Neil Young Says “Concert Touring Is Broken,” Cites Ticketmaster Fees

Neil Young, who gained attention after his comments about Spotify and Joe Rogan, has focused his gaze on a new monolith of culture: Ticketmaster.

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In the wake of The Cure’s Robert Smith speaking out about dynamic ticketing price fees from the ticketing giant, even getting Ticketmaster to refund some money to fans, Young has more to add.

Speaking out via a new post on his website, Young commented on The Cure’s stance, saying of touring as he knows it, “It’s over. The old days are gone. I get letters blaming me for $3,000.00 tickets for a benefit I am doing. That money does not go to me or the benefit. Artists have to worry about ripped-off fans blaming them for Ticketmaster add-ons and scalpers.”

He added, “CONCERT TOURS are no longer fun. CONCERT TOURS not what they were.”

Young, who recently began performing again after viewing it safe in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, will play the Light Up the Blues autism fundraiser in Los Angeles in April. He also has a new album with Crazy Horse set for release, All Roads Lead Home.

The problems with the company aren’t exclusive to Young’s or Smith’s musical life. In recent months, Taylor Swift has seen her fans shut down the Ticketmaster site, causing major disruptions when they were trying to buy tickets for her recent Eras tour. And rocker Bruce Springsteen recently got into trouble with fans due to the high price of his ticket sales.

It seems like the issues for Ticketmaster won’t go away.

As for Smith and The Cure, the rocker recently spoke out about Ticketmaster, saying he was “sickened” by the exorbitant costs. The band specifically chose to work with Ticketmaster to help combat the scalping of their tickets but did not want to participate in their dynamic pricing and Platinum ticket structure, which could result in ticket prices being “instantly and horribly distorted by resale,” according to Smith.

Based on demand, the dynamic pricing system can result in individual tickets selling for thousands of dollars.

After fans voiced their grievances and posted shots of their nearly triple-in-price Ticketmaster transactions once tickets for The Cure’s upcoming shows went on sale, Smith tweeted to fans that he was “as sickened as you all are by today’s Ticketmaster fees debacle.”

“To be very clear, the artist has no way to limit them,” said Smith. “I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent by way of an answer, I will let you all know.”

The Cure’s first tour in the U.S. since 2016, the Shows of the Lost World Tour will begin on May 10 in New Orleans and stop for three nights at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, before wrapping up in Miami on July 1.

Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns

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