On the heels of the San Diego Pearl Jam shows being canceled at the
Del Mar Fairgrounds, the band announced that they would try to work
with Ticketmaster again, as we reported in "Music News Of The World"
yesterday. The latest development in the touring saga is that the band
has rescheduled the two shows, and will now perform at the San Diego
Sports Arena on June 26-27 with Bad Religion and Mudhoney. According
to an article in yesterday's Los Angeles Times this is actually
part of the deal with Ticketmaster, since the ticket agency has
exclusive control over the Sports Arena. It appears that the San
Diego incident was the straw that broke the camel's back in a grueling
year of trying to arrange a major tour without Ticketmaster. The
upshot of the altruistic efforts was that the band was locked out of
most of the large arenas in the US. Pearl Jam manager, Kelly Curtis
spoke from his Seattle offices yesterday saying, "The hurdles and
expenses of doing it without them are impossible. It was very
expensive and very difficult. " Peal Jam had planned its current
11-city tour around sites that didn't use Ticketmaster, which the band
accused of price gouging and monopoly, but it wasn't without a
struggle. "We did want to make a point on how difficult it is to tour
with without Ticketmaster and we made the point. " Curtis said.
"As of this morning there was nothing that had been signed or
negotiated [with Ticketmaster]," said Ray Garman, the president of
Fillmore Mercantile, Inc., a Philadelphia bank that is the principal
shareholder of ETM, the Philadelphia-based ticket agency Peal Jam had
chosen to work with. One reason was that ETM's service charge was
less than $3 per $20 ticket as compared with up to $6 for
Ticketmaster. But the fact that Pearl Jam are playing the San Diego
Sports Arena seems to belie Garman's words. All fans who ordered their
tickets for the Del Mar Fairground shows will be receiving their
tickets in the mail over the next two weeks, and they will be honored
at the Sports Arena.
"I regret to say that it is impossible for a major rock group to put
on a national tour under the current circumstances without
Ticketmaster," Curtis told the L. A. Times. "They've got a
monopoly. We did everything we could over the past 14 months to get
around them and put this tour together, but we failed. It's up to the
Justice Department now.
"It's been like David against Goliath since the first day we decided
to take them on," Curtis added. "But unfortunately, this time out,
the giant won."