Springsteen's Verizon Concert Oversold

ASSOCIATED PRESS -- Thousands of Bruce Springsteen fans who bought premium seats to his concert at the Verizon Center on Monday are being told they don't actually have tickets.

TicketsNow.com, a resale company owned by Ticketmaster, says it sold too many tickets.

Company representatives have been calling fans to tell them the bad news.

Customers are getting refunds, along with free seats much further from the stage than the ones they had paid for.

TicketsNow says the Verizon Center show is the only one with the problem.


Were you one of the Bruce fans who got the call from TicketsNow? If so, email us at postrock(at)post(dot)com


UPDATE: Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), perhaps the leading Ticketmaster critics in the Congress, has issued a statement condemning TicketsNow: "It is outrageous that hundreds of loyal Bruce Springsteen fans will end up shut out of the Verizon Center this Monday because of Ticketmaster and its subsidiary TicketsNow's shameful business practices. "TicketsNow is apparently not only in the business of gouging consumers by selling tickets at several times their face value, but also selling tickets that they don't even have.

"Time and time again Ticketmaster has claimed that these repeated incidents of price gouging and consumer fraud represent exceptions and not the rule. This most recent incident makes it clear as day that we need more transparency and accountability in the secondary ticket market."


PROGRAMMING NOTE: We're publishing archival Springsteen concert reviews and photos on Post Rock through Monday. You can find them through our Bruce Springsteen index page.

By J. Freedom du Lac |  May 13, 2009; 11:54 AM ET Springsteen , Ticket Madness
Previous: All Systems Intact: The Thermals | Next: Halloween, Alaska: Live Last Night


Please email us to report offensive comments.

So, the monopoly has more credit-card numbers now and it is making money off YOUR MONEY!

Posted by: bs2004 | May 13, 2009 1:17 PM

Buying tickets in this town is a joke. Ticket brokers get the first crack at the good seats and the legitimate fan is banished to the back of the venue...unless they want to pay extortionate amounts to the broker that has the inside connection. It's totally unfair to say the least.

If you want to get good seats at a fair price and you're willing to drive a couple of hours, go to Hershey PA or some similar small town and avoid the DC ticket broker scam.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | May 13, 2009 1:18 PM

It hasn't been oversold. The official scalpers just sold people seats that didn't actually exist. Clearly, since there were 400 section seats available for the people who got bum deals on TicketsNow, the concert wasn't oversold at all.

Ticket "brokers" on TicketsNow aren't even supposed to sell tickets that they don't have in hand, if you look at the TOS. The stink of this started years ago when TM and TN joined forces, but the stink for this particular show started on the on-sale date, when people logged on exactly when tickets went on sale on TM, and TM redirected them to TicketsNow--where brokers apparently had dozens of great seats for sale. Didn't just happen with the DC show, either.

Posted by: dkp01 | May 13, 2009 1:22 PM

Ahh...ticket brokers. You gotta love em!

Posted by: richs91 | May 13, 2009 1:35 PM

Something was definitely screwy with the online tickets sales. As soon as sales opened, I was directed to the TicketsNow site. I refuse to believe they were already sold out, and I refused to buy anything from TicketsNow. So I bought tickets to the Charlottesville show (last Tuesday), had great seats, and had a great time in a better arena. Sure, it's a longer drive, but it was worth it.

Posted by: brrfva | May 13, 2009 1:36 PM

this is outrageous ... I was one of the thousands who got f#*ked by Ticketmaster in the original sale, was in the system within 1 minute of sales opening and got nothing but a kick-over to the other shill/extortion ticketseller's site.

I refuse to play that game so bought nothing.

I'll be very interested to see how this is handled in Bruce's camp, he must be furious (I believe he still does care about doing right by his fans).

This fan of 36+ yrs. (way, way, way back) is so pissed I don't know when I'll buy another concert ticket to see him.

Posted by: fendertweed | May 13, 2009 1:45 PM

fendertweed, I hope you consider lurking around Verizon Center for a cheap ticket on Monday. Maybe you won't get a great seat, but with luck, you'll be in the building for below face. Honestly, I'm sick and tired of ticket brokers and scalpers, and I'd like to see them get hosed wherever possible.

Posted by: dkp01 | May 13, 2009 1:48 PM

yep, I realize that may be the best shot ... last time I went (Nov. '06 (?)) I got 2 200 levels via BTX at face value the day before the show.


