Full disclosure: I am disproportionately upset about this. Far more upset than I should be, as my passions and righteous fury should probably be directed at a far more deserving social more or world plight, but seriously? I mean, are they serious?
Vulture reports (via the Wall Street Journal) that Ticketmaster - also known as The Beast, The Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, or Satan Personified And Given An IP Address - has announced plans to merge - yes, MERGE - with event promoter Live Nation. Rolling Stone speculated a few weeks ago that Live Nation had the brilliant machinations to compete with Ticketmaster, effectively driving ticket prices down or offering more perks to lure buyers from one Evil Music Behemoth to another. In other words, the news - though speculative - was good.
But what happens when two media behemoths hop into the sack together and fail to use a condom? Well, the unholy birth of one mewling, wretched corporate monolith, of course; The Anti-Christ of the music industry. If the merger goes through (and if all this happens before the Rapture), I'd suspect that the preexisting conditions surrounding concert-going - i.e., exorbitant "convenience fees," superfluous surcharges, and otherwise shady "facility charges" - will grow even more dire. As it is, an $18 concert ticket to a small-to-medium sized venue can often pack up to $15 in surcharges - effectively doubling the cost of the original ticket. What's worse is that very few venues offer any kind of alternative to buying tickets without having to pay the Ticketmaster charges. And don't think that by purchasing your tickets through Ticketweb, Tickets Now, or Ticket Service you're in anyway eschewing "Feeding the Beast." Ticketmaster owns those subsidiaries as well.
In fact, Ticketmaster's parent company, IAC, also owns a variety of other online ventures, including Citysearch, Evite, Match.com, and Vimeo. Did you meet your true love on the Internet? You were inadvertently Feeding the Beast. Send out a bitchin' party invite to all your friends? Nom, nom, nom. That ad revenue is tasty. The point is, what already exists as a veritable media monopoly could potentially get a whole lot worse.
Want to put a house on Park Place or Illinois Avenue? Prepare to pay your pithy 401(k)'s worth in surcharges. Same goes for seeing your favorite bands - whether up-and-coming or deeply entrenched in rock n' roll legend. The point is: there's nothing we can do about it except swallow our indignant fury and pay up - or else sit at home on a Friday night while Arcade Fire blisters the eardrums of the intoxicated masses.
So yeah, I guess you could say I'm pissed off about it. Furious, even.
Hey, Ticketmaster/LiveNation? Go suck an egg.
Then DIE A HORRIBLE, PAINFUL, SLOW AND FIERY DEATH.
I'll dance on your grave till kingdom come.