Ticketmaster Partially Refunding Concertgoers

The Cure tried to go out of their way to keep tickets affordable for fans during their upcoming U.S. tour, but Ticketmaster had other plans. After fans shared viral tweets about how Ticketmaster fees were more expensive than the tickets themselves, frontman Rober Smith called out the website. After talks with Ticketmaster, Smith said on March 16 that they agreed to offer partial refunds. This is an unprecedented move from Ticketmaster.

After "further conversation," Ticketmaster agreed with The Cure that some of the fees were "unduly high," Smith wrote on Twitter. As a "gesture of goodwill," Ticketmaster will offer a $10-per-ticket refund for verified fan accounts that purchased the lowest-priced tickets. There will also be a $5-per-refund for all other ticket transactions, Smith wrote. The refunds will be automatically sent to fans. Remaining tickets went on sale Friday with "lower fees," Smith said.

In the wake of increased scrutiny over Ticketmaster's fee policies, The Cure attempted to keep ticket prices as low as $20 for their U.S. tour. It did not work at first, as fans shared screenshots showing Ticketmaster fees that were more expensive than the tickets themselves. One fan bought four verified fan tickets for $80, while the fees cost $92.10. The fan bought tickets for a show at a venue not owned or operated by Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster.

"I am as sickened as you all are by today's Ticketmaster 'fees' debacle," Smith wrote on March 15. "To be very clear, the artist has no way to limit them. I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent by way of an answer, I will let you all know." In other tweets last week, Smith said the band refused to allow "dynamic pricing," "price surging" and "platinum ticketing," calling those scams.

The Cure will start their new North American tour on May 10 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The tour includes a three-night stand at the Hollywood Bowl from May 23 to May 25 and a three-night stand at Madison Square Garden from June 20 to 21. The tour wraps up on July 1 at Miami-Dade Arena in Miami. The Cure was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.

Ticketmaster has been targeted by fans and lawmakers in recent months after the public sale of Taylor Swift tickets was canceled because the website crashed. In February, customers again complained when they ran into trouble trying to get Beyonce tickets. The Swift ticket debacle even attracted scrutiny from lawmakers. The Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel even held a hearing as they debate if Live Nation and other ticketing service providers need to be broken up. The U.S. Justice Department also opened an investigation into whether or not Live Nation is abusing its dominance of the touring industry before the Swift tickets went on sale.