The Cure | Photo by Kevin Estrada, @KevinEstradaPhotography
In the latest chapter of The Cure’s fight over ticketing, Robert Smith announced on Twitter on Friday that he’d been informed that approximately 7,000 tickets to the band’s North American tour have been canceled because they were bought with “fake accounts” or listed on the secondary market.
A day earlier, Smith had tweeted about how ticket scalpers were getting around The Cure’s attempt to limit the digital transfer of tickets by reselling entire Ticketmaster accounts, with tickets included — a method detailed by Vice’s Motherboard in an extensive article last month.
All tickets bought that way, Smith continued, will be canceled and the original fees won’t be refunded — instead the fees will be donated to Amnesty International, “and the tickets themselves will be resold to fans.”
The 7,000 canceled tickets were linked to 2,200 individual orders, Smith wrote on Friday. “These are tickets acquired with fake accounts/listed on secondary resale sites,” he wrote. “TM have identified specific locations from secondary postings.” Any fans who believe their tickets have been “wrongly canceled” should contact Ticketmaster via @TMFanSupport on Twitter, Smith added.
“Sickened” by “unduly high” ticket fees
The Cure announced the 30-date “Shows of a Lost World” North American tour on March 9, and spelled out initial efforts to thwart scalpers and try to keep tickets affordable — including by barring the transfer of tickets, prohibiting resale above face value and the use of the Ticketmaster Verified Fan system.
When tickets went on sale, though, sky-high demand meant many fans were shut out from even getting codes to access the presale that started March 15 — and through which it seemed most of the seats available at the 30 shows were sold. Fans also grumbled as the band’s attempts to keep prices low were met with services fees that, in the most extreme cases, exceeded ticket prices.
By the time the general on-sale rolled around on March 17, Smith had secured partial refunds of Ticketmaster’s “unduly high” fees that he had felt “sickened” by. Still, by the Friday general on-sale, the majority of tickets already had been sold and buyers quickly snatched up most of what was left.
Smith has urged fans to use face value exchanges like twickets.live if they need to buy or sell tickets, and repeatedly has asked fans not to buy tickets to the shows in Denver, New York City and Chicago from ticket brokers, as they are in states with “laws protecting scalpers.” According to Ticketmaster, it those three states, “state law prohibits artists from restricting resale.”
So have The Cure’s efforts been working?
According to Bill Werde’s music industry newsletter Full Rate No Cap, “The short answer appears to be ‘absolutely.'” Werde writes that he examined ticket resale listings for all 30 shows, and found that there was a lower volume of tickets available in the states “that allow artists to make decisions about resale.”
As could be expected, Werde writes, there were far more tickets being scalped for shows in Colorado, Illinois and New York, where the laws prevented Smith from implementing some of his restrictions.
I was unable to independently confirm this, but I had one reliable source with firsthand knowledge of The Cure’s ticketing for this tour drop this beauty of an estimate: 40% to 50% of the dollar volume of the secondary market on the 30-date Cure tour was tied up in only the five shows in Colorado, Illinois and New York. If true, this speaks to how powerful artist-driven bans on resale can be.
For a much deeper look at ticket resale issues and The Cure’s efforts, Werde’s full essay is highly recommended.
Three more shows to be added?
Finally, in the wake of the quick sell-outs of most of the tour’s shows, Smith tweeted several times about plans to add three additional concerts to the North American tour, even writing on March 21 that “one extra show is confirmed… waiting on the other two… hopefully before the sun comes up.”
Since that date last month, however, he’s been silent on the matter.
Below, check out The Cure’s (announced) tour dates
The Cure 2023 tour dates
May 10: New Orleans, LA — Smoothie King Center
May 12: Houston, TX — Toyota Center
May 13: Dallas, TX — Dos Equis Pavilion
May 14: Austin, TX — Moody Center
May 16: Albuquerque, NM — Isleta Amphitheater
May 18: Phoenix, AZ — Desert Diamond Arena
May 20: San Diego, CA — NICU Amphitheatre
May 23: Los Angeles, CA — Hollywood Bowl
May 24: Los Angeles, CA — Hollywood Bowl
May 25: Los Angeles, CA — Hollywood Bowl
May 27: San Francisco, CA — Shoreline Amphitheatre
June 1: Seattle, WA — Climate Pledge Arena
June 2: Vancouver, BC — Rogers Arena
June 4: Salt Lake City, UT — Vivint Smart Home Arena
June 6: Denver, CO — Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
June 8: Minneapolis St. Paul, MN — Xcel Energy Center
June 10: Chicago, IL — United Center
June 11: Cleveland, OH — Blossom Music Center
June 13: Detroit, MI — Pine Knob Music Theatre
June 14: Toronto, ON — Budweiser Stage
June 16: Montreal, QC — Bell Centre
June 18: Boston, MA — Xfinity Center
June 20: New York, NY — Madison Square Garden
June 21: New York, NY — Madison Square Garden
June 22: New York, NY — Madison Square Garden
June 24: Philadelphia, PA — Wells Fargo Center
June 25: Columbia, MD — Merriweather Post Pavilion
June 27: Atlanta, GA — State Farm Arena
June 29: Tampa, FL — Amalie Arena
July 1: Miami, FL — Miami-Dade Arena
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- The Cure’s Robert Smith says Ticketmaster will partially refund “unduly high” ticket fees
- The Cure’s Robert Smith “sickened” by ticket fees, says Verified Fan system “far from perfect”
- The Cure’s plan to keep tickets affordable: No dynamic pricing, face-value resale, no transfers
- The Cure announces 30-date “Shows of a Lost World” North American tour
- The Cure’s deluxe reissue of “Wish” to include 21 unreleased demos, “Lost Wishes” EP
- The Cure turns Pasadena Daydream into ‘the best day of the summer’ with scorching set
- The absolute best of The Cure: All 225 songs ranked by Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers