Bruce Springsteen: Fans are bowled over as some face value tickets for his 2023 tour go for as much as $5K

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 (Getty)
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Bruce Springsteen fans have been bowled over by the price of the singer’s 2023 arena tour. Logging in to Ticketmaster, some found that face value prices for mid-range floor tickets came to a whopping $4k to $5k.

Apparently, it’s all because of Ticketmaster’s “dynamic pricing” system, which has been in operation since 2018. It works in a similar way to Uber’s surge pricing or airline tickets, in that as demand grows for the “platinum tickets” – which despite the name don’t offer any extra concert privileges – the price rushes up.

And, as could have been predicted, Springsteen’s 2023 tour is in high demand – not least because it’s the first time he is going on a headlining tour since his 2016 - 2017 The River Tour.

Even for hardcore devotees, the tickets soon became too expensive, with some US ticket prices soaring into the thousands. On Wednesday, a floor-level ticket for his Tampa, Florida show cost $4,388.50, including booking fees, while a Boston floor ticket cost as much as $4995.50 without booking fees.

Now, the same tickets have dropped in price, but not hugely: Tampa floor tickets are now going for around $1000 while Boston floor tickets are going for around $2000. So, fans still have to put up a lot of money to see The Boss and his backing group, The E Street Band live – and this is even after the initial drive for tickets has eased off a little.

Unfortunately for fans on this side of the pond, the pricing system doesn’t seem to have just hit American audiences: UK supporters also went online to vent their frustrations about the astronomical prices of tickets.

“Standing tickets at Edinburgh Murrayfield appear to be sold out, apart from livenation offering these at £442 each. Remember when you sing the blue collar songs that your audience are wealthy and privileged. Rock and roll, eh?” Tweeted one.

“Tried to get @springsteen tickets but no luck so far. Noticed something called the ultimate terrace ticket for £770. I’d expect Bruce to come and give me a private gig for that!” said another.

“So Bruce Springsteen joins Bob Dylan in the “no thanks, I’ll have a week’s holiday instead” ticket price category,” said another.

Other Springsteen fans from around the world also piled in on the online discussions. The tickets for just six of the US tour dates went on sale on Wednesday – Florida’s Tampa, Orlando and Hollywood spots, and Tulsa, Denver and Boston.

The rest of the concert dates will go on sale over the next nine days, meaning that this is only the beginning of the discourse if dynamic pricing continues.

“The excitement of getting in the verified pre-sale for @springsteen tickets last night to the total depression of seeing what fans went through today and the outrageous prices is a real gut punch,” Tweeted one demoralised fan.

“The pursuit of Bruce Springsteen tickets is almost as exhilarating as a Bruce concert itself,” joked another.

Stevie Van Zandt, who is a member of Springsteen’s longtime backing band The E Street Band, has so far been the only person from the Springsteen tour to reply to the melee, with Springsteen’s camp declining to comment on the matter to Variety.

Van Zandt said, “I have nothing whatsoever to do with the price of tickets. Nothing. Nada. Niente. Bubkis. Dick.”

Ticketmaster is straightforward about the pricing of their platinum tickets, explaining on the site’s FAQs, “No these aren’t resale tickets. Platinum tickets are being sold for the very first time through Ticketmaster. The prices are adjusted according to supply and demand, similar to how airline tickets and hotel rooms are sold.

“The goal is to give the most passionate fans fair and safe access to the most in-demand tickets while allowing the artists and everyone involved in staging live events to price tickets closer to their true value.”

Back in 2018, Rolling Stone wrote an article about the Ticketmaster dynamic ticketing system, after U2, Kenny Chesney, Pink, the Eagles, Shania Twain and Taylor Swift all adopted the flexible pricing method for their concert sales.

At the time, Doc McGhee, who manages KISS explained: “If somebody’s going to pay $500 for a $150 ticket, the band should receive the money.” The system is supposedly used to stop resale sites from buying out tickets for cheap and then selling high.

It also seems that artists can choose whether Ticketmaster uses the system. According to Rolling Stone, Father John Misty, Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam had chosen not to use it.

In 2018, Father John Misty’s manager Dan Fraser, said: “An artist like Father John Misty is very ticket-price-conscious. Just because more people are willing to pay for a ticket, he doesn’t want to [charge it] … He’ll leave money on the table.”

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