The Cure’s Robert Smith ‘sickened’ by Ticketmaster fees

Tickets to the band’s 2023 are officially on sale

The Cure frontman Robert Smith is calling out Ticketmaster for their policies. In a series of tweets this week, Smith explains the band’s decision to opt out of the ticketing company’s dynamic pricing for their 2023 Songs of a Lost World Tour which were made available on Wednesday (Mar 15th) via the Ticketmaster Verified Fan platform.

“We didn’t agree to the ‘dynamic pricing’/’price surging’/’platinum ticket’ thing… because it is itself a bit of a scam?” he infers, adding, “A separate conversation!”

“I had a separate conversation about ‘platinum,’ to see if I had misunderstood something…” he explains, “but I hadn’t! It is a greedy scam – and all artists have the choice not to participate… If no artists participated, it would cease to exist.”

“I am as sickened as you all are by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle,” he adds. “To be very clear: the artist has no way to limit them. I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent by way of an answer I will let you all know.”

Smith says buying from the resale market only encourages scalpers.

“The touts are sophisticated businesses that are expert at acquiring tickets, and the major marketplaces like Vivid, Stubhub and Seatgeek spend tens of millions of dollars on marketing,” he states. “The touts get an unfair share of tickets and resell them on these marketplaces.”

“We had final say in all our ticket pricing for this upcoming tour, and didn’t want those prices instantly and horribly distorted by resale,” he shares. “We were told ‘In North America, the resale business is a multi-billion dollar industry.”

“I have been told: StubHub has pulled listings in all markets except NY, Chicago, and Denver (ie. cities in states that have laws protecting scalpers),” he shares on Twitter. “Please don’t buy from the scalpers – there are still tickets available – it is just a very slow process.”

Smith concludes with “I will be back if I get anything serious on the [Ticketmaster] fees…In the meantime, I am compelled to note down my obvious recurring elephant in the room thought… that if no one bought from scalpers… then…”

On Thursday (Mar 16th), Smith confirms Ticketmaster agrees that fees are “unduly high” and will be automatically refunding portions of those fees.

“After further conversation, Ticketmaster have agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are unduly high, and a a gesture of goodwill have offered a $10 per ticket refund to all Verified Fan accounts for lowest ticket price (‘LTP’) transactions,” he shares, adding, “and a $5 per ticket refund to all Verified Fan accounts for all other ticket price transactions, for all Cure shows at all venues; If you already bought a ticket you will get an automatic refund; All tickets on sale tomorrow will incur lower fees.”

The band has a strict no resale policy, where available. “All tickets on The Cure’s tour will be non-transferable, excluding shows in NY, IL, and CO where state laws prohibit artists from restricting resale,” a message from Ticketmaster reads. “For fans that are unable to use their tickets, a face value exchange will be available for all shows sold originally on Ticketmaster.”

Smith says on Twitter, “We were convinced that Ticketmaster’s ‘Verified Fan Page’ and ‘Face Value Ticket Exchange’ ideas could help us fight the scalpers.”

One fan shared a screenshot of their order where the tickets were $20 each and the fees totaled more than double the cost of each individual ticket.

The band launches the trek on May 10th in New Orleans and wraps July 1st in Miami.

The Cure is the latest act to speak out against Ticketmaster’s policies. Taylor Swift lashed out at the company after many fans were left empty handed following a Verified Fan presale for her The Eras Tour in November. The company apologized to the pop star after Ticketmaster’s system crashed. Fans are suing the company for the issue while the Senate Judiciary Committee calls Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, a monolith in live entertainment that needs to be restructured. Also, President Biden is working on eliminating these fees, called “junk fees” or “convenience fees,” on a federal level which will end these hidden charges when buying tickets.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: