Chicagomuzik

I've got a whole city to hold down

January 12, 2005

Explaining the convenience-fee scam

Anyone who buys concert tickets in this city - or anywhere else in the Western world, for that matter - should read Mark Caro's bang-up piece on the ever-spiraling scam of "convenience" fees, from the Sunday Trib.

"The live entertainment world -- and in particular the popular-music concert world -- is unique in its willingness to punish or neglect its fan base," Caro writes. "When a big name goes on tour, the thinking is that there's no competition: Clear Channel, or maybe Jam, will promote the show, Ticketmaster will sell the tickets, and enough fans will pay whatever's being asked. 'They're doing this because they can,' [Pollstar editor Gary] Bongiovanni said, 'not because they have to.'"

Caro also quotes the likes of Jam's Jerry Mickelson, the Abbey's Sean Duffy and Metro's Joe Shanahan.