Biden calls on Congress to end hidden fees – but what does it mean for concert tickets?

Washington DC - During a meeting with the Presidential Competition Council on Wednesday, President Joe Biden took aim at hidden fees attached to concert tickets, credit cards, and more – and music fans in particular have taken notice.

President Joe Biden called on Congress to address rising hidden fees across the board.
President Joe Biden called on Congress to address rising hidden fees across the board.  © Chip Somodevilla / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Biden has proposed the Junk Fee Protection Act, in partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which looks to promote transparency about hidden fees and reduce unnecessary ones.

These include excessive fees tacked onto entertainment tickets, extra charges for families purchasing seats together on airlines, early termination charges for TV, phone, and internet services, and hidden resort fees while booking vacations.

He's also looking to cut down on credit card late fees, calling them "a junk fee if there ever was one." In the meeting, Biden said the new policy would slash the fees from an average of $31 to just $8.

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The calling out of expensive service fees attached to concert ticket sales drew particular attention amid the uproar against Ticketmaster following their mishandling of the presale for Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour – as many fans' ears perked up.

Fans call out excessive service fees on concert tickets

Taylor Swift fans protested against Ticketmaster outside of the Senate hearing on January 24.
Taylor Swift fans protested against Ticketmaster outside of the Senate hearing on January 24.  © Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

As music fans know, reducing hefty service fees on concert ticket sales would help target one of the many stressors Ticketmaster has inflicted on fans.

The company was targeted in a Senate hearing on January 24, which was motivated by the disastrous The Eras Tour ticket sale. Despite the service itself barely functioning correctly, Swifties found themselves paying hefty service fees that averaged around 30% of the ticket price.

The Senators brought up these fees during the hearing, hoping to determine who was responsible for the excessive additional charges.

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Joe Berchtold, the CFO of Live Nation, attempted to deflect the blame on behalf of the company to individual venues. But musician Clyde Lawrence from the band Lawrence told the Senate that venues are not responsible for the fees - nor do they know what amount it will be.

Lawrence also said that service fees for his own shows have gone as high as 82% of the ticket price.

There's no better time than now to tackle the absurdity running rampant with concert ticket sales fees, as an impressive lineup of tours will take place this year, including Beyoncé's newly announced Renaissance World Tour.

Cover photo: Collage: Drew Angerer & Chip Somodevilla / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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