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    Coldplay/Live Nation to 'give away hot dogs, free drinks and parking'

    hotdog.jpgColdplay will reportedly hand out free hot dogs at their US live shows for fans who buy their tickets today. Promoters Live Nation have started a 'No Service Fee Wednesday' incentive to encourage more concert-goers during the global recession.


    Further perks for fans purchasing tickets midweek include free parking and a soft drink. The campaign has also been extended to cover live dates by No Doubt and Blink-182. Coldplay start touring North America again as part of their 'Viva La Vida' jaunt. The UK leg kicks off in Manchester on September 12.


    Meanwhile according to philly.com, a New Jersey man has sued Live Nation Inc., accusing the concert promoter of violating consumer protection laws by padding ticket prices at the PNC Bank Arts Center during its "No service fee Wednesday" promotion. Michael Katz, of Freehold Township, is seeking to have his lawsuit classified as class-action. It was filed late last month in Superior Court in Mercer County.

    Katz bought two batches of lawn tickets to an upcoming Blink 182 concert at the Arts Center in Holmdel. The base ticket price of the first batch were $7.75 each, not including $12.25 in fees. The base price of the second batch , purchased a few days later on a Wednesday , were $29 each, not including a $6 parking fee and a 25 cent "charity" fee.


    In the lawsuit alleges that the company wasn't truthful about its no-fee promotion, that instead of dropping the fees Live Nation merely incorporated them into the base price of the ticket and then raised the base price. "They have this ticket fee system that seems to be elastic," said Katz attorney Henry Wolfe.


    The lawsuit seeks to recover money for all consumers who paid inflated base prices during the no-fee promotion and to stop Live Nation from charging mandatory parking and charity fees at future events. "I don't think it's fair," Katz said. "The ones that suffer the most are the loyal fans."


    Live Nation has acknowledged that some fees never went away during the promotion, but called the lawsuit "frivolous" and denied ticket padding. According to Live Nation spokesman John Vlautin, the first several thousand lawn tickets for the Blink 182 concert were offered on sale for the total price of $20, including fees. He said that by the time Katz made his second purchase, those promotional lawn seat may have all been gone.


    Typically, service fees help pay the ticket-selling company. Live Nation was able to cut certain surcharges for their no-fee promotion in the hopes that it would make that money up by getting more people to come to the venues it owns and having them pay for such things as parking and concessions. Tickets at the Arts Center sold during the no-fee promotion are still subject to a $6 parking fee and a 25 cent charity fee, Live Nation said.


    The parking fee has long had concertgoers seeing red because it is tacked onto every ticket, regardless of whether the ticket holder drives to the show. And the facility maintains far fewer parking spaces than the Arts Center's 17,500-person capacity. Live Nation said the parking fee is needed to keep traffic flowing. "In an effort to alleviate the traffic issues on the Garden State Parkway that would occur if fans were forced to stop and pay for parking at the entrance of the PNC Bank Arts Center parking lot, we instead charge a per ticket parking fee of $6," the company said in a statement.


    It said the charity fee is required under their lease with the state-owned Arts Center. All the money goes to the Garden State Arts Foundation, which funds free entertainment for seniors and children. Some fans worry that ticket prices would go up even more should Live Nation's proposed merger with ticketing giant Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. be approved this year following an antitrust review.


    Coldplay at Main Square Festival, Arras, France (2nd July 2009):




























    Picture by TiteFleur59


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