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Ticketmaster Accused of "Price Gouging" in Canada

July 14, 2008 12:03 PM ET

As if the imminent Live Nation ticketing venture wasn't enough for Ticketmaster, the company now has to deal with accusations of "price gouging" by angry Elton John fans in Saskatchewan. When tickets for Elton John's performance in the capital city of Saskatoon went on sale, fans discovered that Ticketmaster had already sold out of their allotment, and instead recommended fans try to buy tickets at Tickets Now, a secondary ticketing site owned by Ticketmaster. Not only did Tickets Now already have tickets for sale, but they were also demanding much higher prices than originally posted on Ticketmaster, leading fans to accuse the company of scalping and getting the province's Justice Minister involved.

Ticketmaster said they were not aware they were shuffling fans to Tickets Now and has since removed the link. The company's head of ticketing in Saskatchewan said, "The inventory belongs to the promoter and artist, and the artist determines who has what privileges in advance of the public on sale or not, like fan clubs for instance." The situation is similar to an incident last year where angry parents of Hannah Montana fans accused Ticketmaster of being easily penetrable by scalpers looking to hit big on the secondary ticketing market.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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