Ticketmaster Agrees to Refund Fees That ‘Sickened’ The Cure’s Robert Smith

From the beginning, English rock legends The Cure said they wanted to keep prices reasonable for their forthcoming “Shows of a Lost World” tour, and apparently the band is willing to fight for their principles.

To keep scalpers at bay, the band put strict resale and transferability limits on the tickets for the 30-stop North American trek and many tickets, even for lower-cap venues, could be had for $20.

But as the tour’s on-sale proceeded, many fans took to social media to note that Ticketmaster fees, venue fees and service charges could often be higher than the ticket price. One viral post showed four tickets for $20 with more than $92 in fees added on. The Cure’s Robert Smith, in his all-caps manner, tweeted “I am as sickened as you all are by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle. To be very clear: the artist has no way to limit them. I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent. by way of an answer I will ler you all know.”

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Robert Smith and Simon Gallup of The Cure perform at OVO Arena Wembley on December 12, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Shlomi Pinto/Getty Images)

Apparently, there is a way for the artist to limit the fees, as Thursday Smith tweeted that the ticketing giant “agreed” the fees are “unduly high” and that refunds would be forthcoming: $10 per ticket for anyone who used the “lowest ticket price” option and $5 for anyone else. Ticketmaster is also lowering fees for any tickets sold for the tour hereafter.

Ticketmaster has often defended the fee structure that so commonly irritates fans. In a recent blog post, the company said it doesn’t “control or keep most fees,” saying that the charges are largely set and retained by venues to recoup costs associated with putting on shows and that lowering those fees could result in higher face value ticket prices as venues would be required to charge artists higher rent.

Presumably, the refunds will come out of the Ticketmaster-set fees, not those of the venue. In addition, the face value price of the tickets for The Cure tour will not be higher as a result of the lower fees.