Garth Brooks is truly one of the good guys in the music industry. Brooks has a reputation for being very fan centric, and regularly plays 25-30 songs, easily playing two hours plus.
Brooks gets it. He knows he is where he is, because of the fans. He earned his success on the backs of the record buying and concert going audience.
Garth has always tried to keep tickets affordable, unlike some of his older contemporaries like Elton John and Bruce Springsteen.
Tickets to the most recent Springsteen tour have caused an outcry due to the disgusting Ticketmaster “dynamic pricing” plan, which adjusts prices in real time based on market demand. Just shameful stuff.
Recently Garth had a few things to say about Ticketmaster, scalping, and his future touring. Let’s go to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram for the details:
That’s a tough one. [Bruce] Springsteen is going through it right now. We’re all watching it. Here’s the bottom line for me, and I know this is silly, but I have screamed and screamed as long as you’ve known me: just knock out scalping. That’s it. Just make it illegal. That way, the price of the ticket is the price of the ticket. The same money is going to be exchanged when scalping tickets, it’s just now who gets the money, that’s the difference. The thing I hate about it, the hardest it’s on is the fan, the one who allows you to live your dream.
— Stefan Stevenson (@StefanVersusTex) July 31, 2022
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Garth is not wrong on this point, unfortunately scalping is generally no longer shady looking dudes, holding up tickets in the parking lot before a show. Scalping has gone high tech.
Businesses like Vivid seats, SeatGeek, StubHub, and even Ticketmaster are in the scalping game driving up prices.
The shameful part about Ticketmaster is, while they allow fans to resell tickets they originally purchased, Ticketmaster also collects a second set of fees from tickets they help sell on the secondary market. Exorbitant fees originally, then extra if you have to, or want to sell your tickets with Ticketmaster’s help. How is this even legal?
Before the internet, (yes kids there was life before the internet), scalping was either pushed into dark alleys, or the scalpers had to register with the individual city and pay taxes like a business.
While the net has made the whole exchange safer and more secure, the costs have skyrocketed. At least you could negotiate on the street. No such luck on ticketing sites.
Brooks had some interesting information about his future touring as well.
This will be our last stadium tour. It’s just too much on the crew. It doesn’t mean that you’re done; you’ll figure out what you’re going to do, but I doubt we’ll ever do an organized tour again. We might just pick spots and do some stuff but not have it clustered as a tour. These guys [the crew] haven’t been home in months so they need to have the same life they’ve given me.
I’ve been to stadium tours, and I have friends in the industry that organize and execute these type tours. Brooks isn’t exaggerating. They are a massive undertaking, requiring numerous tractor trailers and man hours. With the increasing cost of diesel fuel, it’s easy to see why artists would scale back the expense incurred by organized stadium tours as opposed to smaller, more intimate venues with less equipment.
Whatever the case, if you want to see Garth Brooks, you better hurry. The music landscape is ever changing, and no one knows how long some of these aging superstars will still be able to crisscross the country.
As I’ve said before, see your heroes before they are gone. Even if it means Ticketmaster is holding you hostage.