Beyoncé Fans Latest to See Hefty Fees for Renaissance Tour – Rolling Stone

While Beyoncé fans anxiously waited online to secure tickets for Queen Bey’s forthcoming Renaissance tour, the high ticket fees are once again causing a groaning debate among ticket buyers, who have no choice but to swallow the hefty additional costs, if they want to see their show.

Some customers who bought VIP packages for the tour – which are already among the most expensive and high-quality experiences at the venue – saw service fees of up to $550 (approx. 15% service charge) on top of the $3,757 the customer has already paid for his seat. Of course, the most expensive tickets also attract the most conspicuous fees. Among the cheaper seats, a customer’s screenshot shows a $43.90 service charge for a $162 ticket (about 27 percent fee), plus an additional $8 for the setup fee.

A first look at the fees suggests that the Renaissance Tour isn’t much worse than the usual presale for a tour of this size, with some of the prices fans have shared online ranging anywhere from 15 to the top 20 percent for fees at Ticketmaster. Rather, it’s just the latest of the most common complaints customers have about paying even more at checkout for what might already have been a major purchase.

Ticket fees aren’t a specific Ticketmaster issue, and fees for some tickets listed on resale platforms like StubHub and VividSeats have hit nearly 30 percent. But Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation Entertainment have come under increased scrutiny from federal authorities over allegations that the company is operating as a live music monopoly.

Ticketmaster has repeatedly refuted claims that it suppresses competition. Regarding fees specifically, Joe Berchtold, president and CFO of Live Nation Entertainment, told regulators during a Senate hearing on the live music business last month that venues typically set fees and that Ticketmaster’s share of service fees had sunk.

The fees were a key part of the discussion by regulators and advocates who wanted to make the ticketing industry fairer and more transparent to fans. During the Senate Judiciary Panel, several senators, including Amy Klobuchar, questioned witnesses about the charges and what it would take to get a handle on them. Both Klobuchar and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have said so Rolling Stone that fees are eroding fans, and both questioned how Live Nation’s industry dominance has affected fee costs.

The issue has even made its way to the White House. President Joe Biden has repeatedly called for a crackdown on “garbage fees” in all industries, including the live music business; During his State of the Union this week, he pushed for the “Junk Fee Prevention Act,” which the Biden administration first proposed last week. The Biden administration has called on Congress to “lower fees through legislation” and ban “excessive fees” and force ticketing platforms to disclose if they’ve used “restraints” on shows to limit ticketing. Biden also called for widespread adoption of all-in ticket pricing, which prevents ticket buyers from hiding fees until the end of a purchase. Several high-profile ticketing services have championed the latter policy, noting that all-in ticketing could only work across the industry if all companies were made to do so.


The Break Up Ticketmaster Coalition, which has been active for months urging regulators to crack down on Live Nation and Ticketmaster (and separate the two companies), also celebrated Biden’s push this week.

“Fans, artists, competitors and policymakers sounding the alarm over abuses of Live Nation’s Ticketmaster monopoly — including charging inexplicable, sky-high fees — deserve the attention of the Biden administration,” the coalition said in a statement. “It’s time lawmakers and regulators brought transparency and accountability to the live events ticketing industry by curbing the use of these junk fees once and for all and breaking this monopoly to bring more competition into the live events event industry.”


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