Earlier this week, Midnight Sun covered a story about a Baltimore man who recently filed a lawsuit against ticket behemoth Live Nation over a Jackson Browne concert in Baltimore two years ago. After purchasing the ticket for $52 from Ticketmaster, he was charged an additional $12 in service fees. Fees which Bourgeois believes violate Baltimore City law.
In the lawsuit, Bourgeois alleges that Live Nation and Ticketmaster are not registered as ticket agencies by the city of Baltimore. As a result of this, he claims that their excessive fees are indistinguishable to scalping under city law. He accuses Live Nation of using their dominant market position in the ticket sale business to impose service charges on top of the face value of tickets, which is in direct violation of Baltimore City law, which according to the lawsuit allows for only a .50 cent service charge over a ticket’s face value.
The lawsuit against Live Nation isn’t the first time Baltimore has made national news for conflicts with the ticket conglomerate. Just last year, local venue Merriweather Post Pavilion along with its sister venue the 9:30 Club, severed its ties with Ticketmaster, signing on with independent ticket distributor Ticketfly. The move, which was in response to a lawsuit filed in 2009 by I.M.P (parent company of Merriweather) chairman Seth Hurwitz against Live Nation, in which Hurwitz claimed that the monopoly on the national touring market controlled by Ticketmaster gave the company leverage to entice and coerce artists to only appear at venues which it owned, operated, or controlled the booking. The change to Ticketfly was said to have saved customers an estimated 30 percent in ticket fees, in addition to benefits such as no charge for printing tickets at home, a service that Ticketmaster charges $3.50 for.
Below is a price comparison for Miranda Lambert tickets.
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD – 7/15/11
Ticketfly General Admission floor seat – $55 per ticket
Ticketfly fees – $9 per ticket
Print at home fees – FREE
Total Fees (2) tickets-$18
Total Cost (2) tickets- $128
Amphitheater at the Wharf, Orange Beach, AL -7/23/11
Ticketmaster GA ticket - $49.75 per ticket
Ticketmaster fees- $12.40 per ticket
Print at home fees - $3.50 per order
Total Fees (2) tickets- $28.30
Total Cost (2) tickets- $127.80
—Summer editorial intern Tyler Green wrote this piece.