Arcade Fire’s upcoming tour in support of The Suburbs rolls into Madison Square Garden in New York City on August 5th. Yesterday, the band announced that the MSG show will be webcast live via YouTube. Fans will be able to preview songs from the new album during the broadcast. The Canadian group recently posted a trailer for the webcast featuring audio from Rococo – an as-of-yet unheard tune from The Suburbs. Take a look…
Let’s take a look at six other stories of interest this hump day…
Finally, Live Nation continues to introduce promotions in an attempt to fill amphitheaters this summer. The latest ploy involves $10 tickets for a large number of participating events across the country. You can almost hear the guarantees dropping for most bands next summer.
Live Nation held a meeting for the company’s investors at Irving Plaza in which the company tried to allay shareholder’s concerns about the sad state of the live music biz these days. One of the slides LN showed investors details the “anatomy of a concert ticket.”
The general public may think that promoters make money hand over fist from $100+ tickets, but as you can see that’s not usually the case. Talent demands ridiculous amounts of money from LN.
Here’s a quick look at six other stories of interest…
Finally, moe. played in Billings, MT last night and sadly didn’t tackle the nasty “PLAY THIS BITCHES” setlist the PT admins suggest for them. moe. recently announced the rest of the lineup for moe.down XI as Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Lotus, Turbine, Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds, and Orgone have been added to the bill.
Earlier this year, Merriweather Post Pavilion became the first major venue in the country to shift from using Live Nation/Ticketmaster for ticketing since the companies merged. As you might remember from April’s Phish onsales, MPP has started selling tickets through Ticketfly.com, just one of 50 venues that has signed on with the company since it was founded in 2008.Wired’s Epicenter blog profiled Ticketfly and it looks like this “david” may have a shot against the Live Nation/Ticketmaster “goliath.”
There are two groups that Ticketfly needs to win over – consumers and venue operators/promoters. By offering venue operators who are in competition with Live Nation a chance to keep business away from Live Nation, Ticketfly has been able to take advantage of the animosity surrounding the merger helping them to sign on the 9:30 Club, Brooklyn Bowl, Maxwell’s and the aforementioned Merriweather Post Pavilion as clients. Live Nation/Ticketmaster contracts with venues expire all the time giving Ticketfly a chance to gain market share over the next few years.
Does using Ticketfly lead to lower prices for us ticket buying folk? According to the AP, “Ticketfly boasts that its add-on fees are on average 40 percent lower than those charged by Ticketmaster, and that it has no charge for printing tickets at home.” One thing Ticketfly needs to work on is their ability to handle high-demand shows. We had a bitch of a time getting on to the site when Phish tickets went on sale.
The ticketing landscape continues to evolve and despite what you might have heard, Ticketmaster/Live Nation isn’t the only player in the field. AEG and Comcast/Spectacor are in the ticket selling business, but unlike Ticketfly both of those companies own venues. Will Ticketfly’s focus on selling tickets and lowering service fees allow them to compete with the big boys? Reality says TM/LN has control of too many venues and has too much cash to lose much ground. Yet, if Ticketfly really cut fees by 40% without raising the base price, we sure hope more promoters and venues turn to them.
Remember when Ticketmaster and Live Nation promised that a merger of the two companies would lead to lower ticket prices? We’re only one quarter into LN/TM’s reign of terror & already the company’s CEO, Michael Rapino, has hinted in a conference call yesterday that increasing the face value of tickets is part of the company’s plan for the future. Anybody surprised?
Apparently, TicketsNow has lost tons of business because LN/TM can’t link to the ticket reselling site leading Rapino to try to get the artists themselves to increase the price of premium tickets moving forward.
Let’s take a quick peek at what else is goin’ on this hump day…
List Time: Urlesque’s Top 11 Bluegrass Covers on YouTube
Finally, we’ve been keeping tabs on Stones Week, but Jimmy Fallon isn’t the only late night host to book great bands this week. Last night, MGMT played a set at the Ed Sullivan Theatre as part of the Live on Letterman series. You can watch the entire performance below…
The Justice Department has approved the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger after a year-long investigation. While we’d usually greet such a seemingly anti-competitive decision with anger and animosity, the Justice Department has thrown in a few conditions to their approval which gives us a little hope that this won’t be the worst thing to ever happen to concertgoers.
