LN Expands ‘No Fee’ Plan

LOS ANGELES — On the heels of its first successful “No service fee Wednesday,” concert promoter Live Nation Inc. says it will expand the summer ticket program from the lawn to reserved seats this week, while acknowledging that some fees never went away.

The first 24-hour discount Wednesday drove lawn ticket sales up six-fold to a single-day record, although the company wouldn’t say how many tickets it sold.

Live Nation said this Wednesday it will drop service fees on all tickets to its U.S. amphitheaters this summer, including for regular seats, and lift the cap on the number available. It will continue to charge $6 on every ticket for parking at some venues, while other venues still incur a $3 to $4 facility fee.

Since many tickets have already been sold, there are about 1 million tickets for reserved seats still available, along with about 4 million lawn tickets for concerts featuring Coldplay, Toby Keith, Crosby Stills & Nash and others.

Lawn tickets cost about $20 to $25, and the discount trims about $10 from the cost. The average reserved seat ticket costs $62.04 with an average $14.40 service charge that would be waived.

“It was a pretty resounding message from the fans: ‘Make it cheaper for us to see a concert and we’ll come,'” said Live Nation’s chief executive of global music, Jason Garner. “So we’re responding to it this week by taking it to the next step.”

The move to drop service fees was made possible after Live Nation launched its own ticketing platform in January. Typically, service fees help pay the ticket-selling company – which is usually Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. The two companies plan to merge this year following an antitrust review.

Live Nation was able to cut the surcharge in the hopes that it would make that money up by getting more people to come to the venues it owns and having them pay for such things as parking, hot dogs and beer.