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Bruce Springsteen Defends High Ticket Prices for Upcoming Tour

For the first time, Bruce Springsteen has addressed the controversy surrounding the price of tickets for his upcoming tour with the E Street Band.

Springsteen’s working class image took a hit when tickets to the tour soared as high as $5,000, pricing out many longtime fans. Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau previously defended the decision to employ Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing model, which alters the cost of tickets based on demand. Claiming that the vast of majority of ticket sold were in the mid-$200 range, Landau argued, “I believe that in today’s environment, that is a fair price to see someone universally regarded as among the very greatest artists of his generation.”

Springsteen made a similar argument in a new interview with Rolling Stone.

“What I do is a very simple thing. I tell my guys, ‘Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let’s charge a little less.’ That’s generally the directions. They go out and set it it out. For the past 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there under market value. I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been great for the fans.

This time I told them, ‘Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.’ So that’s what happened. That’s what they did.

But ticket buying has gotten very confusing, not just for the fans, but for the artists also. And the bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable. They’re in that affordable range. We have those tickets that are going to go for that [higher] price somewhere anyway. The ticket broker or someone is going to be taking that money. I’m going, ‘Hey, why shouldn’t that money go to the guys that are going to be up there sweating three hours a night for it?’

It created an opportunity for that to occur. And so at that point, we went for it. I know it was unpopular with some fans. But if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back.”

All things considered, Springsteen seems relatively unfazed by the backlash. “I’m old. I take a lot of things in stride [laughs]. You don’t like to be criticized. You certainly don’t like to be the poster boy for high ticket prices. It’s the last thing you prefer to be,” Springsteen said, before adding: “But that’s how it went. You have to own the decisions you have made and go out and just continue to do your best. And that was my take on it. I think if folks come to the show, they’re going to have a good time.”

Springsteen and the E Street Band will hit the road beginning in February of 2023, with dozens of dates around the world that will keep them busy through July. The Boss teased that further concerts will be announced in the future, and he would consider changing up how tickets are sold for those ones.

In the meantime, fans can catch Springsteen performing for free via video of his recent threenight appearance on The Tonight Show, where he showcased his newly released solo album, Only the Strong Survive.