Billie Eilish, Cyndi Lauper, Dave Matthews and hundreds more ask Congress to fix concert ticket pricing

Hundreds of musicians including Billie Eilish, Dave Matthews, Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, the Pixies and Blue Oyster Cult petitioned Congress on Thursday to regulate concert ticket pricing.

“We are joining together to say that the current system is broken,” reads a letter signed by nearly 300 performers and sent to lawmakers. “Predatory resellers and secondary platforms engage in deceptive ticketing practices to inflate ticket prices and deprive fans of the chance to see their favorite artists at a fair price.”

The “Fix the Tix” request is specifically addressed to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The letter accuses unregulated companies that resell tickets of “siphoning money from the live entertainment ecosystem” by using bots and deceitful advertising practices to sell seats for 20 times their face value, even when shows aren’t sold out.

Ticket sales have hit record numbers since the end of the pandemic and subsequent resumption of touring.

Taylor Swift’s Era’s Tour became the first ever billion-dollar concert series at the close of 2023. When the “Don’t Blame Me” singer visited New York's MetLife Stadium last year, some seats sold for $16,000. The average resale price for a ticket to Swift’s 2018 Reputation Stadium Tour was about $157, according to Pitchfork, while resold Eras Tour tickets reportedly averaged $3,800.

Though Swift wasn’t a Fix the Tix signee, she has expressed frustration with organizations like Ticketmaster.

Other artists onboard for Thursday’s initiative include Cowboy Junkies, They Might Be Giants, Fall Out Boy, Becky G, Sonic Youth, Green Day and Diplo.

“Predatory resellers do not invest in creating a great live experience or fostering the live music ecosystem,” the musicians told lawmakers. “They simply profit off of the hard work of artists, venues and the crew.”

The average face-value ticket price for a concert in 2023 was just under $80, according to Pitchfork. That’s a nearly $10 hike from 2019 pre-pandemic pricing.