Bruce Springsteen spoke out about the backlash he received from fans due to high ticket prices for his 2023 tour with the E Street Band amid the Taylor Swift Ticketmaster fiasco.
The 73-year-old artist was criticized after using Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing model, which enables ticket prices to fluctuate based on demand. The move sparked outrage as prices for some tickets soared to $5,000 when they went on sale in July.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Springsteen defended his decision to use the model for the first time in his career, arguing that tickets for his show have typically been priced under market value.
“What I do is a very simple thing. I tell my guys, ‘Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let’s charge a little less.’ That’s generally the directions,” he told the outlet.
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“They go out and set it up. For the past 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there under market value. I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been great for the fans.
“This time, I told them, ‘Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.’ So that’s what happened. That’s what they did,” Springsteen said with a laugh.
He added that buying tickets has become “very confusing” both for artists and fans and that most tickets for his shows are “totally affordable.”
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“They’re in that affordable range,” the “I’m on Fire” hitmaker said. “We have those tickets that are going to go for that [higher] price somewhere anyway.
“The ticket broker or someone is going to be taking that money. I’m going, ‘Hey, why shouldn’t that money go to the guys that are going to be up there sweating three hours a night for it?’ It created an opportunity for that to occur. And so, at that point, we went for it. I know it was unpopular with some fans.
“But if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back,” he joked.
When asked how he felt about the blowback from fans, Springsteen said, “Well, I’m old. I take a lot of things in stride. You don’t like to be criticized. You certainly don’t like to be the poster boy for high ticket prices. It’s the last thing you prefer to be. But that’s how it went.
“You have to own the decisions you have made and go out and just continue to do your best. And that was my take on it. I think if folks come to the show, they’re going to have a good time.”
Springsteen also told the outlet he wouldn’t rule out using the dynamic pricing model again for future tours.
“That’ll be a whole other discussion when that comes around,” he said. “I don’t want to say anything now, but we’ll see what happens.”
Springsteen made his remarks after Tuesday’s debacle when tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour became available for purchase in presales through Ticketmaster.
Many fans remained in the Ticketmaster queue for hours waiting to get Swift tickets during the East Coast presale Tuesday. The ticket-selling site paused the Central Standard Time queues, delayed the West Coast times and pushed the Capital One presale to Wednesday to accommodate the demand.
After selling 2 million tickets, Ticketmaster canceled the public on-sale set for Friday due to “high demand” and “insufficient remaining ticket inventory.”
After the cancellation, ticket prices skyrocketed on resale sites. Nosebleed seats at a multitude of venues topped $1,000 as of Friday. Tickets at the very top of Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, reached over $2,000.
The move left many fans without tickets infuriated. After initially remaining silent, Swift addressed the controversy Friday.
“It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans,” the “I Knew You Were Trouble” singer wrote in a message that she shared on her Instagram story.
“We’ve been doing this for decades together and over the years, I’ve brought so many elements of my career in house. I’ve done this SPECIFICALLY to improve the quality of my fans’ experience by doing it myself with my team who care as much about my fans as I do. It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse.
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“There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward. I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could. It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.
“And to those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for us to all get together and sing these songs. Thank you for wanting to be there. You have no idea how much that means.”
Fox News Digital’s Lauryn Overhultz contributed to this report.