Not only does the new company have to sell one of its ticketing divisions but it must license its software to a competitor. It’s quite possible these divestitures will ensure that there are two formidable competitors to Live Nation/TM’s throne. Also, LN/TM will be subject to “tough anti retaliation provisions” for the next 10 years that “aim to prevent abuse of its powers over concert tours, artist management, ticketing and theaters.” [NYT]
These conditions seem like a good start, but we’ve got a few others we’d like to see the Department of Justice make the new company observe…
Ticketmaster/Live Nation promises not to refer to exorbitant fees as “convenience charges” anymore
Ticketmaster/Live Nation promises not to re-direct customers to one of their in-house scalpers for instantly sold-out shows
TM/LN promises not to sell any more Creed or Nickelback tickets
TM/LN promises to entertain customers with a joke while we wait 15 minutes to see if tickets are available to a high-demand event
TM/LN promises not to add “Oxygen Usage Fee” to ticket prices
TM/LN promises to make water bottle caps available at all venues
TM/LN promises to stop charging for “the right” to print your own tickets
TM/LN promises to print the actual price you paid on the ticket
TM/LN promises to stop killing puppies & pushing seniors down stairs
Thanks to Ace for the assist. What other conditions do you think should be added to the agreement? Let us know by leaving a comment…
Following the bold footsteps of UK regulators who earlier this month issued a preliminary challenge to the Ticketmaster-Live Nation proposed merger, US anti-trust regulators are following suit, not going as far as to rule out the merger entirely, but making it quite clear that in its current form the deal will not likely go through. According to an article in Bloomberg, the vertical integration of the various segments of the music industry pose a direct threat in affording a competitive marketplace for ticket sales.
Regulators are concerned the combined company’s presence in nearly every piece of live entertainment — including artist management, venue operation, concert promotion and ticketing — will undermine the ability for rivals to emerge and create competition that would bring down ticket prices, another person said.
Among concessions under consideration may be finding a way to allow a viable competitor in primary ticketing, one of the people said.
Now, in order to make concessions and ease some of the concerns regarding the concentration of power with regard to the ticketing element of the deal, reports show that the two companies are weighing their options with regard to possible divestitures, the leading candidate being a sale of Pacolian – a Ticketmaster acquisition from 2007 aimed to beef up the Ticketmaster client base. READ ON for more…
A press release issued today by Show Clix, a ticketing company based out of Pittsburgh, stated that they will be establishing what they call a ‘Fair Ticketing Fund’ which is a:
Multi-million dollar [fund] to help venues and event promoters become independent of the company being created through the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger. Through the fund, ShowClix will provide venues and promoters who want to operate independent of Ticketmaster/Live Nation with tens of thousands of dollars in funding; a new ticketing system, at no cost; and a significant reduction in service fees for their ticket buyers.
We, the fans, have been waiting for a miracle. Perhaps this is it? One can only hope that promoters and venues who want to offer their customers an alternative to Ticketmaster will look to this as a viable option.
The initial lineup for the 13th Annual All Good Music Festival was released yesterday and moe., Bob Weir and RatDog and Relentless7 lead the charge on July 9-12 at Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, WV. All Good has always been all about the jammers and this year’s festival is no different with STS9, Les Claypool, YMSB and Tea Leaf joining the aforementioned bands.
With 40 hours of live music promised on two adjacent stages, All Good’s a rare festival where you can actually catch every band’s set. No need to worry about conflicts when the schedule comes out. Head to allgoodfestival.com for all the details and the full lineup announcement.
Let’s take one last look at what’s happening elsewhere this week…
Finally, potential Live Nation customers who want to see how much tickets for an event that hasn’t gone on sale yet are shit out of luck. Want to buy a ticket to see Thievery Corporation at the Fillmore when they go on sale tomorrow? You won’t find any info at ln.com. We’ve written Live Nation in hopes of getting them to change this shady practice. [HT - Bret]
In a story that will affect music-loving consumers for many years to come, ticketing giants Live Nation and Ticketmaster have confirmed their intention to merge. Both companies have come under scrutiny lately for their mishandling of Phish and Bruce Springsteen onsales, but no one really saw this merger coming before last Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal article.
Luckily, this merger isn’t fait acompli yet. We’ve got anti-trust regulations in this country and we hope the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission doesn’t allow the #1 and #2 ticket sellers in the nation to merge. New York’s senior Senator Chuck Schumer is already on the case:
“This merger would give a giant, new entity unrivaled power over concertgoers and the prices they pay to see their favorite artists and bands,” the senator said in an e-mailed statement. “It must be viewed skeptically and scrutinized with a fine-toothed comb by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.” [NYT]
I’ve never voiced an objection to a merger before, but I’ll be writing Senator Schumer about this deal that is sure to lead to even more exorbitant ticket prices. I don’t see a scenario where the consumer doesn’t get the shaft coming out of this merger regardless of what the CEOs of Ticketmaster and Live Nation may say. Bruce Springsteen agrees with me, do you?
