Ticketmaster has never been a favorite of consumers, but its post-pandemic business plans are setting a new standard for anger, as its surge pricing tactics have soared to new heights as large-scale live events have gotten back underway. The latest fans to feel the sting are those of pop-punk stalwarts Blink 182, which will tour as its original trio for the first time in a decade. As tickets went on sale for their sprawling 2023 and 24 shows last week, the reaction was swift and brutal to the prices and other issues experienced.

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The fan reaction was so negative that band member Mark Hoppus addressed the furor publicly.

“I understand that the ticketing can be frustrating. I bought tickets for two of our shows myself just to see what the experience was like,” Hoppus said in a post on discord. “I had tickets yoinked from my cart and the whole thing crash out. Dynamic pricing. I’m not in charge of it. It’s meant to discourage scalpers. We’re trying to bring you the best possible show for the best price. This is a tour celebrating new music and the band getting back together. Thank you for your enthusiasm and I hope to see all of you at the shows.”

His response does conveniently leave out some important details – for example, that the band is actually “in charge” of the pricing, in that they have to agree to letting Ticketmaster/Live Nation turn on those systems when their fans go to buy tickets.


Perhaps the most astute coverage of the debacle came from Vice, as Jason Koebler wrote in a piece titled (with their usual taste for subtlety) Blink-182 Tickets are So Expensive Because Ticketmaster is a Disastrous Monopoly and Now Everyone Pays Ticket Broker Prices. (Or: Why you are not ever getting an inexpensive ticket to a popular concert ever again).

The way that dynamic pricing works is that for many seats in a venue, there is no longer really a “face value” price of a ticket, and that prices for many events are now as high as people are willing to pay, as determined by an algorithm. This has been likened to Uber’s surge pricing, which fluctuates based on demand and a raft of other unclear metrics.


Here is how Ticketmaster opaquely explains it: “In some instances, events on our platform may have tickets that are ‘market-priced,’ so ticket and fee prices may adjust over time based on demand. This is similar to how airline tickets and hotel rooms are sold and is commonly referred to as ‘Dynamic Pricing.’”

Basically, in the traditional ticket sales ecosystem, tickets went on sale, and the majority went to fans of the group who want nothing but to see the show. Some small percentage of the tickets went to individuals who either were willing to part with them if the price was right, or by individuals who purchased with intent to speculate and resell them for a profit. To answer this, Ticketmaster and Live Nation have convinced many artists – Blink 182, Bruce Springsteen, Phish, Dead & Company, The Weeknd, Harry Styles, and scores of others – that the solution is to put the “dynamic” pricing in place, which basically charges everybody the price that the small number of speculators would have in the original scenario.

This is good for the bands (hey, they make more money!), and extra good for Ticketmaster and Live Nation (their fees are based off a percentage cut of sales – percentages that are higher when the prices are higher). They are not so good for consumers, who are now stuck paying outrageous prices when tickets go on sale, for practically every seat in the house.

Reactions have been steadily getting harsher and harsher as 2022 has slogged on for live music fans. It will be very interesting to see what happens when Live Nation reports its quarterly earnings next month. In recent earnings reports, the company has crowed about how high its record profits have soared, largely built off of dynamic pricing carving them a much larger piece of the pie. They may be less interested in highlighting that “success” with so many of their clients having to answer to angry fans over the pricing scheme generating those record profits.

Blink 182 Ticket Links

Tickets at MEGASeats.com | No Service Charge/Free Shipping – 10% Off Using Code TICKETNEWS
Tickets at Event Tickets Center
Tickets at Scorebig
Tickets at StubHub
Tickets at Ticket Club | Free Membership Offer
Tickets at TicketNetwork
Tickets at TickPick
Tickets at TicketSmarter



+With Support from Wallows

March 11 – Tijuana, MX – Imperial GNP (Festival)
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^With Support from The Story So Far

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Last Updated on October 21, 2022