String Cheese Sue Ticketmaster

Band charges industry giant with monopolizing industry

August 7, 2003 12:00 AM ET

SCI Ticketing, a company owned by jam band the String Cheese Incident, filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster in a federal court in Denver on August 6th. The band's ticketing service, based in Boulder, Colorado, charges the nation's largest concert ticket retailer with monopolizing the industry and preventing SCI Ticketing from offering direct ticket sales to fans.

According to the band's complaint, Ticketmaster issued a letter in May 2002 ordering concert promoters and venues to halt the long-running practice of issuing blocks of concert tickets for artists to sell directly to fans. "SCI has become the target of an all-out effort by Ticketmaster to foreclose it from competing in the relevant market," reads a complaint in the suit. "Ticketmaster's monopolization of the relevant market and its abuse of that monopoly power are causing damage to SCI Ticketing and may lead to its demise."

The String Cheese Incident aren't the first band to try and take on the industry behemoth. At the height of their popularity in the mid-Nineties, Pearl Jam attempted to challenge Ticketmaster's concert dominance, crying foul at the service charges the company levied on concert tix. PJ bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard appeared before a Congressional subcommittee investigating the matter in 1994, but lobbyists had a law regulating service fees killed and a Justice Department investigation into possible anti-trust violations quietly came and went with no change.

The band, along with a representative for its booking agency and its attorney plan to address the issue at a New York City press conference on Monday.

Ticketmaster had no comment at press time.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

More Song Stories entries »