Bruce Springsteen Defends Ticketmaster Pricing: "I Want to Do What Everybody Else Is Doing"

"And the bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable. They're in that affordable range."

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Nov 18, 2022

Amid the whole Taylor Swift Ticketmaster fiasco, Bruce Springsteen is reminding us that his use of the platform's dynamic pricing model resulting in $5,000 tickets caused public outrage long before the clock struck Midnights (by a few months, at least).

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the Boss opened up about the backlash from fans, and broke down the thought process that happened behind the scenes.

"What I do is a very simple thing. I tell my guys, 'Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let's charge a little less,'" Springsteen told journalist Andy Greene. "That's generally the directions. They go out and set it out. For the past 49 years or however long we've been playing, we've pretty much been out there under market value. I've enjoyed that. It's been great for the fans."

However, for his first tour with the E Street Band since 2016, the singer-songwriter took a different approach: "This time I told them, 'Hey, we're 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers."

Springsteen continued, "But ticket buying has gotten very confusing, not just for the fans, but for the artists also. And the bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable. They're in that affordable range."

He also reminded us that a handful of outrageously expensive tickets — the best seats in the house — is nothing new. "We have those tickets that are going to go for that [higher] price somewhere anyway," the Boss explained. "The ticket broker or someone is going to be taking that money. I'm going, 'Hey, why shouldn't that money go to the guys that are going to be up there sweating three hours a night for it?'"

"It created an opportunity for that to occur," Springsteen surmised. "And so at that point, we went for it. I know it was unpopular with some fans. But if there's any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back."

According to Ticketmaster, the average cost of a ticket to the tour was $262 USD. 

"You certainly don't like to be the poster boy for high ticket prices. It's the last thing you prefer to be," Springsteen said of the criticism he's received for using the dynamic pricing model, which sees prices rise and fall between the date tickets go on sale and the day of the show based on demand. "But that's how it went. You have to own the decisions you have made and go out and just continue to do your best."

The Boss added, "I think if folks come to the show, they're going to have a good time."

Like he said earlier this week, Swift is welcome on E Street any time for a good time, although it's certain to be an expensive one to witness — that is, if you can even get your hands on a presale code.

But of course, we can't divorce this from the current touring climate: the likes of AnthraxAnimal CollectiveSantigold and Metronomy have cancelled tours due to the economic reality of 2022 touring, which Lorde recently described as a "demented struggle to break even or face debt."

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