Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

USA and Canada (April 1 - June 4, 2009). Special concert for fans in NYC (February 19). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...

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Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby jarkko on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:15 am

Today Marie and I spoke to Robert Kory, Leonard's manager, about the on-going discussion here and elsewhere regarding the sale of Cohen concert tickets through Ticketmaster and their subsidiary sites TicketsNow and TicketExchange. We also contacted AEGLive. Of specific concern to us was the March 11 Wall Street Journal article which stated,

"...Ticketmaster facilitates the secondary ticket market and profits from it. According to several managers of top artists and Ticketmaster executives, the company routinely offers to list hundreds of the best tickets per concert on one of its two resale Web sites -- and divides the extra revenue, which can amount to more than $2 million on a major tour, with artists and promoters."

While several artists were mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article, Leonard Cohen was not!! Many on this forum and elsewhere have chosen to believe this omission was an accident and that Leonard is participating in these practices simply because AEGLive is promoting his tour. We are pleased to report that we have confirmed Leonard is not participating. Robert Kory explained that this ticketing option had been offered and that he had declined on Leonard’s behalf. We also confirmed with Elliott Leflko at AEG that Mr. Kory declined. Not only that, Mr. Lefko explained that Mr. Kory has gone so far as to require that no peer to peer secondary ticketing of Cohen tickets be allowed on TicketExchange to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. As a result, no one, neither fans nor ticket brokers, can resell Leonard Cohen tickets through Ticket Exchange. We have checked ourselves on TicketExchange, and we found no Cohen tickets available through the Platinum Ticket program.

We can also confirm that we have worked with Mr. Kory to try to make the best tickets available to fans through this website in an orderly and fair way, and of course, without any premium. As most of you are aware, a fan presale of tickets requiring a password was conducted for all venues on the North American tour schedule. Resale of these tickets is limited by the "will call" policy discouraging scalpers. Further, a VIP ticket program was implemented where some very good tickets in each venue are sold along with a limited edition, collectible tour poster, a Live In London DVD, a tour program and other collectible merchandise. This VIP program prevents scalper bots from grabbing up the premium tickets when sales begin and provides fans with valuable merchandise in the process. This program protects some of the best seats for fans who may have missed the fan presale, and is NOT part of the the platinum program where premium seats are filtered to TicketExchange for resale at market prices. In fact, the VIP program represents the exact opposite, as its purpose is to keep the premium seats in the primary TicketMaster system at a uniform set price for purchase by fans who would like both a premium ticket and limited edition collector’s items.

Marie and I have spoken a number of times about what a great pleasure it is to see Leonard achieve a new and expanding level of popularity. Unfortunately, it also means many more fans are competing for a finite number of concert tickets. Maybe Mr. Kory underestimated that demand for tickets and booked Leonard in venues that are too small in some cities. We understand the frustration this creates for long time fans. However, we believe that Leonard and his management have acted and will continue to act with fans' interests foremost in mind. While there is a limit to what Leonard can do to control the resale of his tickets, there is no limit to Leonard's integrity. Again, Leonard is not involved in any plan or program wherein he would profit from the resale of tickets on TicketExchange, TicketsNow or any of the myriad ticket broker sites where scalpers have purchased tickets and are now reselling them at market prices. With that in mind, we would appreciate it if longtime members here would see to it that this message is copied and repeated again and again when newbies come to this forum and suggest otherwise. We would also encourage fans to express appreciation for Leonard’s tireless efforts. The ultimate solution to the ticketing problem is for Leonard to do more shows in larger venues. We have attended Leonard’s arena shows. They are fantastic.

Marie & Jarkko
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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby mirka on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:58 am

Thanks a lot, Jarkko and Marie.
Now I can go to another concert without reservations.
/Warsaw March 22 1985 / Halifax May 16 /Charlottetown May 18 / Dublin June 15 / Vienna Sept 24 2008/
Oakland April 13, 14, 15, San Jose Nov 13 2009/
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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby a.ephroni on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:06 am

Yes, thank you, Jarkko. The issue had seemed to boil down to a matter of faith... I had been hoping for some facts. Will try to help disseminate, as requested.
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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby UrPal on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:35 am

I'd just like to confirm that I saw Leonard Cohen a few times on his UK tour last year. Whilst the tickets were more expensive than I'd usually pay, the gigs were fantastic experiences and worth every penny and more. Thanks to him for the titanic effort made to get out on the road again and present this opportunity, one which I thought for many years I'd missed forever.