Those of you longing for the days when Ticketmaster sold tickets for Live Nation events just might get your wish. The Wall Street Journal just reported that Ticketmaster and Live Nation are close to a merger. If the merger goes through, you can say goodbye to Live Nation’s ticketing system.
The war between industry giants Live Nation and Ticketmaster continues to heat up with the news that ticketing newcomer Live Nation has struck a deal with Blockbuster to sell tickets at roughly 500 Blockbuster locations. Video stores have become a relic in these Netflix days, so kudos to the world’s largest video rental chain for trying to expand into new areas.
What’s interesting about the deal is that Blockbuster will be given an exclusive block of tickets during the first four hours of availability. Will this lead to a return to the days of camping out for ducats to your favorite show? I sure hope not, that shit was not very pleasant – especially in the winter.
Finally, yesterday marked the 25th Anniversary of Phish’s first concert and phans around the country took to their blogs to discuss the occasion. We’ve rounded ‘em all up at You Enjoy Myblog, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the best articles of the day. Relix celebrated the anniversary by reprinting Phish’s first appearance in the mag from 1989. Speaking of Relix, Associate Editor Mike Greenhaus shares 26 “artifacts” (articles, images, videos, links and mp3s) that somehow relate to Phish at The Greenhaus Effect. Hopefully the band members celebrated with a sicky sicky jam.
If you were like me, one of the first thoughts you had during President-elect Barack Obama’s speech to the masses at Chicago’s Grant Park on Tuesday night was how cool it was that he was acknowledging his victory at the home of Lollapalooza. It turns out C3 Productions, the same folks who produce Lollapalooza, staged the election night bash.
Lollapalooza won’t be returning to its roots as a traveling festival anytime soon thanks to a 10 year deal struck between C3 and the city of Chicago. The festival turned into a nice revenue stream for the city, bringing in over $1.6 million this summer. Be sure to read Jim DeRogatis’ article for more.
Let’s end the week with one final link dump for good measure…
List Time: 9 Most Inappropriate Soundtrack Choices
We’re sad to report that Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops passed away on Friday at the age of 72. Stubbs’ raw edgy vocals brought a sense of urgency to songs such as Reach Out I’ll Be There and Standing in the Shadows of Love. Levi influenced many artists that came after him including Billy Bragg. For more on Stubb’s legacy, be sure to read Greg Kot’s article.
As we gear up for the big Live Nation / Ticketmaster war next year, Live Nation has started making deals with venues to sell tickets exclusively. Just last week LN signed one of those pacts with the Roseland Ballroom.
In a battle of two corporate behemoths, Live Nation continues to face off with Ticketmaster for the extremely lucrative live entertainment ticketing business. Live Nation scored a major victory in the latest round by making a five-year deal with a third corporate giant, SMG, to sell tickets at most of the SMG’s facilities.
Live Nation ticketing expects to sell 10 million tickets in their first year of operation which will probably start in the middle of 2009 when their current deal with Ticketmaster expires. That number should jump dramatically in the second and third year of operations for LN Ticketing. We haven’t heard the last of this war.
Let’s take another look at what’s happening elsewhere:
One more item before we go: The Mirage in Las Vegas recently unveiled details of a $25 million facelift for their world famous faux volcano. The 20-year old landmark’s getting a slew of fireball-throwing devices that will be choreographed to erupt on cue with a soundtrack co-composed by the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart. For the Mirage’s sake, let’s hope there’s no rapping involved. [via The AP]
We’ve got our first “You Be The Judge” situation of 2008. Andrew Hoepfner of little-known indie band Creaky Boards accuses Coldplay’s Chris Martin of stealing the melody of Viva La Vida in a viral video that’s tearing up the interwebs. Check out the video and let us know what you think. You Be The Judge!!!
I think the melodies sound similar, but aren’t exactly the same. It doesn’t matter though, the 370,000+ people who saw this video now know exactly who Creaky Boards are. Everyone’s a winner thanks to YouTube!
Finally, Live Nation’s Mike Luba got himself in a bit of trouble when he told a group of Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners that his firm wanted to do away with Jazz during a meeting over a proposed festival that Live Nation wants to bring to the city. Luba told the Sun-Sentinel that he spoke “totally in the moment, to break the tension,” and that “it was 100 percent a joke.” What a funny guy!