Among the issues mentioned in argument against proposed paperless ticketing legislation in Connecticut has been that rocker Bruce Springsteen might skip playing in the Constitution State if such a bill were passed.
Springsteen’s possible reluctance to play in Connecticut on his next tour was floated to WTNH-TV by both state Sen. Paul Doyle, co-chairman of the General Assembly’s General Law Committee, and Charles Buckland IV, president of the Connecticut chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), but whether the artist’s camp actually said it is unknown. (See video below.)
According to Dave Steuber, spokesperson for Sen. Doyle, the senator never heard from anyone in Springsteen’s camp that he would forsake playing in the state if the bill were passed.
“The senator heard it from lobbyists,” Steuber told TicketNews, declining to elaborate on which lobbyists shared the information. “It was used as an example of an artist who might not come to the state.”
Buckland did not return a message seeking comment. “There’s no specific attribution for those statements,” Steuber added. The possibility of Springsteen not playing in Minnesota, where similar legislation was also recently shelved, was floated in those discussions, too.
The proposed bill, HB6298, is modeled after similar legislation in New York that prohibits ticket issuers from using restrictive paperless tickets that cannot be easily transferred. The New York bill became law in 2010, after Springsteen’s most recent tour in 2009.
During that tour, Springsteen played two separate dates in Connecticut; one at the XL Center and one at the Comcast Theatre, which are both located in Hartford. He used paperless tickets for some shows during that tour, but fans complained of delays and confusion over the identification and credit card requirement to gain entry.
Springsteen has not officially announced when he will tour again, nor has he released a list of cities/states where he will play.
Jon Landau, Springsteen’s manager, whose offices are located in Rowayton, CT, declined to confirm or deny whether anyone in the artist’s camp said he might not play in the state.
“Jon has no comment,” a spokesperson for Landau told TicketNews.
Late last month, the General Law Committee withdrew the proposed legislation and sent it to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection for further review, in part because of the Springsteen speculation and because one of the bill’s proponents, TicketNetwork, sued Bushnell Center CEO David Fay for defamation.
Don Vaccaro, CEO and founder of TicketNetwork, said Springsteen would be tarnishing his brand of being a “working class hero” if he threatened to pull out of playing in the state.
“I initially doubted that Springsteen threatened not to play Connecticut, and in particular threaten union workers, if the fan rights, transferable language bill passed,” Vaccaro said.
TicketNetwork is the parent company of TicketNews.