I'd also like to repeat what I posted elsewhere yesterday, because the situations which give rise to these false accusations are nevertheless bedded on a form of market exploitation from other profiteers which needs addressing:

The issue of ticketing and ticket touting seems a "current issue" for legislators in various parts of the world these days. The UK Government is presently undertaking a consulation which closes in early May of this year and consumers are invited to provide input as well as those in the industry and other interested parties:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_lib ... /5884.aspx

I believe that "consumers" means you and me, so anyone wanting to express a view can do so and there is an online questionnaire to complete using the link above.

The last select committee report seemed to come to the conclusion that the secondary market and re-selling was not such a bad thing and came down on the side of legislative intervention being inappropriate whilst encouraging a tightening up of industry practices by voluntary code. That seems to be the way things are drifting here, but maybe if enough direct consumer evidence were made available of the extent of the problem the position might be different.

Rather than bellyaching here, people might consider re-directing their bad experiences to the appropriate bodies able to do something about it. Recent news items I've read on here suggest similar enquiries are going on in the US too.

Here is a link to the 2007 select committee report for anyone with a bit of time to spare:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... /20202.htm
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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby Actually on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:45 am

I couldn't imagine Mr. Cohen and his people being involved in such deceptive practices, because those problems didn't appear in all the countries, as far as I know. And yesterday I was able to get probably the best seat in the house for the Berlin show at the regular presale through eventim, because you can pick your seats on your own from ALL the seats, which means the entire venue including all the front row seats (they're gone now, of course). So if they would have made so much money with that system of intrigues in the USA and elsewhere, they surely would have NOT let all those great seats go out to the lucky ones, who were online right at the time, when the tickets went on sale.
It's good to have confirmation, though.
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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby Mabeanie1 on Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:06 am

I very much welcome the response from management (via Jarkko & Marie). Whilst I am realistic about what goes on out there and would not have begrudged Leonard if he had taken a cut from these practices, I am delighted to hear that this opportunity has been specifically declined in relation to the current N American tour.

There was undoubtedly something "funny" going on in relation to some of the earlier shows (4 sold out shows in Manchester last June where the fans got the back of the gallery and the first few rows went to TicketExchange and Ticketmaster auctions spring to mind) but there is no doubt that management were responsive and have taken steps to make tickets available to us from there on in.

I would go so far as to suggest that a public statement clearly stating that Leonard & his management declined the opportunity to take part in these shenanigans and condemn the practices would be a good idea too. The more publicity there is on this issue, the more artists join Leonard and Bruce Springsteen in making a stand, the more pressure will be brought to bear on the profiteers from both public, artists and media alike.

Wendy
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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby HarryMann on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:58 pm

I would go so far as to suggest that a public statement clearly stating that Leonard & his management declined the opportunity to take part in these shenanigans and condemn the practices would be a good idea too. The more publicity there is on this issue, the more artists join Leonard and Bruce Springsteen in making a stand, the more pressure will be brought to bear on the profiteers from both public, artists and media alike.


I'd second that!
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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby leonardmtl on Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:27 pm

I would like to underline how fortunate all Forum members are to have Jarkko and Marie to gain access to LC management so we could quickly get this ticket matter clarified.

This early info has eliminated much additional angst. And, of course, underscores what we all knew anyway.

I am sure other artists would not have been as easily contacted.

And, of course, we can now close the door on the venom certain newbies are spewing. ????

Thank you Jarkko and Marie.

The Forum can return to its old comfortable self!

Leonard from Montreal....same name....same town....no Golden Voice.
We're all on one road....we're only passing through....

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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby Joe Way on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:16 pm

Dear Jarkko & Marie,
Thank you so much not only for all you have done, but for helping to clarify this issue. As anyone who has followed the tour from the beginning would notice, many adjustments have been made exclusively for the convenience and well-being of fans. The latest "innovations" including the requirement that all tickets purchased through the fan pre-sales must use the will-call window have all been an accommodation to help thwart scalpers and get tickets to loyal fans at a price that is dictated by the ordinary marketplace not one with artificial stimulants.

