Colorado’s String Cheese Incident will be swinging through town Friday and the bluegrass-folk jam band has come up with a canny way to sidestep ticket fees for its legendarily supportive fans. For many of the venues on the group’s itinerary, band officials worked out agreements to leave off the service fees that can add 30% or 40% to fans’ out-of-pocket costs.
For its stop at the Greek Theatre, that wasn’t possible, so the group fronted fans cash to purchase batches of tickets directly from the venue's box office, which doesn’t charge service or handling fees. The protest action is an outgrowth of SCI’s lawsuit in 2003 against Ticketmaster, and the resulting settlement that allowed the group to keep selling tickets directly to fans through its own website without the surcharges.
Consequently, fans who buy tickets for the Greek show at www.stringcheeseincident.com get $49.95 face value tickets for (drum roll!) $49.95. By comparison, those same $49.95 seats on the Greek’s website come with an extra $12.90 in fees, making the total $62.85 each.
This L.A. show, however, comes with a real ethical twist: The band is looking out for its fans, but will cash-strapped fans look out for the band? Discount tickets for SCI's show here have popped up at the Goldstar.com website for $35. Even adding in Goldstar’s fees of $8.50 per ticket, the total comes out to $43.50, a savings of a little better than 10%, although that puts less money into the band members’ pockets.