Jam band String Cheese Incident has gotten into the ticket scalping business, but it’s not as lucrative for them as one might think.
String Cheese Incident was formed in the 90s, and during that time, Seattle-based grunge rockers Pearl Jam also sparred with the notoriously rip-offish Ticketmaster over ticket price gouging. If you’ve used Ticketmaster before, you know that after the initially (and usually quite high) ticket price, a bevy of fees is often tacked on to the final checkout cost.
In addition to the cost of a ticket, one can expect to pay at the very least four to five “fees,” which seem to have increasingly random and tenuous justifications. (It bears noting that the Wikipedia page for Ticketmaster reads like an apology for the fees one pays when purchasing a ticket from the event sales monolith, and was almost certainly written by Ticketmaster or someone representing it.
String Cheese Incident is only the latest group to advocate for fans when it comes to what is perceived as gouging by Ticketmaster, but the protest they mounted is not one that can be sustained in the long-term. According to the New York Times, the band fronted $20,000 to fifty String Cheese Incident fans to go to Los Angeles’ Greek Theater and buy tickets.
Each fan was able to buy 50 tickets, which the band turned around and sold to fans for the face value price ($49.95) minus fees. So essentially, String Cheese Incident was like “screw your fees!” and then paid a whole bunch of them.
String Cheese Incident bassist Keith Moseley told the paper:
“It costs us money to sell the tickets… But we are going to eat that cost this summer in order to make a better deal for our fans and let them know how much we appreciate them.”
Would you go see String Cheese Incident for $50, fees or no?