Ticket brokers forcing some live music fans to stay at home

Posted at 7:48 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 23:23:10-05

CLEVELAND — Music has brought generations together for hundreds of years.

“I have probably been to over 100 shows,” Candice Brown said.

However, the rising cost of a live music experience is shutting some people out.

“I once paid $5 for a ticket at Blossom and you can’t even pay for parking with $5 now,” John Nicholas said.

Long gone are the days of waiting in long lines to grab tickets to a show.

Instead, ticket brokers with advanced technology are standing by and monopolizing ticket sales – sometimes selling them for quadruple the price.

“Like it’s hundreds of thousands of people buying tickets at once,” Nicholas said. “Or however many tickets are available.”

Nicholas is a cyber security expert and said some brokers use software to repeatedly buy the maximum amount of tickets per customer and then crank up the price.

“Tickets should not be $800 a piece,” Brown said. “That’s absolutely insane. I don’t care what artist it is.”

Nicholas said the sales are unfair, but they aren’t illegal.

“That becomes un-doable for folks,” Nicholas said. “You wonder how many people want to enjoy something with their family or friends who get pushed out because these brokers are making this obscene profit.”

With major headliners scheduled to perform in Cleveland this year, Nicholas said those ticket brokers have their sights set on fan's wallets.

“Instead of taking a trip to Florida, they’d be willing to spend that money to see the Rolling Stones,” Nicholas said. “And these ticket brokers who know that are certainly going to take advantage of that and they’re going set the bar a lot higher than they would maybe if Matchbox 20 or something was coming around.”

Brown showed us ticket listings to an upcoming show in Cleveland and found outrageous prices.

“That total is $1,602.20 and that’s taxes and fees,” Brown said.

Brown and other live music lovers are calling for some sort of legislative action against ticket brokers.

“The phone call scams. They have laws against other scams,” Brown said. “So why not help people who are legitimately spending money with your arenas?”

In the meantime, some venues offer special privileges to subscribers.

“What you don’t want to do is do a Google search and wind up on some random site,” Ron Velazquez said.

He said to visit the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse website for official ticket announcements.

“That will give you the ability to get information about on-sales and even access to presales,” Velazquez said.

Brown said while she doesn’t particularly “want it that way,” she will still be fangirling over the Backstreet Boys when they perform in Cleveland in July.

“You just have no choice but to either pay it or don’t go,” Brown said.