Jam band The String Cheese Incident has come under attack by Ticketmaster. In
order to satisfy the demand for tickets to the band's current Mid-Winter Music
Festival at Denver's Fillmore Auditorium, the band's in-house ticket service, SCI
Ticketing, purchased Ticketmaster tickets and then re-sold them. The Fillmore has
a ticketing contract with Ticketmaster.
SCI Ticketing's Jason Mastrine told the Denver Post, "SCI
Ticketing's motivation has always been to provide fans with an
alternative to the high service fees and impersonal service of major
SCI Ticketing, established in 1997, sells concert tickets at reduced service
fees for a number of bands.
"We believe it is the right of every artist to sell their own tickets, for
without the artist there would be no tickets," Mastrine said.
Ticketmaster states that SCI Ticketing doesn't have the right to sell tickets
and put venues in violation of their Ticketmaster contracts, reports the paper.
In the past 10 years, bands have started their own ticketing to make it easier
for fans to buy tickets and were asking for a percentage of tickets, based on the
venue's capacity, to sell to fans, including the Grateful Dead and Phish, who has
their own mail-order program.
String Cheese Incident started a "by-phone" program, and was the first to go
online with ticket sales.
Last year, Ticketmaster sent a letter to promoters and venues stating that artist
holds for their fan clubs violated TM's contracts with venues, the paper reports.
For King Crimson, one of the bands using SCI Ticketing, the ticketing service wasn't able to sell any tickets for the group's Clear Channel-promoted concerts in
major markets because CCE has a contract with Ticketmaster.
"There was a mandate attempting to require us to meet arbitrary 'fan
club rules' in order to sell tickets," Mastrine said. "We are not willing to
jump through those hoops. We'll continue to work for what we believe
SCI advised CelebrityAccess that they are not ready to make a formal comment at this time.