By now I would imagine that pretty much everyone has heard of Last Week Tonight, the HBO show starring John Oliver where they recap the week’s news and then take a deep, depressingly humorous dive into social issues that the world (although usually just the United States) are facing. On the latest episode, Oliver tackled an issue that literally everyone who has ever gone to a concert before has ran into: Ticketmaster.
Here’s how Oliver succinctly put it:
“It is no secret Ticketmaster is horrible. But exactly how it is horrible is genuinely interesting. Let’s start with one of the things that infuriates people the most about them, and that’s the fees. They can come as a nasty surprise at the very end of a transaction and can range from the annoying, to the completely batshit. We found a ticket to a 2019 Kidz Bop concert with fees that amounted to 75% of face value. For one ticket to a Tyler, the Creator show next week, the fees add an extra 78%, and the fees on a $15 to a monster truck rally in Houston were $16.41. That’s more than the cost of the ticket itself, which is clearly ridiculous…”
But it isn’t just tickets for terrible cover music, rappers and monster trucks that are affected. Oliver also mentioned a 2019 report that alleged a Metallica representative was in with ticket scalpers to make more money on their 2017 tour. He also cited Pearl Jam’s battle with Ticketmaster in the ’90s to book shows independently, a battle that ended in the band resigning with Ticketmaster when all was said and done.
The episode in its entirety is incredibly insightful, as is every other episode of Last Week Tonight, and is absolutely worth a watch. As I said, we all know Ticketmaster is on some bullshit, but just how deep that pile of shit is will truly blow your mind. As with many things in the live entertainment industry, there is a desperate need for change. But as long as Ticketmaster has what is essentially a monopoly on the industry, we’ll all be eating ticket fees for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Check it out: