Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Ticket prices, Ticketmaster, & Florida

Last Week TonightThis weekend’s episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver spent a good bit of time dealing with current events — but then ticket sales. In particular, tickets to live entertainment.

We gotta say that this is not a main segment we ever imagined seeing on this show. Yet, it is also one that is totally appropriate. Think about it like this: How many of you have complained about Ticketmaster in the past? In Oliver’s words, they are one of the most hated companies on Earth. He even showed some old footage of a former boss comparing the company to the IRS. By and large, they deliver bad news. Think in terms of all of the feeds that they can charge on occasion!

The purpose of this segment was not entirely to hate on Ticketmaster (though there was some of that), but point out a lot of the problems that are going on in this industry. Ticket prices are up at a rate far higher than inflation. Many venues have an exclusive contract with Ticketmaster, and that produces a part of the problem. There’s no real competition there! There’s also an issue of supply and demand here — if people are willing to pay it, then some can argue that it doesn’t even matter all that much.

Some other problems here include the following: Professional ticket brokers (who often dominate), the extremely wealthy, and venues only releasing a percentage of tickets in the first place.

Is there an easy fix?

Not really, but we do think that artists could get creative with their concert schedules to make all of this both affordable and also accessible to the average fan. Often, these are the people who help to make them famous in the first place.

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