Nine Inch Nails UK Tour – The booking fee saga…

Is there really a saga associated with this? Yes and no. For fans of the band, this is great news, they get a chance to see the band they love in the UK, not at a festival, giving the band a chance to play for longer and play a set their fans can truly get behind.

Personally, I’ve never liked Nine Inch Nails, probably never will. Before you say it, yes I’ve heard their albums, but being forced to listen to them again and being told why I should like them does nothing to change the situation. The last thing I liked that Trent Reznor was involved in was Dave Grohl’s “Sound City” album, now there is an amazing album and documentary! Stevie Nicks’ vocals are the absolute high point of the album…go watch the documentary and then listen to the album…I digress.

So…Nine Inch Nails are playing (last time I checked) 6 arena dates next May (May 2014), in arenas with an average capacity of 8,000ish. Tickets are around £35, this is not an unreasonable amount of money to pay to see a band of this level, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that’s cheap, but it’s by no means expensive. So, what is the problem? The booking fee. Booking fees are a pain, and over the last ten years or so steadily crept up, from what was little more than a handling fee of around 50p, to this point of abject ridiculousness!

The booking fee for the Nine Inch Nails tickets is £10.05. £10.05! Yes, TEN POUNDS AND FIVE PENCE!! TEN(!) POUNDS(!) AND(!) FIVE(!) FUCKING(!) PENCE(!)!

Seriously, what in the name of any god anyone chooses to believe in is that about?

I used to hate paying a £3 booking fee (per ticket on the same order), then being charged £3 for postage, which required putting tickets in an envelope and posting them second class! Then the advent of E-Tickets removed that little chance to bleed an extra few pounds out of us, woo! So, along comes the mystical transaction charge of £2-4 per order!

Lets not even touch on the stories of the companies putting on the gigs selling tickets on sites like seatwave for hundreds of pounds…

Now as a gig goer, if you want to go see Nine Inch Nails you will probably be faced with the exorbitant £10.05 booking fee per ticket, a transaction fee and most likely any other charge that can be stacked on top. Whilst it will push the £30ish ticket to £40ish (which is getting expensive) that is not my real problem.

The problem this is, Nine Inch Nails have a die hard and loyal fan base, who will stump up the money to watch them, regardless of the cost. If that’s how they want to spend their money, all good, but the problem is money grabbing.

The companies organising these large scale gigs have just proved to themselves that they will be able to slap nearly £15 in additional fees for each transaction and get away with it! What does that mean? THEY WILL DO IT AGAIN!!!!! AND AGAIN!!!! AND AGAIN!!!

The worst part of all of this….if we the consumer, were buying physical tickets, from a physical outlet, manned by real people, who have a job, I wouldn’t mind, but we aren’t! It’s a fair assumption that at least 80% (probably even higher) of ticket purchases, for this size of gig, will be made online, using an automated service. So, we the gig goer are paying £15 to use a website! Repeat that back to yourself…feel like giving them money?

My local, and favourite record store, Spillers Records, take tickets from all the local promoters and venues and sell the tickets at face value without a fee, how lovely is that? Very. This is one of the many reasons I want to support independent music!

Lets review….band you want to see announce UK tour. Tickets go on sale at £30, you think, “OK, that’s not cheap, but at least I get to see them play a decent set!”, you go to buy tickets only to discover that you are going to have to spend an extra £15 in handling fees to use a website. Pissed off? You dam right you are! AND you are entitled to be too.

What options do we have? We want to support the bands we love! We all know there is no money left in the release of physical medium music, so the best way for bands to make a decent living is to get out there and play. Getting more annoyed? I know I am.

I honestly don’t think I paid more than $10 (£7ish) handling fee on three tickets I bought to watch wrestling in the US! Here’s the kicker, each ticket for the wrestling event cost $375! That’s less than 10% per ticket! £30 for a Nine Inch Nails ticket, £10 fee…33% of the ticket price…there are two words that spring to mind right now….


P.S. So, in the time it took me to write this and post it, I’ve found out something worse…the £10 booking fee was for the pre-sale tickets and not general release. General release booking fee is £6 per ticket. Which lets face facts, isn’t much better.

Hey there, super fans of Nine Inch Nails, to get your tickets earlier than everyone else, you have to pay more than them, rather than just waiting 3 days for the general release! Feeling happy?

22. November 2013 by Michael Partridge
Categories: General, Music | Leave a comment

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