Pearl Jam, Ticketmaster End Feud To Combat Ticket Resale Pearl Jam, Ticketmaster End Feud To Combat Ticket Resale
Updated 1/16: Ticketmaster issued a statement on Pearl Jam’s decision to use SafeTix. “Pearl Jam has a long-standing commitment to protecting and advocating for... Pearl Jam, Ticketmaster End Feud To Combat Ticket Resale

Updated 1/16: Ticketmaster issued a statement on Pearl Jam’s decision to use SafeTix.

“Pearl Jam has a long-standing commitment to protecting and advocating for their fans, and keeping ticket prices fair is central to that promise. To ensure tickets are not offered to fans above face value, the band decided that all tickets for their tour would not be transferable to avoid resale at inflated prices. Non-transferability is being extensively communicated to fans throughout the announcement and sales process.  Recognizing that some fans may be unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances, the band also requested that Ticketmaster develop a first-of-its-kind, Fan-to-Fan Face Value Ticket Exchange, where fans can sell their tickets at face value (including fees from original purchase) to other fans. The Exchange is free for both buyers and sellers to use without any additional fees. To eliminate consumer confusion, Ticketmaster has also notified major secondary marketplaces and resellers that tickets for this tour are not available for resale.”

Pearl Jam announced a tour earlier this week to support their first record in seven years, Gigaton. However, this time around, the band has put aside their shaky past with Ticketmaster to team up and battle the secondary market.

Back in the ’90s, the rock group took a stand against the ticketing giant and fought to end their monopoly in the ticket market across the country. They rebelled against Ticketmaster’s massive surcharges and began boycotting venues that used the ticketing service as their ticket vendor. The band even spoke before the U.S. Congress, arguing that they had tried to keep ticket prices below $20, but Ticketmaster added high service fees. While the pair were known enemies, it seems that the feud has faded over time.

Now, to some fans’ surprise, Pearl Jam is offering tickets to their upcoming tour via Ticketmaster’s encrypted ticketing technology SafeTix. The group shared a video announcing the news this week.

“To give fans the best chance to buy tickets at face value for this tour, Pearl Jam has decided that tickets will be mobile only and strictly non-transferable,” a statement from the group read. “Ticket purchasers will be required to enter the venue with their guests. Ticketmaster SafeTix mobile tickets will be issued for all tickets for all shows and requires a smartphone to display.”

SafeTix, the controversial technology which was introduced by Ticketmaster last year, automatically refreshes every few seconds to offer a unique barcode. This means that tickets cannot be screenshotted or printed.

“No other tickets will be accepted for entry,” Pearl Jam added.

Fans must sign up through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program to gain access to the presale on January 23, followed by a general onsale on January 24. Those who are unable to attend the show after purchasing tickets will be able to sell their ticket through Ticketmaster’s Fan-To-Fan Exchange, which will launch on February 18. Fans can resell their tickets for the price they paid, including fees, and no fees will be charged to exchange users for buying or selling tickets on the exchange.

By using SafeTix, Pearl Jam is completely eliminating the secondary market. We’ve seen other artists use this tactic – like Taylor Swift and Harry Styles – and it hasn’t ended well. This past September, hundreds of fans were locked outside of the first Black Keys show in five years at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. Fans who tried to enter the show with tickets from StubHub were left outside the venue’s doors after being told their tickets were not valid, since promoters had shifted to using only Ticketmaster’s SafeTix system. The tickets were reportedly non-transferable, however, there was no evidence of  Ticketmaster’s claimed disclosure that tickets could not be transferred.

This wasn’t the only time SafeTix made headlines for negative experiences among users; fans at Penn State University complained about issues getting into games and NFL stadiums saw massive entry delays when the system was first introduced this past fall. Nonetheless, Ticketmaster stands by its argument that the system is important to combat counterfeit tickets, noting that “venue personnel are trained to recognize and scan only SafeTix enabled tickets, which ensures that only authentic and active SafeTix accounts will be admitted to the venue.”

It is unclear whether or not Ticketmaster will employ dynamic pricing on the secondary market, or whether fans will be able to sell tickets they can’t use at below face value on the resale system being introduced. TicketNews reached out to Ticketmaster for clarification.

  • Averell

    January 16, 2020 #1 Author

    Two states NY and CO have laws ensuring transferability of tickets…PJ shows in those 2 states will be able to be transferred to 3rd parties…we need the federal BOSS act to be passed so its the law of the land.


    • Woody Woodstock

      January 16, 2020 #2 Author

      Will be interesting to compare prices on the secondary market for tickets in NY and CO vs. other states. That will be the real test!


    • mark

      January 18, 2020 #3 Author

      BOSS Act, funny its named for Springsteen since he has been involved in some of the worst examples of insider scalping


  • Fnur Schmala

    January 16, 2020 #4 Author

    Hey, Pearl Jam … how much money did it take to get you to sell out? How much did it take for you guys to screw your fans senseless?


  • Cory Ness

    January 16, 2020 #5 Author

    I think it’s great if it works and is transparently communicated. Only a minority of shows can really pull this off but ticket speculation is out of control and some shows can have 80% of the inventory on the secondary market, which actually can increase bands’ pre-sales but affects fans. Bands should be able to restrict this if they are willing to take the financial hit.


    • mark

      January 17, 2020 #6 Author

      speculation is out of control thanks to TM having their own resale site. Since that happened ticket prices have more than doubled as well as TM fees.
      They have a nearly closed system selling on both primary and 2ndary mkt tix.


  • Peter Stuart

    January 16, 2020 #7 Author

    no question the culprit is Ticketmaster as its been in every ticketing issue for the past 10 years +.


  • David Brailsford

    January 17, 2020 #10 Author

    Hi Cory,
    In my experience, anytime a show has a large percentage of tickets on the secondary market, large being 1500-2000 tickets out of 20,000, the show is overbought and the ticket prices are probably at or below face price. I am not aware of any show being 80% resale. Can you tell me where you got that information from?

    Ticket speculation is a great chance for ticket end-users to get bargains. That is why sports franchises are working so hard to monopolize resale markets for their teams. They are doing everything they can to put in a price floor to artificially keep the price higher than a free-market would otherwise supply. That is also why for decades, in most cities, ticket holders were not allowed to resell tickets near venues. The venue did not want the cheap competition taking business away from the box office.

    “About 40 percent of tickets on the resale market sell for face value or less, according to the research company Forrester”

    “It used to be that the resale market was primarily for those willing to pay a big markup for sold-out events. But that’s changing as competition drives down prices and buyers get savvier about sniffing out deals.”

    Competition drives down prices, not up.


    • mark

      January 18, 2020 #11 Author

      you leave a small piece that changes everything else. with TM now being on both ends, primary and resale plus having control of how tickets are released and at what pace you entire argument falls apart. when you control every aspect of the life of a ticket it removes competition, not enhances it. when baseball season comes along at Yankee Stadium in April nite games for example, there are rows of seats at under faces, 24 seats across, 4-5 rows straight-obviously thats put up by the team. the resale mkt now is for people looking for a last minute deal. Now they are going to a dynamic barcode. That ties the ticket buyer even tighter to TM


  • AG

    January 17, 2020 #12 Author

    Secondary market isn’t keeping PJ ticket prices down for NY and CO where tickets are transferable.


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