Apr 29, 2022 - News

How to bypass concert ticket fees in Des Moines

A photo of Justin Bieber.

Justin Bieber performing earlier this month in Indio, Califorinia. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Ticket fees for Justin Bieber's concert in Des Moines several days ago totaled up to $35 a seat.

Why it matters: It's a hefty add-on to an already pricey ticket β€” ranging between $61.50-$201.50 each β€” for the roughly 12,000 fans who packed the Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday, and one that local venue managers tell Axios was avoidable.

  • Savvy concertgoers can bypass many fees if they're willing to sacrifice a bit of convenience and purchase tickets in-person, they say.

The big picture: Ticket prices in North America have jumped 14% last year as compared to 2019, according to Live Nation Entertainment data reviewed this month by the Wall Street Journal.

  • Pricier VIP upgrades and preferred seat options β€” like those near the stage or by an aisle β€” are partly behind the jump as the concert industry competes with ticket resellers, the WSJ reports.
  • Plus: Many ticket-selling sites are also able to adjust prices based on demand.

Zoom in: Three popular Des Moines entertainment venues tell Axios their ticket fees vary depending on the type of show, but have not significantly changed in the last five years.

  • Fees at Hoyt Sherman Place, which uses Ticketmaster, are influenced by charges collected by the ticket seller, CEO Robert Warren says.
  • At Iowa Events Center, which sells tickets directly at Hyveetix.com, fees generally account for about 12% of a ticket's price but are as low as $1 for some sporting events, general manager Chris Connolly tells Axios.
  • Des Moines Civic Center/DSM Performing Arts sells directly on its website. Its online convenience fee also generally accounts for about 12% of ticket costs, says spokesperson Jonathan Brendemuehl.

Pro tip: If you plan to buy tickets online, use links from a venue's website to avoid overpriced or bogus tickets.

  • Each of the Des Moines venue operators warn that online search engines often lead to unofficial sellers.
A screenshot of a Justin Bieber ticket fee receipt.
Online convenience fees for some of the best seats at Justin Bieber's concert in Des Moines this week were $35 each. Screenshot of HyVeeTix.com

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