Concert promotions giant Live Nation is being sued by a New Jersey resident who claims the company’s parking and other fees at PNC Bank Arts Center, and Live Nation’s recent marketing initiative “No Fee Wednesdays,” are deceptive and unfair to consumers.
In the lawsuit filed on behalf of Michael Katz of Freehold, NJ, who is represented by the law firm Galex Wolf, LLC, it claims that Live Nation’s $6-$12 per ticket parking fee, which is charged whether a person walks or drives to a show at the venue, is “arbitrary and unfair.” In addition, the lawsuit also challenges the charging of a “charity fee” of as much as $1.25, even though the charity is not named.
As for the company’s No Fee Wednesdays promotion, the lawsuit claims that Live Nation jacks up the ticket price to essentially cover the difference of not separately charging the various fees.
Katz bought multiple tickets for the same show for friends and family on a regular day and on a no-fee day, and the tickets for bought on the no-fee day were reportedly higher. The lawsuit calls the practice “unlawful and deceptive,” and claims Live Nation is violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and Truth in Consumer Contract, Notice and Warranty Act.
Live Nation spokesperson John Vlautin said he had not yet seen the lawsuit and could not yet comment. Following complaints about the parking and charity fees this past March, he told TicketNews that the former “facility fee” had been in place for a number of years. “We have always operated under a system at PNC Bank Arts Center where parking is charged as a per ticket fee. This policy is in place to alleviate traffic issues that would be caused by customers stopping to pay a parking fee at the lot entrance.”
Vlautin added, “The charge is calculated based on our research that the average music fan comes to PNC with two people in their car. The per ticket charge helps to ensure that all fans can enter the venue in a timely and safe manner.”
The lawsuit comes as Live Nation works to convince federal regulators to approve its proposed merger with Ticketmaster, which the two companies hope to complete in the next several months.