It is certainly not surprising to me that Leonard and all the people associated with Leonard would act with a high level of integrity. One only has to meet many of these people-your good selves included as well as the band members and former band members to understand that for what ever reason Leonard represents such a high standard of dedication to art and principle that it can't help but rub off on those of us who love and admire his work. We all need to toil for our daily bread, but we try to do it in a way that adds to the overall well-being of those around us rather than in an underhanded way that detracts from the dignity of our existence.

Thank you again for all you've done and continue to do and thank you to Leonard and those around him who have helped bring so much happiness and good will where ever they have traveled.

I suggest you pin this thread to the top where new people can see it.

Warmest regards,

Joe
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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby yopietro on Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:27 pm

Thank you so much Jarkko and Marie! I didn't want to comment on the speculation about the secondary market for tickets out of respect because I had felt that Leonard, through his music, words, and presence has given so much to my life. But truth be told, I am relieved to see that Leonard is not participating in this practice. Thank you again for clearing up this issue for all of us.
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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby da2008 on Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:41 pm

People thinking that artists participate in secondary ticket markets = Image
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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby KaimiK on Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:02 pm

This information comes as no surprise to me, I never suspected Mr. Cohen or his management of any ticketing conspiracies. But, I'm glad this can give peace of mind to all.

KaimiK (a non-venom spitting newbie to the board, but not the music)
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A Nice Bit of Revisionist History

Postby colombo on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:06 pm

I echo the above sentiments that laud Mr. Cohen and his management for no longer participating in the TicketExchange/TicketMaster Marketplace/Platinum Seating mechanism whereby tickets were routed directly to the secondary market. Kudos.

However, this *conveniently* overlooks the fact that he WAS participating at the inception of the onsales for these North American shows.

For the Oakland, CA shows, close to 150 pairs of tickets were available through this secondary marketplace directly on Ticketmaster's website. They were taken down incrementally beginning Tuesday 3/10 and are in fact no longer available for either Oakland show.

However, you can still see the "Platinum Seat" designation on the main event page. If you click through, you will be told that no seats are currently available.

As far as I can see, these seats have not been returned to the publicly available primary inventory, either at face value or through the VIP ticketing.
Perhaps they will be trickled into the box office inventory over the next few days and weeks leading up to the show. We shall see.

Again, kudos to Mr. Cohen and his management for publicly decrying these abusive sales practices.

Kudos to everyone on these boards for speaking up and making their voices heard.
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Re: A Nice Bit of Revisionist History

Postby da2008 on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:52 pm

colombo wrote:I echo the above sentiments that laud Mr. Cohen and his management for no longer participating in the TicketExchange/TicketMaster Marketplace/Platinum Seating mechanism whereby tickets were routed directly to the secondary market. Kudos.

However, this *conveniently* overlooks the fact that he WAS participating at the inception of the onsales for these North American shows.

For the Oakland, CA shows, close to 150 pairs of tickets were available through this secondary marketplace directly on Ticketmaster's website. They were taken down incrementally beginning Tuesday 3/10 and are in fact no longer available for either Oakland show.

However, you can still see the "Platinum Seat" designation on the main event page. If you click through, you will be told that no seats are currently available.

As far as I can see, these seats have not been returned to the publicly available primary inventory, either at face value or through the VIP ticketing.
Perhaps they will be trickled into the box office inventory over the next few days and weeks leading up to the show. We shall see.

Again, kudos to Mr. Cohen and his management for publicly decrying these abusive sales practices.

Kudos to everyone on these boards for speaking up and making their voices heard.


Colombo at work here. Amazing.

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Re: Comment on the ticket issue from the tour management

Postby imaginary friend on Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:01 pm

Thanks very much Jarkko and Marie, for clarifying this matter, indisputably, once and for all.

You go so far above and beyond expectations of the Forum members, every true LC fan must bless the day they discovered this Forum!

Great to hear that the arena shows have been wonderful as well. Leonard's Vancouver show is at GM Place, which is a vast hockey arena seating 21,000, and I was a bit nervous, but got tickets anyway – and to the Victoria show as well – through the Forum.

Thanks again for all you do.

Sheila
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