Artist News Business News Legal Live Business Top Stories

Ticketmaster sued in Canada over pricing of Drake tickets

By | Published on Monday 27 March 2023


A law firm in Canada last week filed a class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster taking issue with the way the Live Nation ticketing platform sets prices, advertises shows and defines tickets as ‘platinum’.

According to the Toronto Star, the lawsuit hones in on an upcoming Drake show at Montreal’s Bell Centre. One fan bought two ‘official platinum’ tickets priced at $789.54 each. Then the next day a second show at the venue was announced at which the same seats were on sale for $350 less.

“Ticketmaster unilaterally decides which tickets it advertises and sells as ‘official platinum’ based on a given event”, the legal filing states. “The result is that most, if not all, of the tickets advertised and sold as ‘official platinum’ are neither ‘premium tickets’ nor ‘some of the best seats in the house’ and are, in fact, just regular tickets sold by Ticketmaster at an artificially inflated premium in bad faith”.

The ticketing firm would also have been aware that a second Drake show was planned at the point it sold the fan those $789.54 tickets, the lawsuit reckons, but it chose to “conceal this information” in order to “squeeze out” as much money as possible from fans eager to see the musician perform.

Although there have been grievances for many years, of course, over how concert ticketing works – both generally and more specifically on the Ticketmaster platform – those grievances have been back in the spotlight of late.

High ticket prices and ticketing fees, as well as Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing system, have all been newly criticised by fans, politicians, consumer rights groups and – sometimes – artists.

In the US, when fans have tried to take legal action against Ticketmaster to challenge some of its practices, the Live Nation company has usually successfully pushed those disputes into private arbitration, on the basis that consumers commit to that approach when accepting the terms and conditions on its website.

It will be interesting to see how this litigation in Canada, filed with the Quebec Superior Court, now progresses.