Monday, June 15, 2009

Springsteen Shows: Who Gets Best Seats? Not You

Now comes word, courtesy of an Open Public Records Act request from the Newark Star-Ledger, that the biggest reason fans couldn’t find good seats to Bruce Springsteen's May concerts in New Jersey had nothing to do with Ticketmaster, TicketsNow, or scalpers. In reality, almost none were ever actually on sale. Instead, 90% of the best seats were reserved for friends and family of the band, venue employees, record-label executives and their guests.

Of the 20,000 seats at the May 21 show, 2,262, or 12%, were withheld from public sale by various interested parties, including public agency that runs the venue (hence the public-records act request). The paper noted that under New Jersey law, only 5% are allowed to be set aside. Of those, 1,450 were held for friends and family of Springsteen and his band, plus radio-station executives and the like; 812 were held by the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority. And they weren’t exactly in the nosebleed section. Of the 1,126 seats closest to the stage, only 108 were officially listed for sale to the public.

~Wall Street Journal

MP: Ticket scalpers and re-sale markets often get the blame for high ticket prices for concerts, but it appears that the artists and promoters are at least partly responsible for creating ticket shortages and high prices by withholding the best seats for themselves.


At 6/15/2009 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if any of those "spoken for seats" were the ones that were advertised for sale prior to official sale. NJ Attorney General Ann Milgrim went after the culprits to stop this "crony capitalism" and save the socialist cause! Who were these culprits going to get the tickets from. I would suspect that some would naturally be sourced from set asides!

At 6/15/2009 11:41 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Why is this 'seating situation' a problem or is it?

Is the NJ Attorney General Milgrim a socialist/populist/Democrat?

I mean "crony capitalism" seems rather silly doesn't it?

Won't market forces solve this problem?

I mean how many patrons do the Springsteen production folks need to anger before people just quit going?

Personally I have to chuckle that people are kind of whining over the idea that best seats for this sissy are worth making a hassle over...

At 6/15/2009 11:41 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Two more groups you missed: politicians and their lackeys.

Can't begin to tell you how many seats are reserved for the mayor, city council, Licensing Dept. deputy chairman's mother-in-law's half-sister's cousin, etc. And often those seats go unused.

At 6/16/2009 5:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Springsteen still using video monitors so he can sing the correct lyrics to his songs as he did years ago on "MTV Unplugged"? Shame no one ever hacked into the system to display wrong lyrics for him to sing.

At 6/16/2009 9:07 AM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

How very egalitarian of this "progressive" multi-millionaire rock star!

At 6/16/2009 9:11 AM, Anonymous Mika said...

Same ole, same ole in the USA: Profit-making greed trumps fairness and in the end it's the "haves" who get.

At 6/16/2009 9:12 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

I guess I don't see why he shouldn't be able to hold back more tickets if he really wants to. I see Mark's point about how there are always more factors at work than the ones whom are easiest to blame (scalpers). I'm kind of surprised there's a law that says you can only hold back 5%. Sure, if he has a contract with ticketmaster then it would make sense that they don't want a big alternate market for tickets, but why would NJ care? It's his lost revenue, let him keep back 30% if he feels like it. I thought that ticket sales were the only way for a musician to make money anyway now that the internet has taken away the bulk of their record sale revenue. Seems like he'd want to sell as many tickets as he could.

At 6/16/2009 11:51 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Market forces WILL take care of this phenomenon, but only if word gets out (as it has here) that the best seats are being withheld from the fans.

Market forces work better the more informed the players are.

At 6/16/2009 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all very interesting... but, doesn't "The Boss" kinda sorta actually SUCK? I never liked his "Blue Collar" music. Seems more "red" to me. He never did a day of hard labor in his life. He may have been Born In The USA... but, that's as far as it goes for me. And he ain't no "Boss" either... he couldn't lead a gaggle of horny sailors to a free cat house.

At 6/16/2009 7:21 PM, Anonymous PotatoChef said...

I agree with hydrogenmaker. Springsteen has always given me the creeps.

I'm not sure why he is called "The Boss". I need to come up with a nifty nick name so that I can market my boring work and have the media plug it becuase of the catchy name.

Springsteen seems to like making money in the USA but hates everything else about this country.

At 6/16/2009 8:58 PM, Blogger QT said...

This year, Bruce Springsteen will turn 60. What is the attraction of aging rockers?

At 6/17/2009 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This website was sited again regarding this article on the Mark Levin show on 6/16, about 73 minutes in on free audio section.


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