The owner of Hoodlums music store in Tempe is taking on the Marquee Theatre over ticket prices. Ticket price stories tend to make my eyes glaze over pretty fast (I'm a critic, I don't pay!) but Arizona Republic freelancer Serene Dominic did an interesting little piece on the matter.
The debate (after you wade through a bunch of commentary about Ticketmaster, Billboard, blah, blah) seems to boil down to this: Hoodlums owner Steve Wiley resents the fact that the Marquee Theatre says tickets cost $3 less than he has to charge because of a service fee imposed, but not publicized, by the promoter.
"It's not a personal thing. We've had a great relationship with those guys at the Marquee for many years. I'm not against service fees. We charge a one-dollar service fee for carrying the tickets at our store, and everyone is fine with that. But if the Marquee or whoever needs to charge $28 in order to make ends meet, then I'm a businessperson, I don't have a problem with that. Just make it $28 dollars. But don't put $25 on the tickets and the Web site and then expect me to collect an extra $3 for you."
Thoughts? When I do purchase tickets I'm always appalled at all the junky fees added in, but I also sorta expect it. I also don't go to many record stores (I'm a critic, I don't pay!) but I have shopped at Hoodlums in the past and I really dig the place.
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Also, I think it's cool that, by stocking tickets at record stores, local promoters seem to be encouraging people to "get involved" in some small way by actually driving somewhere and maybe looking through a few racks of stuff by indie acts instead of just printing their tix off on-line. This seems like much ado about nothing but maybe all you paying customers feel differently.