Earlier this week, Springsteen announced that the first leg of his U.S. tour would include two shows at Madison Square Garden and three shows in New Jersey.
Fans hoping to snag tickets to the Boss’s “Wrecking Ball” tour dates were hitting the refresh button over and over when they went on sale Friday morning. Fans said they got frozen screens and error messages, but not tickets when they went on the site.
“I gave up on trying to get tickets. I always go to the Craigslist or the eBay. You pay a little bit more, but you’re getting them,” Glen Rock, N.J.’s Sarim al-Rawi told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis on Friday night.
“I think the public should have access to the tickets before scalpers do,” added Lisette Ramos of Englewood, N.J.
Then there were the Facebook complaints.
“There has to be a better way for real fans to get tickets without paying scalper site prices,” one person wrote.
“Scalpers got all of the tickets! Tried to get them for my 9-year-old son – terrible — wish it wasn’t that way!” another wrote.
New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell told 1010 WINS that he is tired of seeing such incidents occur again and again. Late last year, Ticketmaster was forced to give customers a $1.50 credit per ticket order.
Those troubles began when some Springsteen fans accused the company of deception, charging more and profiting off hidden fees. Then came the class action suit filed by attorneys on behalf of tens of thousands of angry ticket buyers.
“We have this happen too many times — the consumer be damned. I mean, StubHub already had 2,000 tickets for the three shows and that’s just once secondary marketplace. When we don’t have oversight over the primary and secondary site, we are going to have these things happen over and over and over again,” Pascrell said.
Pascrell is so fed up with the system he’s introducing a bill to ban third-party ticket buyers from getting tickets just released.
“What that does is take brokers out of the process, until after the first 24 hours,” Pascrell said.
Lance Patania is one of those third-party ticket buyers, running a business called Prominent Tickets that goes online for tickets the moment they go on sale. So what happened to all the Springsteen tickets?
“That’s a great question. We want to know that answer, too,” said Patania, who ended up with four. “I should have right to buy tickets as the guy next door.”
Pascrell said somewhere somebody’s got them.
“There’s too many shenanigans going on here. There’s no protection for the fans. They save up their hard-earned money and they can’t get there … we gotta do something about that,” Pascrell said.
Pascrell argued that the average fan was getting “shafted” and said he wanted to see the results of Ticketmaster’s investigation.
According to a statement from Ticketmaster, the company said that it “experienced roughly 2.5 times more traffic than anything we’ve seen over the past year.” The company said that indications suggest “much of this traffic came from highly suspicious sources, implying that scalpers were using sophisticated computer programs to assault our systems and secure tickets with the sole intention of selling them in the resale market.”
Ticketmaster said that it was not the “the only ticketing company that experienced an attack of this nature today,” adding that it hopes the incident draws greater attention to the need to “take strong measures against those who violate the law and exploit artists and fans. “
There was no comment from Springsteen, who’s caught in the middle and wants as many fans at his concerts as he can get.
Springsteen will perform at the Izod Center on April 3 and 4 and the Prudential Center on May 2. The Boss and the E Street Band will also perform at MSG on April 6 and 9.
Did you face troubles Friday morning trying to get tickets? Share your experience in the comments section…