Mega Ticket Fees
Fee Free Friday is not just big, it's MEGA, man! This week's round-up of the controversy surrounding ticket fees includes... MEGAdeth waiving fees. MEGA nightclubs under new scrutiny. A list of venues that offer MEGA value to the ticket buyer. And new concerns about MEGA fees on "MEGA tickets." All that and MEGA woes in the Wall of Woe!
Fee Free Friday isn't always bad news. Sometimes ticket and appearance fees have their place for the greater good.
Heavy metal band Megadeth is making things a little bit better by donating the proceeds from their appearance on the Gigantour to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. The Food Bank is helping those affected by the recent devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma City. Band front-man Dave Mustane is also hosting a local softball game to raise even more money for storm victims while the band is in town for the concert.
If you would like to donate to the relief effort, you can do so on the official website.
Take a moment and let that warm and fuzzy feeling sink, as we will be back to our regularly scheduled outrage towards ticket fees in just a moment....
The trend of so-called “mega-clubs”, gigantic nightclubs that offer a wide array different entertainment within a single venue, seems to be on the wane in Las Vegas. During peak demand, past news reports on the mega-clubs were focused on the eyebrow raising ticket prices ($250+ per person) and the even more disheartening resale prices of said tickets with outrageously high mark-ups.
But according to Robin Leach, the mega-clubs in Las Vegas have all new concerns - declining ticket sales.
A closer look at demand shows the once wildly popular mega-clubs are not drawing in the numbers they once were, and thus, the promoters are struggling to keep the big productions open. Ticket prices, and the associated fees, are plummeting, matching the plight of other more traditional Vegas shows.
I've learned that four Las Vegas leaders in various show-connected positions have discussed the formation of an entertainment council to recruit key hotel and show executives. They want to find creative solutions to the potential problems and see if cooperation can help entertainment, shows and stars deal fairly with the economic impact of nightclubs and their patrons.
An obvious first step to spur ticket sales would be to lower the fees, and that may very well end up being part of the council’s strategy, but no definitive word on that just yet. Hopefully the economic realities of producing very large, high-end shows will improve in Las Vegas. Until then, it is worthwhile for all event promoters and venue owners to keep an eye on Las Vegas market forces at work. Overly inflated ticket prices, far exceeding what actual demand dictates, is a risky endeavor. The allure of unreasonable ticket fees should be avoided as to not experience a sudden, through-the-floor collapse in demand once word gets out there are alternatives offering more value. Caveat venditor!
In what may be a glimpse at the future, Market Watch has published a formula for the entertainment value at the nation’s baseball parks. The way in which the ballpark rankings are designed is of particular note to any venue owner since it conveys the overall value to be had by the ticket buyer and is not based solely on face value price.
In addition to the team’s winning record, Market Watch factors in things like the price of parking, the various ticket fees, and the price of concession stand food and drink. Market Watch asked die-hard baseball fan Kevin D. Thompson his opinion about the perceived value at a game:
[The] New York native says he’s not sure he wants to keep shelling out $100 to see the team, factoring in the parking and concessions. As he sees it, going to a game is not much different than going to the theater. “Would you spend $100 on a ticket for a Broadway show that’s going to be lousy?” he says.
At the moment, there is no such value index for concerts or venues, but that may change soon as the donnybrook surrounding unreasonable ticket fees continues unabated. The ticket buying public being perpetually at the mercy of high fees will seek an objective source of information on where to spend their money - including any future “value indices” published. Such a value index would obliterate the event industry practice of advertising a ticket price without mentioning the fees and service charges (or other costs like parking and drink prices).
MEGA ticket fees
Mega ticket fees are not just an unwelcome attribute of concert tickets, they are part of going to the movies too (See "Movie Mulligan").
Eastside Online reports that summer movie-goers are paying nearly $20 for a ticket to see blockbusters like 'Man of Steel' and that is without the per-ticket fees. Worse still, the big movie studios are evaluating whether or not film fans would put up with even higher fees.
When Man of Steel came out last week, reserved seating at AMC’s Lincoln Square movie theater in New York City had customers dishing out $23.50 per ticket. Though this may sound like a ridiculously priced fee, Paramount Studios has started to question whether moviegoers would be willing to pay even more than that.
Earlier this month, The Verge quoted directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas predicting a "massive implosion in film industry" that will lead to higher ticket prices. The film industry is at a loss on how to maintain profitability in the age of the Internet and the myriad choices it gives consumers - so its plan is to simply increase ticket prices.
But rather than react in a knee-jerk way and triple the price of a ticket, movie theaters (and any venue for that matter) can simply review the perception of value as seen by their customers. Are ticket fees described in plain English? Do the fees represent a true expense that is justifiably part of the cost of providing the entertainment? More specifically, does the ticketing software being used automatically charge both the venue and the consumer a high per-ticket fee?
Wall of MEGA Woes
The weekly Wall of Woe is where you will find the loudest cries from angry ticket buyers, often making mention of the venues by name. This week in the DSL forum, which is read by millions of people every week, the hottest topic of discussion is [drum roll] mega ticket fees.
Another major complaint I have about Ticketmaster or more specifically about the venues that use them is the exorbitant handling fees charged. You would think I could go down to the local venue and buy tickets at face value without any overhead costs considering they have people in the box office anyway. Instead I have to go online or use a telephone to go through Ticketmaster and pay them $10 per ticket for the PRIVILEGE of using them!
While the mega-rant continues in the DSL forum, here is a tiny sampling of the mega-amounts of tweets decrying outrageous per-ticket fees...
The "et al" in that last tweet by Adam Campbell is noteworthy. Et al is a Latin abbreviation for "all others included", which would include your venue - be that right or wrong. Rather than get lumped into the group of high fee charging venues, why not take control over ticket fees to the benefit of both yourself and your customers?
ThunderTix does not charge you, or your customers, per-ticket fees. You can sell tickets, no fees. We let you decide on what fees to charge, if any, and provide the tools to intelligently mange how they are presented during the ticket purchase process. If your current ticketing software charges you or your customers fees, consider switching to ThunderTix. You can sell tickets online with no fees. If you need to see for yourself how much money you could save by switching to ThunderTix, check out our online ticket fee calculator.