Joe Biden promises to cover ‘unwanted costs’ of concert tickets
Music fans frustrated by hidden concert ticket fees have gotten a powerful ally. President Joe Biden recently announced he would come after these “surprise accusations” in a sweeping new initiative.
In a speech Oct. 26, Biden announced he had asked his Competition Council to address “unfair hidden fees called ‘junk fees’ that take real money – real money from your pockets – real money from your American families pockets.
Examples the president gave of such “junk fees” included bank overdraft fees, credit card late fees, hotel resort fees and concert ticket processing fees. The Commander-in-Chief called the practices “unfair”, describing them as “surprise charges that companies stuff into bills because they can”.
In a follow-up Tweeter on Nov. 3, Biden doubled down on his promise to clamp down on those charges.
“I know that hidden fees — like processing fees on concert tickets — are a pain,” the president wrote. “They’re unfair, misleading and add up. That’s why last week I called on my administration to crack down on these charges and put that money back in your pocket.”
Biden’s efforts follow a tumultuous time for the live music industry. The COVID pandemic forced the cancellation of concerts across America, an industry-shattering event that had no precedent. Ticketing companies struggled to manage a massive number of refunds. At one point, Live Nation, the nation’s largest concert promoter, saw its revenue drop 98% from a year earlier.
As the live music industry recovered, fans returned to concerts and festivals. But that excitement was clouded by high ticket prices, especially to see big name acts. Ticketmaster’s “dynamic pricing” strategy has sparked outrage, with Bruce Springsteen and the combined Blink-182 ranking among the most expensive tours. Overall, concert ticket prices are up nearly 20% from their pre-COVID average.
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