When rock-folk legend and working-class hero Bruce Springsteen announced an eight-week engagement performing intimate shows of music and storytelling at Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre this summer, fans knew tickets would be difficult to purchase. Now a three-times extended show that will run into June 2018, Springsteen on Broadway has become the new Hamilton.

Tickets went on sale this morning for the third (and possibly last) extension to The Boss’ Broadway run through Ticketmaster Verified Fan, and as expected, mayhem ensued.

Each of the previously scheduled sixteen weeks of Springsteen also went on sale through the Verified Fan program, which Ticketmaster says was designed to combat bot software and scalpers and keep tickets off the secondary market. The program requires would-be ticket buyers to register weeks ahead of onsale for a chance to be “verified” and receive a unique code that allows the opportunity, but not the guarantee, to purchase tickets. There was so much participation in the original onsale that additional registration for the extension was not offered.


Whether or not the program has been successful in preventing resale has been a topic of debate since the program’s inception; in an interview with KindredCast podcast this fall, Live Nation (Ticketmaster’s parent company) CEO Michael Rapino said that Verified Fan has seen an estimated 90 percent success rate in “blocking tickets from being purchased by bots and brokers while getting the good seats into the hands of fans”.

The repercussions of Verified Fan, however, has been an increase in face value pricing – an attempt to close the gap of what brokers are able to charge for resale – but also an increase in secondary market pricing, because less supply equals higher demand.

There’s also, as many fans point out, issues with the technical process of the program – from faulty codes to lengthy standby times to not receiving a code at all. In emails made public by their lawsuit with Songkick, it was admitted by a Ticketmaster executive that “there is no algorithm to determine true fans…that’s crowdsurge BS”.

Therefore, whether or not a fan gets a code is up to chance. Given this unfortunate reality, Ticketmaster might benefit from rethinking the program’s marketing strategy; the very idea that “truer” fans get “verified” and others do not has caused a good deal of hurt feelings, as expressed on Twitter.

Those “verified” fans who did receive a code reported all kinds of difficulties in their user experience.


And for many more who could get through, they were sorely disappointed by the ticket prices.


Verified Fan has caused higher prices, a complicated buying process, and a lottery system that leaves some fans without the chance to even try. Even if the program has indeed cut down on the amount of inventory that ends up on the secondary market, can it still be called a success?

springsteen verified fan


Last Updated on December 20, 2017