Live Nation purchased the House of Blues chain/promotions company in 2006. On Wednesday, House of Blues stopped selling tickets via Ticketmaster and now sells online exclusively via LiveNation.com. Moving ticket sales in-house probably seemed like a good way to centralize operations and reign in costs. And it might be — but not for you.
Purchased online via Ticketmaster, a $20 Anvil ticket incurred a $7.30 “convenience charge.” A day later, purchased though Live Nation, the same ticket incurred a $9 “ticket fee,” raising the markup from an already high 36.5 percent to a seemingly punitive 45 percent. For the upcoming High School Rock Off, $8 online tickets incurred a $6.10 fee — 76 percent markup.
If you order via the House of Blues box office (216-523-2583), fees are slightly lower, and there's still an additional average fee of $3-5 if you pick them up in person.
We know handling charges are nothing new, but we thought the “ticket fee” was the “price of admission.” But at least they’re not calling it a “convenience fee” any more, which, we suppose, is worth something. —D.X. Ferris