Often derided by music fans and industry watchers for adding excessive fees via its subsidiary company Ticketmaster and allegedly strong-arming venues, Live Nation is making a goodwill gesture toward customers this week for National Concert Week -- and it amounts to some genuinely good deals for Minnesota music lovers.
Starting today through May 8, Live Nation is selling $20 “all-in tickets” to such upcoming Twin Cities concerts as the Zac Brown Band, Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper, the Pretenders, Paramore, Hall & Oates with Train, the Head & the Heart, Eric B. & Rakim, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, and Coheed & Cambria with Taking Back Sunday.
No, there’s no catch. There aren’t even Ticketmaster fees for these discounted tickets! The quantities are limited, though.
The promotion lists other concerts such as Charlie Puth, Maroon 5, 5 Seconds of Summer and Journey/Def Leppard as part of the offer, but no $20 seats came up Monday morning when we clicked on the Ticketmaster link for those dates.
Of course, the $20 tickets that can be found at seated venues such as Target Field or Xcel Energy Center are for nosebleed sections (i.e., Sec. 313, Row 14 for Zac Brown). But for shows at Live Nation-contracted venues such as the Armory or Varsity Theatre – also including Helmet with Prong, and the ‘90s rock trio 3 Doors Down, Collective Soul and Soul Asylum – the tickets are general-admission on the floor.
And yes, like the Varsity, the Armory is now officially a Live Nation-affiliated venue. The company announced last Friday it had signed a “new strategic partnership” to handle booking and promotion for the 8,000-capacity venue, which reopened around the Super Bowl following a multi-million-dollar renovation.
“The Twin Cities has been lacking a great mid-size hall and the Armory fills that gap perfectly,” Jason Wright, president of Live Nation Midwest, said in a press release. “With sight lines and amenities that are unmatched in the Midwest, music fans will marvel when they see a show in this space.”
Most but not all of the dates already on the Armory’s calendar for 2018 are Live Nation bookings anyway. For now, the company is saying it will keep the venue open to competing promoters such as First Avenue and Jam Productions, who are behind the Aug. 6 Jack White date there (no $20 seats for that one!).