In a bid to beat scalpers and bots, Avenged Sevenfold have integrated their Deathbats Club NFTs with Ticketmaster for their upcoming shows.

If you hold an Avenged Sevenfold NFT, you may have got hold of a ticket for the heavy metal band’s upcoming tour. However, thanks to Ticketmaster, you probably didn’t get the “best prices”, like the band hoped you would.

Members of the Deathbats Club, Avenged Sevenfold’s exclusive NFT-gated fan club, were greeted with news last week of an interesting integration. In a tweet, the band revealed that it would be teaming up with Ticketmaster to give A7X NFT holders access to the best tickets.

The band hadn’t been particularly active for a little while. But, on the 14th of March, their silence was broken with the release of their latest single, Nobody. This was to be the precursor to the announcement of their upcoming album, Life Is But a Dream. The new album is set for release on the 2nd of June later this year.

To promote this new album, Avenged Sevenfold have lined up a tour, sponsored by Ticketmaster. This includes a show at the world-famous Maddison Square Garden, in New York City.

Despite efforts to swerve the likes of bots, scalpers, and unattainable ticket prices, fans were still displeased with Ticketmaster.

How did Ticketmaster upset fans this time?

Avenged Sevenfold NFT holders, as well as non-crypto fans of the band, took to Reddit to voice their unhappiness. Pricing by Ticketmaster was viewed as exploitative, with screenshots demonstrating some pretty unfair deals.

One fan shared a shot of the six tickets they purchased. Each one cost $282, but had been slapped with an additional service fee of $54.29. That’s a $54.29 service fee for each of the six tickets!

This is common practice for Ticketmaster, with fans of other bands being hit with this nasty surprise on many occasions. Recently, Robert Smith of The Cure had to wade in to save fans. Smith intervened to bring the overpriced tickets down to a more affordable bracket.

Whether the members of Avenged Sevenfold will rescue fans in the same fashion remains to be seen.

What is dynamic pricing & why does it suck?

A lot of the controversy around rising ticket prices is down to the relatively new concept of dynamic pricing. There are different types of tickets you can buy. Firstly, you have the face value ticket price, which is set by the artists and promoters. Then, there’s the secondary sales tickets, which tend to be tickets that have been bought up by touting companies. These touts then resell the tickets for an inflated price, blocking many fans from being able to see their favourite acts.

What exactly is dynamic pricing, then?

Dynamic pricing is a ticket pricing system based on demand. The idea is that the face value of tickets matches the prices that ticket touts would sell them for, in the hopes that this will scare scalpers away in the first place. This way, Ticketmaster and promoters can keep the profit, rather than it going to touts. Although, Ticketmaster has already caused controversy, being accused of having a monopoly over the industry. This system also reduces the risk of fake tickets being sold on secondary sale sites like StubHub and Viagogo.

Sounds good for artists and promoters, and Ticketmaster, but not so good for fans.

This system means tickets being sold, in some cases, for more than double what the original face value would have been. Many see this as a move motivated by greed, rather than an attempt to fix a wider problem.

However, artists do in fact have the choice to cap ticket prices if they wish. For example, Tom Grennan said last October that his team had worked hard to keep ticket prices down. The singer had rejected all VIP and platinum ticket options, citing the UK’s cost of living crisis as the reason.

A7X’s Stance on Dynamic Pricing

Avenged Sevenfold’s own M Shadows weighed in on the topic last year, in support of dynamic pricing. He stated that artists set the prices, and that it may suck for fans, but it does mean more revenue going to artists.

Whilst the latter point is a good one, Shadows’ take does come off a little harsh. The heavy metal singer stated: “you don’t automatically deserve a ticket because you are a fan.”

Many artists have capped prices at the original face value, since this is the money they would have seen regardless of whether tickets were bought by fans or scalpers. As one fan tweeted Shadows about this, the singer responded with his own “hard” moral question.

In light of this, it’s fairly unlikely that Avenged Sevenfold will be intervening in the same way as Robert Smith. But, if you hold one Avenged Sevenfold NFT of 10,000, maybe you managed to find a reasonably priced ticket in the end.