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THE CURE Calls Out Ticketmaster Over Absurd Fees, Got Fans Partial Refunds

The conglomerate agreed to reduce fees at the band's request.

The Cure

When modern rock legends and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductees The Cure announced their upcoming 2023 North American tour earlier this month, the reception was electric. The band hasn't toured America since 2016, and this coming tour—dubbed the Shows of a Lost World tour—includes multiple night stands in Los Angeles's famed Hollywood Bowl and New York City's mecca, Madison Square Garden But one thing that caught eyes, alongside the fact the band were bringing and number of their hits to stages, was a statement regarding ticket prices and scalping. The band posted the following to social media on March 10:

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"We want the tour to be affordable for all fans," noting what they believed was a very fair tiered price range for each show.

"Our ticketing partners have agreed to help us stop scalpers from getting in the way; to help minimize resale and keep prices at face value, tickets for this tour will not be transferable."

The fact that the band had negotiated this in principle before tour was even announced is pretty astounding, considering most attempts to go up against ticket provider Ticketmaster (and its parent company Live Nation) have generally been in vain. Even attempts to engage Capitol Hill have been met largely with deaf ears, and so the precedent The Cure were setting was notable and surprising.

The band's statement continued by saying that “If something comes up that prevents a fan from being able to use a ticket they have purchased, they will be able [to] resell it on a face value ticket exchange.” There was, however, a caveat to all this, which The Cure went at length to explain in the post.

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“Unfortunately, despite our desire to protect our low ticket prices for fans, the states of NY, IL and CO make this very difficult – they actually have laws in place that protect scalpers! For shows in these states we urge fans to buy or sell tickets to one another on face value exchanges like and”

Now, in a new development, The Cure leader Robert Smith has, after further negotiation with Ticketmaster [Live Nation], requested and been obliged the return of several fees that Smith and Co. deemed unnecessary to fans who purchased tickets for The Cure's upcoming tour, tweeting the following on March 16:

"After further conversation, Ticketmaster have agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are unduly high," he wrote on Twitter, "and as a gesture of goodwill have offered a $10 per ticket refund to all Verified Fan accounts for lowest ticket prices ('LTP') transactions and a $5 per ticket refund to all Verified Fan accounts for all other ticket price transactions, for all Cure shows at all venues."

Smith also added, "If you already bought a ticket you will get an automatic refund; all tickets on sale tomorrow will incur lower fees."

The story is still developing as of this post, with indication yesterday that tickets for Cure shows in Miami, Tampa, Cleveland, Columbia, Boston and Atlanta were all sold today over the agreed upon price adjustment, which Ticketmaster acknowledged in a tweet no less than two hours later reading:

"This was on our radar early this morning and has already been resolved – refunds are in progress to fans for any costs over original ticket price. We stand with the band on their decision to use a Face Value Exchange and it will be enforced on our marketplace."

The Cure will release Songs of a Lost World, their first original album since 2008's 4:13 Dream, sometime this year. A date is expected to be announced soon. The Cure released their debut LP, Three Imaginary Boys, in 1979 and released their classic single "Boys Don't Cry" in June of that same year. Smith has remained the band's sole constant, as the line-up around him has evolved seemingly with the decades. The entire band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.

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