Bruce Springsteen Responds to $5,000 Ticket Prices: “Any Complaints on the Way Out, You Can Have Your Money Back”

Several months after Ticketmaster employed “dynamic pricing,” resulting in some tickets reaching as high as $5,000 apiece, Bruce Springsteen has addressed the controversial surge in ticket pricing around his upcoming 2023 tour with the E Street Band.

Videos by American Songwriter

“What I do is a very simple thing,” Springsteen told Rolling Stone. “I tell my guys, ‘Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let’s charge a little less.’… For the past 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there under market value. I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been great for the 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.’ So that’s what happened. That’s what they did.”

In the interview, Springsteen admitted that ticket pricing has become very confusing for fans and the artists, but that most tickets are still more modest in price.

“Ticket buying has gotten very confusing, not just for the fans, but for the artists also, and the bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable,” said Springsteen. “They’re in that affordable range. We have those tickets that are going to go for that [higher] price somewhere anyway.

“The ticket broker or someone is going to be taking that money,” he continued. “I’m going, ‘Hey, why shouldn’t that money go to the guys that are going to be up there sweating three hours a night for it?’ It created an opportunity for that to occur. And so at that point, we went for it. I know it was unpopular with some fans, but if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back.”

Springsteen, who recently released a covers album of soul classics, Only the Strong Survive, went on to say that he didn’t want to be the “poster boy” for high ticket prices, but he wanted to own up to his decision. “It’s the last thing you prefer to be, but that’s how it went,” said Springsteen. “You have to own the decisions you have made and go out and just continue to do your best.”

When Springsteen tickets initially went on sale during the summer of 2022, many customers were left outraged at the exorbitant pricing. The ticket prices were a result of the “dynamic pricing” model used by Ticketmaster, which automatically adjusts the cost of tickets based on supply and demand in real time.

Shortly after tickets went on sale, Ticketmaster defended its pricing model. Variety reports the company claimed that 11.2 percent of the tickets were sold at the “platinum” price with only 1.3 percent reaching $1,000 or more. Additionally, a majority of tickets were sold at fixed prices ranging from $59.50 to $399 before added service fees.

“Prices and formats are consistent with industry standards for top performers,” the company told Variety in a statement.

The U.S. leg of Springsteen’s tour will kick off on February 1 in Tampa, Florida, and wrap up on April 14 in Newark, New Jersey. Springsteen and the E Street band will then head to Europe for the next series of dates, running April 28 through July 25.

Photo: Danny Clinch / Shore Fire Media

One Comment

Leave a Reply
  1. I checked ticket prices for Springsteen’s Atlanta show three days before the event and the cheapest ticket I found was $190 before fees for a rafters seat behind the stage. Even single seats in the upper decks throughout the arena were listed $250 to $399, so I decided to spend my money elsewhere and bought 4 seats for the Mellencamp show at the Fox Theater on Feb. 10. Tickets were each $85 plus fees for pretty decent seats. So, for a “working man’s” artist such as Springsteen to claim his ticket prices are “modest” is a slap in the face, especially to us fans who have been with him from the very beginning. There are, indeed, ways for an artist to circumvent the ticket fiasco, but when he or she is worth $650 million or so, their definition of modesty is quite different from that of the everyday wage earner.

Leave a Reply

Jack Antonoff Joins the Heated Conversation on Music Industry Practices