A good rule of thumb for consumers is when you’re dealing with concert tickets, you’re probably getting ripped off.
Just ask some fans of Taylor Swift, who think they got suckered into her Ticketmaster-run Verified Fan program.
They can be forgiven; they believed what Swift was telling them.
It’s no shock how a fan moved up in the “line” to get tickets: Buy Taylor Swift’s album, watch her videos, spread your Taylor Swift love around social media to encourage more people to get in on the deal.
What did they get out of it when tickets were finally available to them in their head-of-the-line program?
The Star Tribune’s Chris Riemenschneider reports they were given the choice to pay hundreds of dollars for VIP seating or they could pay $87 to $153 for the worst seats in the house at U.S. Bank Stadium.
U.S. Bank Stadium representatives said fans can opt out of the VIP packages and still buy tickets in the standard $50-$225 price range, which will include many seats sold to the general public outside of the Verified Fan pre-sale program starting Dec. 13 via Ticketmaster.
USBS staff declined a request to provide a map or guide to the different ticket tiers — what’s being charged where — in the publicly funded stadium.
“It’s a naked dash for cash,” music industry commentator and frequent Swift critic Bob Lefsetz wrote in his Lefsetz Letter about her Reputation Stadium Tour, “an effort to sell albums so she can publicize how successful she is.”
In a statement sent to the Los Angeles Times, Swift’s team defended the program as a way to reward the most loyal fans: “If these same tickets were offered on the open market, scalpers would snatch them up and fans would be paying thousands of dollars for them,” the singer’s representatives said.
It’s not just her Twin Cities concert that is priced through the roof.
Even with my #verifiedfan code I still can only get nosebleed seats for @taylorswift13 in HTX 🙁 I guess I’ll wait and see if I can find better seats. Had high hopes for my first time seeing her now don’t know if that’ll happen. #bummed #taylorswift #TaylorSwiftTix #ticketmaster
— Shelbi Reichenau (@S_RiteNow) December 8, 2017
As predicted, no snake pit tickets available for @taylorswift13 #verifiedfan. Plenty of seats in every price level, however, she is either selling 98% of the first ~40 rows or so in every venue at VIP prices or holding them back completely. Same story at every show. #verifiedscam pic.twitter.com/yeMg1Ncs8t
— Don Shano (@don_shano) December 5, 2017
But an overwhelming number of people who were able to shell out the money for tickets seem more than happy about it.
@taylorswift13 i just purchased my tickets for your concert in Minneapolis.My friend asked me today why i want to go to your concert and i said. Everyones dream as a kid is to go to disneyland but mine is to meet Taylor Swift. I would probably cry if i met u. You are my ideal. 😚
— Shelby Hauser (@shebooann) December 8, 2017
Ahhhh yeah!! I got my Taylor Swift tickets for the show in Minneapolis!! That's right….I'm going to see Taylor Swift. Don't judge me.
— Gail O (@MinnesotaGail) December 7, 2017
Although the VIP program was alleged to be a blow against ticket scalpers, it doesn’t seem to have has that much effect.
StubHub lists the highest priced ticket at about $5,000, with average seats going for the $250 neighborhood.
Pretty much the same as it ever was.