Hey Justin Bieber fans in Tennessee, did you have trouble scoring tickets to your boy’s upcoming show? You’re not alone.
According to documents obtained by Nashville’s NewsChannel 5, of the nearly 14,000 tickets available for Bieber’s forthcoming show at the city’s Bridgestone Arena, only 1,001 — or roughly 7% of the total — were actually allocated for sale to the general public.
So where did the rest of the tickets go? That’s where the information gets pretty damning. About 6,000 were held for American Express customers, who had access during a special pre-sale. Another 3,000 were held for members of Bieber’s fan club, who pay a fee for the opportunity to buy those seats. 500 went to Ticketmaster’s “Platinum Exchange” program, and another 900 were chopped up for various VIP packages.
But the smokingest gun is this: An entire block of seats was reserved for Bieber’s tour, and some of those tickets are currently available on resale site TicketsNow for $216 each.
The bottom line is that not only are only seven percent of the available tickets available for actual face value, but the Bieber camp is actually scalping his own ducats.
He’s not alone: The station also found documents that noted that a Taylor Swift show at the same venue only left 1,600 tickets available to the general public, and a Keith Urban show that promised $20 seats only had 389 of those available.
On the one hand, artists, ticketing companies, and promoters are all trying to make money that would otherwise go to scalpers, who often cut into an artist’s bottom line. On the other hand, these practices are as fan-unfriendly as simply giving the tickets to scalpers, as they are lead to believe that they have fair access to something that they actually do not.
According to the former head of consumer affairs for the state of Tennessee Elizabeth Owen, these ticketing practices are in violation of a law on the books in that state that was established to protect ticket-buyers back in 1977, though it’s unclear whether or not any action will be taken.
Bieber’s tour with Carly Rae Jepsen kicks off Saturday night at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
What do you think? Should artists have the right to move the tickets to their own shows as they see fit, or is this a practice that should be cracked down on?