Time to reveal another in a long list of music industry scams – this one on ticketing. I recently discovered that in Italy, surprise, surprise, there is often a surprising discrepancy between the ‘official’ ticket price, as accounted to the artist, and the ‘actual’ price paid by the purchaser. This is apparently due to the “standard Italian box office ticketing percentage” of 15%. How naïve we are to assume that the purchase price of a ticket might include, well, the ticket itself! Every time I buy a shirt I expect to pay a surcharge to receive the shirt that I have already paid for. One might feel that a total fee of 150,000 euros (if you add 15% to all the tickets) is a little excessive for doing nothing more than printing the tickets that people have already purchased (it does not include credit cards, online sales or postage). And of course, none of this extra money music lovers are forced to pay will get accounted to the artists (which is, let us be in no doubt, the reason for most of these “standard practices”).
For those familiar with the infamous “packaging deduction” which is still applied to the worst recording contracts, this would seem to be a live music equivalent. A “standard practice” designed to move money aside before the artists are given their share.
I really have no desire to stick my head into these areas – but, Hey Ho! Perhaps another story for The Vicar.