Over the weekend social media was flooded with posts about the final outcome of the years-long legal battle of Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster, a protracted court case that was finally settled last year. It was a class action lawsuit brought against the ticket selling giant, arguing that all those “service fees” and “convenience fees” tacked on to the actual value of the ticket amounted to nothing more than Ticketmaster making you pay more money just because they can. The courts agreed, and now Ticketmaster has to pay. Justice for Eddie Vedder!
The way they are paying is offering consumers that purchased tickets from Ticketmaster between 1999 and 2013 a rebate, in the form of vouchers for tickets. But all the news posts about the “ticket vouchers” that have appeared in your Ticketmaster accounts are pretty confusing — so here’s some clarifying facts about what it all means, and whether or not you have free tickets to tons of concerts.
First off, the short answer: yes, you have free ticket vouchers, depending on how many tickets you bought from Ticketmaster between the years 1999 and 2013. Some have just one pair of ticket vouchers; some have ten pairs or more. That is true. You probably do have at least one pair of ticket vouchers if you’ve used Ticketmaster at all. So that’s cool! Free tickets!
HOWEVER! As the website states in some fairly confusing legal language, you can’t just go and get free front-row tickets to Beyonce. The ticket vouchers are only good for official LIVE NATION VENUES, Live Nation being the entertainment booking behemoth that merged with Ticketmaster in 2010.
The ticket vouchers are also only good for CERTAIN SHOWS chosen at Live Nation/Ticketmaster’s “sole discretion.” So you can’t just pick a concert you want to go to and get your tickets — you have to see what shows Live Nation/Ticketmaster will choose as open to the ticket voucher holders. I’m no fortune teller, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that Beyonce shows are not going to be on that list.
Also, if you clicked on that list of Live Nation venues above, you’ll see that no venues in Maine — neither the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, nor the Maine State Pier or the State Theatre in Portland, nor any other Maine venue — are on there. The closest venues on the list are in and around Boston, including the Xfinity Center, the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, the House of Blues, the Orpheum Theater and the Paradise Rock Club. And there is no guarantee that any of those venues will host any ticket voucher concert.
And finally, there’s no list of ticket voucher concerts yet available — in fact, right now the only way you’ll be able to find out what events you’ll be able to use your vouchers is to sign up for an email list that is linked at the very bottom of that same confusing legal language page. You will receive “periodic notifications by email when new events become available.”
So, to recap: your ticket vouchers are only good for certain events at certain venues, none of those venues are in Maine, and nobody knows what those events will be until the company hosting those events decides to tell you what they are.