I read this article in the Times today about the actions of the promoters for the Michael Jackson shows, and it reminded of two things.
Firstly, that the music industry isn't called an industry for nothing.
But it also reminded me that they don't hold all the cards, not by a long shot. So what I propose is simple.
Now, I couldn't give a damn about Michael Jackson, and some of his fans don't seem to be playing with a full deck, but I don't like watching people get screwed, so what I propose is this - let's, as music fans, start organising. Let's call it the National Union of Ticket Buyers Against Ridiculousness(just for the catchy acronym, obviously).
We have every ability to force a promoter's hand, we just choose not to, and that's crazy, especially in this economic climate. If a large enough scale internet boycott of tickets for the shows is organised, that is to say, no purchase of any tickets above face value (so no Ebay, no packages, no Viagogo) then good old fashioned supply and demand kicks back into play.
Which of these is more likely? Promoter leaves the first 20 rows empty and has to sheepishly explain to the artist why they're staring out at a sea of empty seats? Or they put them on sale at a more reasonable price to save face?
So it seems to me like all people need to do is organise and mobilise, and between fan sites (and I would imagine he has a few of those), Facebook, Twitter and everything else, it's entirely an entirely feasible proposition. Shame anyone who bought one, deride them as a gullible moron. Deconstruct the content of the packages compared to what you'd get elsewhere for the money. When did you last hear anyone say "Ooh, a buffet and parking! And only £150 extra!"?
Music fans *can* say no, and now's the time to start doing it, because if you tolerate this, then your band will be next...