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Bruce Springsteen has spoken out about the criticism he faced after ticket prices for his forthcoming US tour, sold by Ticketmaster, surged to $5,000. Ticketmaster has been widely criticized over the last week after the general sale of tickets for Swift’s The Eras Tour was canceled because the site sold out all shows for the 52-show stadium tour during a verified-fans presale. The chaos left fans of the Anti-Hero singer devastated, and even those who were lucky enough to be invited to purchase tickets during the competitive and glitch-ridden presale weren’t happy, having experienced hour-long queues and site crashes. It was an experience shared by fans who attempted to purchase tickets for Springsteen’s first tour with the full E Street Band since 2017 back in the summer, although they also had to deal with Ticketmaster’s dreaded dynamic pricing model. Under this system, which allows ticket prices to increase or decrease depending on demand, fans of The Boss saw ticket prices for a floor seat reportedly jump from $400 to upwards of $5,000.
Springsteen last toured with the full E Street Band in 2017.
Speaking to Rolling Stone about his new album Only the Strong Survive, Springsteen addressed the controversy over the Ticketmaster system, admitting that it was confusing for fans, but said that most of my tickets are affordable. The 73-year-old explained that while he usually charges a little less than other artists, for his new world tour, which kicks off in Tampa, Florida, on February 1, 2023, he wanted to do what everybody else is doing. He said: For the past 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there under market value. I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been great for the fans. This time I told them, ‘Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.’ So that’s what happened. That’s what they did. But ticket buying has gotten very confusing, not just for the fans, but for the artists also, Springsteen went on to say. And the bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable. They’re in that affordable range. The musician reasoned that scalpers — those who resell tickets at astronomical prices after purchasing them for that sole reason — shouldn’t be the ones to profit off the demand to see the artist.
Springsteen said: I’m going, ‘Hey, why shouldn’t that money go to the guys that are going to be up there sweating three hours a night for it?’ I know it was unpopular with some fans. But if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back, he added. However, the Born to Run singer said he doesn’t like to be the poster boy for high ticket prices, and would reconsider using dynamic prices again in the future, given the backlash from even his most dedicated fans. That’ll be a whole other discussion when that comes around. I don’t want to say anything now, but we’ll see what happens, he said. While Swift also chose to opt into the dynamic pricing model, prices did not increase so drastically for fans. According to one fan who spoke to Insider about their experience, prices for a pair of tickets increased from $559 to $687 during their repeated attempts to purchase them.