The following letter was submitted to Billboard by Ticketmaster President Jared Smith in response to a letter posted on Billboard earlier today by U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Katie Porter (D-CA). Last month Ticketmaster revealed its plan to offer refunds for all canceled and postponed Live Nation and AEG shows.
Respectfully, Mr. Pascrell and Ms. Porter either misunderstand or elect to misrepresent the realities of our business and refund policies, as we outlined in our April 17 response letter to them. It is entirely disingenuous and flatly wrong to claim that we have “pointed the finger at others.” To reiterate, Ticketmaster is a platform that allows event organizers to sell tickets directly to consumers. The fact is, the money we need to refund fans is held by our clients, many of whom are the same independent venues, promoters and arts companies the representatives claim they are trying to help. Our clients are the lifeblood of the industry. They are the employers of the stagehands, performers, box office, concessions and security workers, and the struggling artists whose livelihoods have been decimated by government-mandated shutdowns of our industry across the country.