Springsteen show overbooked, thousands lose hot seats

05.13.09 8 years ago

It seems Ticketmaster just can’t do right by Bruce Springsteen fans.

According to the Associated Press, the ticketing giant’s resale website TicketsNow oversold the Boss’ May 18 show in Washington, D.C. Now, thousands of premium ticket holders for the Verizon Center concert are being called by company representatives to be offered refunds as well as tickets to the show — though the seats are situated much further from the stage.

TicketsNow is a secondary market ticket reseller, touting guaranteed, premium seating tickets from licensed brokers and individual sellers. Customers for high-demand concerts often pay two or three times the amount of the original ticket price and are subject to tax and shipping costs.

According to TicketsNow, the Verizon Center show is the only one that has surfaced with this problem.

This isn’t the first time TicketsNow and Ticketmaster have marred the otherwise well-received Springsteen tour. As tickets went on sale in February for the 25+ dates, fans were automatically redirected to TicketsNow from Ticketmaster when face-value seats were still available.

Ticketmaster responded that buyers were only redirected to the secondary site when their specific ticket request could not be met. In other words, if a fan requested front section seats, they were not informed that their requested section was sold out and other sections were available, but were immediately sent to other site.

Springsteen’s camp and fans alike were understandably miffed and accused Ticketmaster of deception and conflict of interest.

Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff later posted an “open letter of apology to Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and the entire Springsteen Tour Team… to make sure there is no misunderstanding in the future, we also publicly state that we will never again link to TicketsNow in a manner that can possibly create any confusion during a high-demand on-sale. Specifically, we will not present an option to go to TicketsNow from Ticketmaster without the consent of the artist and the venue.”

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s tour will wrap up in North America on May 23 in New Jersey, the songwriter’s home state. He continues support of his most recent album, January’s chart-topping “Working on a Dream,” touring Europe throughout the rest of the summer. His record company Columbia will be releasing “Greatest Hits,” a Europe-only limited tour edition collection, on June 1.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Ticketmaster’s merger with LiveNation, the world’s biggest concert promoter, has earned required approval from its lenders. The proposed deal has been raising eyebrows and fists from politicians and consumer groups with concerns about trusts and unfair business advantages.

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