I wasn’t there. Before the tour started, Bruce said anyone who wasn’t satisfied could get their money back at the door. I wonder if anyone did.