NEW YORK (AP) — A magazine and website that has served Bruce Springsteen’s fans for 43 years is shutting down. The publisher writes that he is disillusioned with the debate over ticket prices for their hero’s current tour.
Backstreets had been an unusually robust publication that imposed journalistic rigor on its writing and shooting while unquestioning fan adoration.
But the complaints about high ticket prices left people there “disheartened, dejected and yes, disillusioned,” publisher Christopher Phillips wrote in a post announcing the closure late last week.
“Disappointment is a common feeling among hardcore fans in the Backstreets community,” he wrote. Phillips did not immediately return messages asking for comment.
Springsteen’s manager, Jon Landau, said that “we deeply regret the news of Backstreets closing and would like to thank Chris Phillips for his 30 years of dedication on behalf of Springsteen fans everywhere. “
There was an uproar among some Springsteen fans when the tickets first went on sale last summer, most notably over Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing model, which propelled tickets to $5,000 or more when in high demand. During a congressional hearing last month following the fiasco over Ticketmaster’s handling of Taylor Swift tour tickets, Louisiana U.S. Senator John Kennedy suggested that major artists like Springsteen and Swift should demand reimbursement caps.
Springsteen’s team has defended that the prices are in line with what many of his colleagues are charging today. Like many artists, he says he’s annoyed when unscrupulous ticket brokers — not the musicians — take advantage of high markups.
Ticketmaster has said the vast majority of fans were able to purchase tickets for face value, which averaged $202. The tour kicked off February 1 in Tampa, Florida.
Many Springsteen fans have been with him for decades and appreciate his working-class New Jersey roots, and can remember when a ticket to a four-hour, high-energy show on the 1978 “Darkness on the Edge of Town” tour was to get. for $7.50.
That is no longer reality. Springsteen has not backed down, telling Rolling Stone magazine that fans who are not satisfied with the price after seeing the show can get their money back.
“You certainly don’t like being the billboard for high ticket prices,” he told the magazine, but said you have to make your decisions and do your best.
Phillips wrote that many Backstreets readers have lost interest because they can’t afford to go to the show.
He said he hadn’t given up being a fan of Springsteen’s music, and that others shouldn’t either.
“We just realized that we wouldn’t be able to complete this tour with the drive and purpose that we’ve been working with continuously since 1980,” he wrote. “That determination came with an accelerating sense that we were reaching the end of an era.”
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