The Cure’s Robert Smith Says Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan System Is ‘Far From Perfect’ as N. American Shows Go on Sale
Robert Smith is explaining the serious measures The Cure is taking to avoid outrageous ticket prices for their upcoming North American tour. In a shot across the bow at re-sellers, when the tickets for the 30-date run of Shows of a Lost World Tour went on sale Wednesday morning (March 15) to those who pre-registered using Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan system, will be non-transferrable in order to minimize resale and keep prices at face value.
The singer went on a tweet spree on Tuesday (March 14) in which he explicitly described how and why the veteran goth rockers decided to go their own way on this outing. “TM HAVE JUST TOLD ME ‘ALL tickets for The Cure Shows Of A Lost World Tour will be made available during tomorrow’s Verified Fan Sale,'” Smith tweeted, adding, “SEEMS THE RESPONSE TO REGISTRATION HAS BEEN PRETTY OVERWHELMING – THANKS! HOWEVER, I REALISE THERE ARE PROBLEMS, SOME MORE REAL THAN OTHERS…”
He then noted that the group had “final say” in all the ticket pricing for the tour, with Smith determined that those prices would not be “INSTANTLY AND HORRIBLY DISTORTED BY RESALE.” Smith referred to touts as being part of a “sophisticated business” expert at acquiring tickets and reselling them on marketplaces such as Vivid, Stubhub and Seatgeek.
Smith also revealed that the Cure were told that TM’s Verified Fan platform “has been used more than 400 times to qualify buyers and reduced the % of tickets on the secondary market” and that using VF has regularly reduced scalping by 80%, with less than 5% of tickets typically ending up on the secondary market.
By making the tickets non-transferable, scalpers will be unable to purchase tickets and then resell them for a profit since the original owner will have to be present to enter the venue. For fans who purchase tickets but can’t make it to the event, they will be able to resell the ticket on a face-value ticket exchange.
“WE WERE CONVINCED THAT TICKETMASTER’S ‘Verified Fan Page’ AND ‘Face Value Ticket Exchange’ IDEAS COULD HELP US FIGHT THE SCALPERS,” Smith wrote. “(WE DIDN’T AGREE TO THE ‘DYNAMIC PRICING’ / ‘PRICE SURGING’ / ‘PLATINUM TICKET’ THING… BECAUSE IT IS ITSELF A BIT OF A SCAM? A SEPARATE CONVERSATION!).”
When the band announced the world tour earlier this week, they established that “there will be no ‘Platinum’ or ‘Dynamically Priced’ tickets on this tour,” which includes stops at Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Moody Center in Austin, Madison Square Garden in New York and State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
The singer also tweeted that though TM’s Verified Fan is a “far from perfect system,” the reality is that if there aren’t enough tickets on sale, some fans will miss out no matter what system the Cure use. “At least this one tries to get tickets into the hands of fans at a fair price,” he said. In the final comment in the Twitter run, Smith noted he’d been told that TM will continued to sell tickets to Verified users “until there are no more tickets to sell.”
The Cure’s efforts to combat resale ticketing comes after a season of in-demand tours facing astronomical price increases due to dynamic ticketing and scalpers. Ticketmaster is currently facing government inquiries into its handling of the disastrous Taylor Swift Eras Tour presale, which left many fans outraged when service delays and website crashes (caused in part by bots) prevented many of them from securing tickets.
See Smith’s tweets below.