I was so excited when Live Nation, the concert promoter behemoth, recently announced "No Service Fee Wednesdays," dropping the service fees on lawn tickets at hundreds of concerts.
Could it be that I could actually get to see Wilco, one of my favorite bands, this summer for a decent price without paying an extra third of the ticket price for all those annoying fees?
I was too late to search for tickets June 3 when the announcement was made, but I wasn't surprised to read on CNN.com that Live Nation didn't live up to its promise. Concertgoers who did book tickets on Wednesday saw at least one extra fee charged on their total bill.
A Live Nation spokesperson wrote to CNN that fans will still be asked to pay parking fees (usually $6) as well as in some cases facility fees and/or charity fees. No explanation for why those fees are a part of the Wednesday special, however.
It's so annoying how Live Nation charges for its concerts that it borders on the hellishly hilarious. For example, the parking fee is charged whether you're driving to the concert or not! Live Nation can't say that it must send that money costs to the concert hall landlord for upkeep, because it owns many of its own venues.
Then there's the matter of why the promoter just can't state fees upfront and uses tricky ways to promote discounted tickets that ultimately puzzles everyone -- read this Rolling Stone report on what they did with Blink-182 ticket promotions.
And, of course, Live Nation doesn't change its old habits by stating upfront what those fees are -- a ticket buyer won't see the total price, including those pesky extra fees, until after the order is submitted and his credit card charged.
Live Nation and Ticketmaster, the other fee-sucking concert villain, want to merge but thankfully Congress is stepping in to investigate the matter. Not that it will really improve anything as Ticketmaster and Live Nation separately are able to cause anger and despair among musicians and music fans.
If the president and Congress weren't offered VIP seats for free, and had to book the tickets themselves online, then maybe there would be a mini-version of the law that recently passed for the credit card industry and its equally annoying fees.
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