The latest episode in the saga between Bruce Springsteen and Ticketmaster arose Friday when the company’s websites were jammed by what the company said was an “assault” from scalpers looking to hoard tickets for the Boss’ upcoming tour dates, which went on sale Jan. 27.
Fans attempting to buy tickets for Springsteen’s worldwide “Wrecking Ball” tour were met with frozen screens and were blocked from purchases, while at the same time StubHub and others in the secondary ticketing market had blocks of seats available for purchase, according to NBC.
In 2009, fans attempting to buy tickets were redirected to Ticketmaster’s secondary market site TicketsNow despite primary tickets still being available, a move that infuriated Springsteen and confused thousands of fans.
At the time, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) introduced the BOSS Act, which was aimed at creating transparency in the way Ticketmaster and other large ticketing companies worked, hoping to avoid conflicts of interest in the event that a ticketing company “locked out” fans while allowing others to buy large blocks of tickets for the purpose of resale on the secondary market. Pascrell has now promised to reintroduce the bill to Congress.
“I think it’s important to note that while many fans were unable to get tickets today, many brokers were able to get their hands on good seats for Springsteen and put them up on secondary ticket sellers’ websites where they were sold at higher prices,” Pascrell said in a statement Friday announcing his intent to reintroduce the bill. “Whether today’s problems are due to honest mistakes or dishonest market manipulation, regular folks who wanted a little entertainment were not able to get what they wanted at a fair price.”
Ticketmaster responded later in the day, releasing a statement that noted the company had experienced highly unusual traffic patterns, and attributing their site freeze to an assault by scalpers who hoped to repeat the bulk purchases of tickets that plagued the tour in 2009.
“We have been experiencing highly abnormal traffic patterns on our site this morning that have impacted the fan buying experience for some customers,” Ticketmaster’s statement said. “We are investigating the source of the problem and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible, but tickets are selling so please stay patient.”