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Should Canada Crackdown on Hidden Fees for Concert Tickets?

People attending a concert in a large stadium, dark ambience with coloured strobe lights

CANADA – If you’ve tried to go to a concert recently, you know securing good tickets is a miracle, and securing reasonably priced tickets is impossible! In fact, according to TIME Magazine, the average ticket prices have more than tripled since the mid-‘90s, and that’s before they’re resold with eye-watering markups.

Stateside, U.S. President Joe Biden has announced that his government is cracking down on hidden and high “junk fees” like the ones that drive the prices of concert tickets through the roof on sites like Ticketmaster.

“There are tens of billions of dollars in other junk fees across the economy, and I’m directing my administration to reduce or eliminate them,” Biden shared.

“Last week the federal trade commission started work on a rule to crack down on unfair and hidden fees across all industries,” Biden continued, adding that these fees were never disclosed and there is no option to opt out of them – like processing fees for concert tickets.

Live Nation Responds

Following Biden’s remarks last week, Live Nation – the parent company of Ticketmaster – released a statement applauding the move. 

“We applaud President Biden’s advocacy for fee transparency in every industry, including live event ticketing. Live Nation Entertainment advocated for the all-in pricing mandate passed in New York earlier this year, which requires face-value prices and fees to be shown upfront – and we support the FTC mandating this nationally. We operate ticketing marketplaces in 30+ countries around the world and have seen all-in pricing adopted successfully in many countries when mandated across the board,” the statement reads. 

“This only works if all ticketing marketplaces go all-in together so that consumers truly have accurate comparisons as they shop for tickets,” Live Nation continued.

Should Canada Follow Suit?

With the U.S. cracking down on sneaky fees, people here in Canada question whether Trudeau will do the same.  As of 2022, the average ticket price for a Toronto concert is $121, according to the ticket-platform SeatGeek.

An investigation from 2019 found that Ticketmaster Canada advertised prices that did not reflect the true cost to consumers —  adding anywhere between 20% to 65% in extra fees. Ticketmaster was ordered to pay over $4.5 million in penalties, yet in 2022, ticket prices still remain above average.

Many Canadians are airing their grievances online, calling for the federal government to step up and do something about the rising costs. 

“Trudeau doesn’t have the guts to do the same. Next change needs to be the monopoly of the big 3 cell phone and internet companies that are robbing Canadians year after year,” one person shared on Instagram. 

“I feel like they added these things little by little and now we’re just at the point where it’s so outrageous people are trying to do something about it,” someone else pointed out on Twitter, comparing hidden fees on concert tickets to overdraft fees on bank accounts.

While others feel that ticket prices are small potatoes in the current cost-of-living crisis. 

“Come on. People this couldn’t be the most important inflated prices out there,” posted one viewer. 

“Of all things on his agenda he chose Ticketmaster?” commented another. 

And some people don’t think new legislation will actually help bring down the cost of tickets. 

Would you like to see the Canadian government crackdown on these additional hidden fees? Let us know in the comments!



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