John Mayer Fights Scalpers

If only "60 Minutes" dedicated an hour to scalping…

But American media is famous for refusing to question the status quo or skimming over the details to the point where the point is not made.

Bottom line?

The acts like it this way.


The acts like to scalp their own tickets. The acts want you to believe Ticketmaster is to blame. In an era of transparency, you can count on the music business to believe in obfuscation.

The solution to ticket scalping is the acts.

1. No pre-sales

Just like the rest of America, concertgoing has turned into the haves and have-nots. If you have an American Express card, like your average teenager, you can buy early. The scalpers can’t get these cards, so they’re shut out.


The pre-sales are all about taking money for "advertising" that goes directly to the act’s bottom line. It’s as fan-friendly as those underpriced $35 t-shirts.

One tier of ticketing is necessary to solve this problem. We’re all in it together. Isn’t that what we claimed in the sixties?

But it hasn’t been that way for eons. The acts want to be like the fat cats, but both won’t admit that without the hoi polloi, without their fans, they’re nothing.

2. Paperless

To fight paperless is to fight health care.

WHOA! I just stepped in a pile of doody.

Since people know as much about health care as they do about ticketing, let me just say the anti-paperless people are those who are scalping tickets, they’re the problem, not the solution. As for you who buy more than you need and use StubHub to resell… Screw you. Buy what you need and leave the rest for your brethren. Come on people now, smile on your brother, love one another right now.

If you can’t go to the show, you can…

Sell on TicketExchange as Mayer allows you to do. With no more than a 20% markup.

3. Getting in is a hassle

But so is going to the show. The traffic, the parking.

If you can’t deal with a wait to get inside, STAY HOME!

4. Acts are afraid of paperless

Because once you mess with the scalpers, you deal with true demand, which may be less than believed. Did that many people really want to see Kraftwerk at MOMA? No, a bunch of enterprising scalpers felt they could charge more for the tickets.

Let me not confuse you.

Miley Cyrus went out paperless after that famous tour where the mommys cried they couldn’t get their kids in and…she didn’t sell out.

And her live business hasn’t been the same since.

So, you can allow scalping and give the illusion you’re a hot ticket or…

Go paperless and find out…not that many people want to see you.

5. Acts must make fair deals

Otherwise they incentivize the promoter to cheat/scalp.

6. All-in ticketing

Do they break out the taxes in bold numbers at the pump? Do you drive past the Exxon station and see a sign for $2 gas and then pump it and find you were charged $4? If you’re not for all-in pricing, you’re scum, you’re part of the problem, not the solution. Everybody on the inside knows the fees are profit, and without promoter and venue and ticket provider profit, you’ve got no touring business. You acts refusing to go to all-in ticket pricing just want to place the blame on everyone but yourself.

We could have some light shed on this problem in America, but nobody wants it, not the acts, promoters or venues. They like things the way they are.

It’s gonna take the acts to solve the problem. They must all sign a pledge not to break the code above.

Let’s see what happens.

Give Mayer credit for making this step.

Like I said yesterday, change starts with an individual.

Frequently, that individual pays a price for opening the door for everybody else.

Let’s hope John Mayer does not pay that price.

P.S. The promoters are not innocent. But change starts with the acts. They bring the people in, no one wants to go to a Live Nation show without a headliner. Acts must use their inherent leverage to right the wrongs in this business.

One Response to John Mayer Fights Scalpers


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  1. Pingback by David Ward Music | 2012/03/01 at 12:09:54

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  1. Pingback by David Ward Music | 2012/03/01 at 12:09:54

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