The Internet age has finally done what Eddie Vedder couldn't: Break Ticketmaster's stranglehold on concert ticket sales.
Starting now, tickets to Dodge Theatre will be available only through Livenation.com. Sarita Ray, public relations coordinator, says Cricket Wireless Pavillion, the mega-promoter's other big Valley venue, will have its own system sometime soon, though details aren't yet available. We have a call in to a spokesman at the Beverly Hills-based company's headquarters for more info but haven't yet heard back.
Live Nation, has 135 venues across the country and also operates House of Blues venues, so this defection is huge. Personally, I've never understood why anyone continued to do business with Ticketmaster when it's so easy to cut out the middleman -- and their exorbitant fees. But whatever. Congrats to Live Nation on this big step.
You can read a little more about it here, in a story that seems to characterize it as a power grab and suggests that prices won't go down, but the number of lines on the receipt will.
"In other words, service charges will appear as one lump sum rather than as a series of variable fees. And in a long-overdue reversal of what many consider the most egregious extra, Live Nation ticketbuyers won't be charged to print their tickets at home."
Baby steps, I guess. --Martin Cizmar