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Robert Smith of The Cure Takes on Ticketmaster, and Wins

​Robert Smith
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Despite efforts from The Cure to set reasonable ticket prices, fans quickly reported that Ticketmaster fees exceeded the price of tickets.

Robert Smith of The Cure is “as sickened as you all are” by Ticketmaster's fees.

Tickets for the band's upcoming North American tour went on sale Wednesday, with the group saying they “priced tickets to benefit fans” as well as “block scalpers and limit inflated resale prices."

“The Cure have agreed all ticket prices, and apart from a few Hollywood Bowl charity seats, there will be no ‘platinum’ or ‘dynamically priced’ tickets on this tour. See you there!” they wrote.

Prices for verified fans were set at $20, but as soon as they launched, customers across the country were complaining about service fees averaging over $25. The total for one fan purchasing two $20 tickets came out to over $70, with another reporting that four $20 tickets had collective fees exceeding $90.

The Cure's front man, Robert Smith, called out the extra charges on Twitter, writing: “I am as sickened as you all are by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle. To be very clear: The artist has no way to limit them. I have been asking how they are justified."

On Thursday, Smith updated that he had been in conversation with the platform, and had convinced them to reduce prices, and provide refunds for those who had already purchased tickets. He added: "After further conversation, Ticketmaster have agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are unduly high."

Fans of The Cure praised Smith for directly confronting Ticketmaster, with some noting that hopefully more artists will follow suit. The Future of Music Coalition, a national non-profit organization specializing in education, research and advocacy for musicians, said that Smith set "an encouraging precedent, even if it's no substitute for needed regulation."

"Artists take heed: when you speak up (with both conviction and nuance), you can make new things possible," they wrote.

President Joe Biden outlined plans for a Junk Fee Prevention Act in his February State of the Union address, which he said would make sure “companies stop ripping us off."

“I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it. Not anymore. We’ll cap service fees on tickets to concerts and sporting events and make companies disclose all fees upfront,” he said, adding, “Americans are tired of being played for suckers.”

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