Posted by: fendertweed | May 13, 2009 2:17 PM

Scam - it's impossible to oversell tickets. You know how many seats you have and with a computer system it's easy to keep track.

Everyone's money is giving them more in their account and they're getting interest. They should be taken to court.

Posted by: rlj611 | May 13, 2009 2:26 PM

They're all scumbags. I bought tickets for Clapton/Winwood at Verizon from GoTickets, it took three weeks to get them delivered (they didn't have the tickets when they put them up for sale, obviously) and they weren't the seats I ordered. For that I pay a frigging SERVICE charge? What BS.

Stay away from GoTickets. There not even on Verizon's list of re-sellers.

Posted by: st50taw | May 13, 2009 3:18 PM

The only ticket reseller I use if Plus1tickets.com, but that's because it's run by a friend of my daughter. I've never had an issue with them. Otherwise, I wouldn't use a reseller. You can always get tickets the day of the show. I also went to the Charlottesville show. Bruce teamed up with the local food bank who sold some tickets for $20. Fantastic show, but he relied a bit too much on post-2000 material. John Paul Jones Arena is 1000 times better than Verizon Center. Horrible sound. I'll never go back to a concert there.

Posted by: stucress | May 13, 2009 3:24 PM

You mean I'll be stuck looking at the back of his head from the nosebleeds (or the back of the stage) when better seats sit empty in front of him?

Sign me,

Already in the building but peeved

Posted by: rickblum | May 13, 2009 3:46 PM

As much as I love Bruce, the only place I will see a show is Wolftrap or the Birchmere. The prices are reasonable, and they treat you like adults. I am content to spend my Bruce money on bootlegged concerts.

Posted by: am_smythe | May 13, 2009 3:48 PM

You do realize that there are hundreds of Bruce shows available on the web for free, right? Don't send your Bruce money to bootleggers.

Posted by: KennyBrockelstein | May 13, 2009 4:47 PM

The reason that these problems occur is that ticket prices are set too low, so even people who aren't die-hard fans are willing to try for tickets.

Posted by: bokamba | May 13, 2009 8:15 PM

I went online to get tickets to Springsteen the second they went on sale, could not even get one ticket. Kept being referred to TicketsNow site. I ended up getting tickets to Bruce at HersheyPark, who does not sell their tickets through ticketmaster. I"ll be going there on Friday. I won't go through ticketmaster for anything again. Something has to be done about their monopoly and evil practices.

Posted by: jiminytoby | May 13, 2009 8:39 PM

"You do realize that there are hundreds of Bruce shows available on the web for free, right? Don't send your Bruce money to bootleggers."

Agreed. Just check out any of the major Springsteen sites. Only suckers (or die-hard original silvers purists) pay for boots.

Posted by: sshopper | May 13, 2009 10:54 PM

After repeated run-arounds from TicketsNow (shall I say TicketSnow) about where my 400-Section nosebleed tickets are, I too am curious how they are offering tickets there to Big Rollers as a consolation prize. Pressing for info, I find I'm actually a customer of Premier Events, whose broken promises on shipping are parroted by the 'Snow operators. (And I love Premier's motto, which says it all -- see www.premierevents.us) I've urged agent Jon Landau to arrange a press conference Monday at NPC to get the Boss to speak out on these ticket industry shenanigans directly to Washingtonians. C'mon Jon.

Posted by: Scrawler | May 14, 2009 10:53 AM

I commend Springsteen agent Jon Landau for speaking up for the Post's story today by Neely Tucker on the ticket fiasco. It's not the artist's fault, but starpower brings the booming voice whose echo will hopefully improve ticket business practices in the future. Julia Vander Ploeg (for TicketsNow) is doing her job, but there are still a couple of holes in the company's story. Not to fault his effort today, but wouldn't it be nice if Mr. Tucker had some time for serious investigative journalism to peel back the layers of this ticket business. Today I got my third promise of a new ship date (now promising Saturday delivery) and my second hollow FedEx tracking link. And if it ends up in a refund, at least I'll know the Springsteen organization stuck its neck out, at least a little. I read in Wired that Ticketmaster has a lock on venues, with exclusive deals for 75 to 90 percent of seats in major markets, and perhaps artists feel a little pressure to play nicely with Ticketmaster's Irving Azoff, who in other news accounts has apologized for our DC debacle.

Posted by: Scrawler | May 15, 2009 10:26 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2010 The Washington Post Company