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Three states pass concert ticket transparency protections

Colorado, Minnesota and Maryland are leading the charge for concert ticket regulations.
Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards are shown at a box office
Posted at 6:42 PM, May 20, 2024

2023 was a record-setting year for the live music industry.

According to research from Pollstar, the top 100 North American tours grossed over $6.6 billion. But in the digital age of ticket buying, consumers are also growing more annoyed over added fees and a lack of price transparency at the virtual box office.

"As you go through the process, there's additional fees that are then added on that can come to like 20% of the ticket price at the end of the day," said entertainment attorney Bryan Sullivan, a partner at the firm Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae.

In Colorado, a bill that would require ticketing companies to disclose the total cost of an event ticket is on its way to the governor's desk to sign or veto by June. Similar bills have already been signed into law in Minnesota and Maryland.

"Colorado, Minnesota and Maryland have been the three that have been leading regulation," said Sullivan. "And I believe there's a bill in the House of Representatives that is shockingly bipartisan, since it's rare that that happens nowadays, but that is actually moving forward."

Music Artist Maggie Rogers

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Artists selling tickets in person to help fans avoid online bots, fees

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5:43 PM, Apr 23, 2024

On the federal level, the house earlier this month passed the Transparency in Charges for Key Events Ticketing Act — or TICKET Act — which would require sellers to show music fans the total ticket price, including fees, at the beginning of the online process.

All of these regulations come as 145 million people attended concerts in 2023 — 20% more than the previous year, according to research from the U.S. Department of Justice.

But with that demand comes a sharp increase in ticket costs. According to research from Pollstar and Apollo Academy, the average price of a concert ticket increased from $90 in 2018 to $120 in 2023.

Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation Entertainment have been the main target of criticism for added fees, but a spokesperson from the company told Scripps News in a statement: "We have long advocated for a nationwide all-in pricing mandate, including in Colorado. Live Nation venues and festivals already showcase all-in pricing across the country. Unfortunately, we routinely see resellers defy state laws requiring pricing transparency, so we strongly encourage regulatory scrutiny to ensure compliance so that these standards will be upheld uniformly across the industry."