Shortly after last week's Revolver column appeared ("Tom's Tax," January 13), detailing the hidden charges tacked on to the face value of tickets for events promoted by Lucky Man Productions, the Marquee Theatre, and its owner, Tom Lapenna, New Times' sources contacted us to let us know that Lapenna had lowered Lucky Man's "convenience charges" and online purchasing fee. A quick trip to Lucky Man's Web site, www.luckymanproductions.net, confirmed that the online purchasing fee is gone. It was formerly a flat $5 for any quantity of tickets, and is now "$0.00" -- a huge improvement that dwarf's even Ticketmaster's online fees.
Last week, as an example, for a $12 face value ticket for the upcoming Strung Out show on January 22, you would have ended up paying $20 through the Lucky Man Web site -- a buck-fifty more than for Ticketmaster's Strung Out show the following night in Tucson.
Now, if you purchase the same ticket online from Lucky Man, you'll pay only $15, a solid $3.50 under Ticketbastard's price. Zia Record Exchange, Lucky Man's ticket distributor, confirmed that the same ticket purchased there would amount to $15, including the nominal $3 convenience charge.
Lucky Man distributed an e-mail to the media last week stating, "Ticket prices include facility fees of $1.25 per ticket," but sources inside the company allege that additional surcharges for tickets purchased at the Marquee's box office have simply been shuffled around, inflating the cash-purchase fee per ticket from $1 to $3, while maintaining a $3 credit card purchase surcharge. "Where [Lapenna] took money from one thing, he added it to another," says the employee, who asked to remain anonymous.
While there still is a $5 convenience fee for tickets over $15 if purchased online (this excluding the now-defunct $5 online purchase fee), the same ticket purchased at the box office only tacks on a $3 cash or credit surcharge.
To illustrate, if you buy a ticket to see Helmet at the SnoCore Festival on January 25 (face value $23), it would cost you only $26 from the Marquee's box office, but $28 if purchased online.
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Nonetheless, it's a significant improvement for concertgoers.
Further details of Lucky Man's price adjustments weren't available by press time, but we've gotta give props to Lapenna for making a gesture toward lowering the hidden charges concertgoers have been hornswoggled by.
It's a step in the right direction, and we look forward to seeing further efforts by Lucky Man to rein in the surcharges that ought to distinguish Lapenna's independent organization from corporate giants like Ticketmaster.