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No Doubt shows raise doubt about Ticketmaster [UPDATE]


UPDATE: As of Thursday morning, listings of tickets for No Doubt's tour had been pulled from the Ticketmaster-owned TicketsNow.com resale site and replaced with a message advising site visitors that "No Doubt tickets are currently unavailable."

There’s no question that No Doubt is planning to close its reunion tour on its old Orange County turf with performances July 31 and Aug. 1 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine.

But those shows raise the question of how efficiently Ticketmaster is following through on its recent agreement with the New Jersey attorney general’s office to change the way it operates its No_doubt_tixTicketsNow.com resale operation.

On the same day that Live Nation announced that tickets would be put on sale March 7 for No Doubt's Irvine concerts, TicketsNow.com already listed 57 tickets for those shows for sale for prices ranging from $70 to $854 (screenshot at left). That was also more than 24 hours before presale tickets would be offered to members of the group's Tour Club. (One of TicketsNow.com's competitors, StubHub.com, also shows ticket listings for those No Doubt shows with prices running from $76 to $342.)

Under the agreement, Ticketmaster promised “not to allow the sale or offer of sale of any tickets on the TicketsNow.com re-selling website until the initial sale begins on its primary website,” according to the statement issued Monday by Atty. Gen. Anne Milgram’s office. That deal also led to Ticketmaster’s vow that “all tickets it receives for sale to the general public will be sold on its primary market website.”

Fans in other areas have complained that the practice has continued this week, with TicketsNow.com also offering resale tickets for upcoming shows by Leonard Cohen and Brad Paisley, among others, before they’ve gone on sale through primary ticket outlets.

A Ticketmaster spokesman said today that the TicketsNow.com is an open forum for anyone wanting to resell tickets and that listings may be posted by individuals or other brokers. He said Ticketmaster has committed to removing all such listings manually before the official sale date of affected shows, and noted that presale listings for Cohen tickets have been removed.

The chiefs of Ticketmaster and Live Nation are in Washington this week testifying before Congress about their proposed merger and addressing state representatives’ concerns that the merger would result in a monopoly of the live entertainment industry.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (8)

You might want to look into the L.A. Times archives to see what you reported about this very situation a few years back. http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jun/08/news/mn-38764

"The world’s largest concert promoter is making a killing selling stealth seats directly to brokers, a small piece of what appears to be a thriving underground ticket economy.

SFX Entertainment Inc. (now Live Nation) sells nearly 200 prime seats to every show at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre (now Verizon Amphitheatre) exclusively to ticket brokers, who then jack up prices charged to consumers a total of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. "

In other words, the brokers have the tickets long before any ticket goes on sale to the public. They know their seat locations, so listing them is easy to do.

Is Ticketmaster even handling tickets for this event? Or is Live Nation doing the ticket sale itself, as it is for most of the other No Doubt shows across the country? If it's the latter, much as I hate to defend the evil empire that is Ticketmaster, it may not be violating the agreement. Can the reporter check this out to fill the hole in this story?

There is No Doubt - that Ticketmaster is finally caught in their own trap having hard wired a distribution system with TicketsNow.

Having directly asked Ticketmaster exec. Dave Butler about this practice at the Pollstar CIC conference last month - his statement - there is no way that we are directing inventory through TicketsNow.... what a crock of s#$@t.

Now is the time to sink this ship before they are merged with Live Nation. If this merfer is allowed then get ready to see this practice on a daily basis.

Comment here at www.ticketrends.com -



Brian, if you knew anything about the ticket business, you'd know that only the box office can move ticket inventory. The venues mandate that and so do the artists. Every action on a ticketing system has an audit trail.

Don't you think that there are plenty of venues and artists that would love to be able to prove that Ticketmaster manipulated tickets? They can't, though, because any change in the inventory can only happen at the box office, and generally has to be approved by the artist before even that happens.

And as pointed out here (sadly a commenter has done better reporting than Randy Lewis), Ticketmaster isn't even selling this show. Your accusations apparently need to be redirected to Live Nation Ticketing.

I just paid $21.50 for a $10 ticket and they don't call this robbery? They don't call this alienating fans? I hope Ticketmaster gets their act together and gets rid of their ridiculous fees and stops selling to outside ticket brokers. MOST of us can't afford a $500 ticket for a $40 face value ticket.

- One very pissed off music fan.

At some point, Ticketmaster is asking for an anti-trust suit with this. They really need to get out of the ticket resale business and sell Tickets Now. Then, if they want to assist their customers with sold-out shows, they can list links to all the major resale sites on their website and nobody can accuse them of shady conduct.

But this is beginning to really hurt Ticketmaster's brand name. They apparently thought they would be able to get away with owning and having a close marketing relationship with a resale site, but they can't. Even if they aren't actually doing anything wrong, the appearance of impropriety is too great.

Regarding the questions from Rebecca, Brian and Mike, you raise a good point. It's true that Ticketmaster is not the ticket vendor for No Doubt's shows at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, but the company's agreement with the New Jersey Attorney General's office regarding its handling of the recent Bruce Sprinsteen ticket sales specified that it would no longer allow any listings for tickets on its TicketsNow.com resale site before those tickets go on sale to the general public. This was clearly in opposition to that portion of the agreement, even though it's not a Ticketmaster show. To give Ticketmaster credit where it's due, those listings were removed before the March 7 on-sale date.

I was trying to purchase Michael Jackson tickets in London for 7 hours this morning. Their system kept crashing! Not only do they have a hard time handling the demand, but their fees are way too high. The fans are always the ones to get the bad end of the deal, so I hope more bands and artist take a stand against Ticketmaster. My 7 hour experience was HORRIBLE... feel free to read about it at




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