Ticket Masters

Ticket Masters Cover

Ticket Masters

The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped

By Dean Budnick; Josh Baron

ECW Press, Hardcover, 9781550229493, 374pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2011

?In the spring of 1975 a trio of neophyte businessmen backed an old Chrysler onto a sun-baked Arizona driveway and convened in their new office. The garage start-up, dubbed Ticketmaster, would come to achieve such market dominance over the following decades some critics would denounce the company as an unlawful monopoly. Yet its path to the top was far from inevitable and Ticket Masters analyzes the legality and ethics behind the actions of Ticketmaster, including its recent merger with Live Nation. Ticket Masters, based on first-person interivews with the key players, is a character-driven story that explores the actions and impact of the iconoclasts guiding Clear Channel, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, SFX, MusicToday, and StubHub, while folding in related tales of trustafarians, scalping syndicates, old-school music promoters, and would-be Internet tycoons. Ticket Masters answers such questions as: Just what is included in a service fee and why does it vary with the price of a ticket? Why am I forced to pay for parking when I m taking public transportation to the concert? and Who really pockets all of that money? This guide to the concert industry looks into cubicles, conference rooms, and booking agencies and includes interviews with promoters, musicians, and corporate executives with connections to both Ticketmaster and the bands. Special attention is paid to the touring activities and ticket-selling practices of the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, U2, Dave Matthews Band, and the Rolling Stones.

About the Author
Dean Budnick is the executive editor of Relix magazine, the founder of www.jambands.com, and the author of Jam Bands and The Phishing Manual. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard's History of American Civilization program and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Josh Baron is the editor in chief of Relix magazine and contributes to a variety of media outlets on music and ticketing. They both live in New York City.

Praise For Ticket Masters

"[A] lively, sprawling chronology of the concert-ticket sales business . . . Budnick and Baron offer information in accessible language fortified with verbatim dialogue from a pantheon of music-industry brass." Kirkus Reviews (April 15, 2011)

"In other hands, this book could have been dull and academic, but it reads like an adventure story, full of colorful characters, shady transactions, and surprising twists and turns. For everyone who has been dumbstruck by the extra fees added to the price of admission, this book is just the ticket. Highly recommended for eventgoers everywhere." Library Journal (May 1, 2011)

"A clear, comprehensive look at a murky business, the book is also an encyclopedia of information about the rise, decline and rebirth of the live music industry." Wall Street Journal (May 28, 2011)

"Fascinating. . . . [The authors] delve deep into every aspect of the tour biz, from the rise of computerized ticketing to the consolidation of concert promoters." Rolling Stone (June 9, 2011)

"A fascinating insider's portrait of the music business once all of the pulsing lights, fog machines and sound equipment have been turned off." Maclean's (June 27, 2011)

"Budnick and Baron did a tremendous job in chronicling the history of the U.S. and Canadian concert business and how the business models have changed. . . . Ticket Masters is an excellent book for music historians and business geeks alike." www.boomerocity.com