Nolte: Bruce Springsteen Manager Defends Outrageous Ticket Prices

bruce springsteen
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Bruce Springsteen’s longtime manager Jon Landau is now defending those $4,300 ticket prices.

Who’s your working-class hero now?

“In pricing tickets for this tour, we looked carefully at what our peers have been doing,” his manager, Jon Landau, said in a statement published in the far-left New York Times. “We chose prices that are lower than some and on par with others.

“Regardless of the commentary about a modest number of tickets costing $1,000 or more, our true average ticket price has been in the mid-$200 range,” he added. “I believe that in today’s environment, that is a fair price to see someone universally regarded as among the very greatest artists of his generation.”

On what planet is charging $200 per ticket — per ticket — defensible? You’re talking $400 per couple! You’re talking $800 for a family of four!

It’s outrageous and an act of naked greed. Springsteen just sold his catalog for hundreds of millions of dollars. How much more money does this guy need?

That’s not even the worst of it…

According to the Times, Team Springsteen approved of the Ticketmaster price policy that allows prices to explode into the thousands [emphasis added]:

Since then, Ticketmaster, which is handling most of the U.S. shows on Mr. Springsteen’s tour next year, has tried to wear the white hat, at least some of the time. In an interview … Michael Rapino, the chief executive of Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, noted that many tickets for the best concerts and other events had a much higher street value the moment Ticketmaster sold them. Why shouldn’t an artist capture most of that excess? Prices that are too low open the door for scalpers to make more money — via the profit they gain from selling at the true market price — than performers make themselves.

If artists do want to capture that, Ticketmaster is prepared to help — and to take a fee for doing so. And that’s what Mr. Springsteen seemed to be doing here, using Ticketmaster’s “Official Platinum” system, in which seats are “dynamically priced up and down based on demand.”

And it was through that Springsteen-approved system that ticket prices soared to as high as $4,300.

Ticketmaster claims 88.2 percent of the Springsteen tickets were sold at set prices, as though that’s a defense when set prices are $200 each. We only gouged 11.8 percent of our fans isn’t much of a defense either, nor is We’r scalping ytou instead of the scalpers.

“This broke our spirit,” said Pete Maimone, a real estate agent in North Brunswick, N.J., who coordinates a face-value-only ticket exchange for longtime fans. He has shut it down for now, he told me, while fighting back tears. “We did not want to participate any longer in this clear-as-day scheme to extract money from fans,” he said.

“Clear as day” is exactly right.

Obviously, Springsteen doesn’t need the money. So what this is all about is prestige and legacy and records. When you’re charging $4,300 a ticket, you start breaking house records. That’s what these greedy “working class heroes” are after.

Ticketmaster has been a villain for decades. The company, which gouges you on fees, also has a monopoly. Nevertheless, artists like Springsteen refuse to band together to put an end to this outrage. Part of it is greed. Part of it is arrogance. Another part of it, though, is how out of touch they’ve become with their own fans.

Springsteen no longer embraces the working class. On the contrary, he despises the working class. He sees them as racists and rubes and Nazis and ignorant.

Springsteen is an elitist now, a Davos guy, a private-jet-flying fascist just like the rest of them.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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