BON JOVI FAN CLUB PROVES ITSELF TO BE MORALLY BANKRUPT:
December 10, 2008
Fan clubs should exist for one reason; to serve your most loyal and ardent supporters. Throughout the 1980’s and most of the 1990’s, this is what most fan clubs did. They offered special listening parties, access to the best seats at concerts, exclusive interviews, rare live recordings and extra goodies only a die-hard fan would appreciate. Somewhere in the last few years, these clubs stopped serving the most loyal fans and often turned into another profit piece of ever expanding empires. One of the clubs that has continued to exceed expectations is Pearl Jam’s Ten Club. For $20 a year, you get access to concert tickets, a news magazine that is published a few times a year and every Christmas and an exclusive 45 RPM record with two rare songs on it. Pearl Jam makes their fans feel like family. This was highlighted in August 2007 when Pearl Jam was headlining the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. As a special treat to their most dedicated fans, they did a fan club only show at the Vic Theater in Chicago. The $75 ticket price was spot on and the band delivered with a set that made the most cynical and crazed fan wet their pants. No hits were performed and this show was done as a “thank you” to the fans. Most recently Fall Out Boy ventured out on a club tour in support of their new record. This is a band that performed in arenas in 2006 and 2007. They easily could charge $100 for these intimate venues, but they are not. The average ticket price is around $35 and their hometown show in Chicago was $10. Yes, that is not a typo-“ten dollars”. I only wish Bon Jovi felt the same way about their fans the way acts like Pearl Jam and Fall Out Boy do.
In recent years, a lot has been written about Bon Jovi’s fan club, Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi. In the early days, it was an inner sanctum where interviews, exclusive pictures and information were delved out first. It was never the best fan club on the planet, but it always put the fans first. Somewhere along the line, someone realized how loyal, zealous and steadfast these fans were and decided to take advantage of them. Jon Bon Jovi’s brother, Matt, took over the fan club in late 2006 and since then, fans who were always dedicated and unswerving have decided to turn the back on the fan club because of their business practices. The fan club has become a cash cow for Matt where money comes first and the fan comes last. The most disgusting display of greed I witnessed was this past July when the band performed at Madison Square Garden for $305 a ticket. If that price wasn’t enough, the fan club seats came with a $75 handling fee. That’s right, face value for tickets was $305 and the fan club added $75 onto every ticket. The biggest insult was when members collected their tickets and found they were twenty-five and thirty rows back on the floor after they had been advertised to be in the first twenty rows. The members realized they could have bought tickets they were given during the general on-sale for less. Needless to say, this was one of those rare instances where Ticketmaster proved to be a better alternative. Anytime you have a business model where Ticketmaster provides a better and cheaper service, it’s time to shut your doors.
With membership in the Bon Jovi fan club diminishing as a result of above practices, they needed to do something dramatic to get people back into the club, which they did. A fan-club member’s only concert has been announced for February 23, 2009 “somewhere in Central New Jersey”. The full press release is below. I am not a member of the fan club but numerous fans emailed it to me in hopes I would publish it:
Happy Thanksgiving to our Backstage JBJ Family!
We are still working out all the final details for our members only show, but we are happy to announce a few things about it!
The show will be February 23rd, 2009 at 7pm and will be held in Central New Jersey (the location is to be announced). Tickets for this general admission show will be standing room only and will be limited to active members only. BackstageJBJ.com will be the ONLY PLACE you can get tickets for this show!
At the concert, we will be having a special contest as well as an auction featuring items from the Lost Highway Tour! The on sale date for the tickets will be Saturday, December 6th, 2008 at 10 am Eastern Time and tickets will be $275.00 US Each. We will have more details about the show this coming week!
$275? Seriously? In a day and age where it has become apparent that greed ran our economy into the gutter, this band is asking fans to fork over $275 before Christmas for this show? Why does it have to be $275 (it was reduced at a later date to $250)? If Pearl Jam can do it and rent out a major concert venue in Chicago and charge their fans $75, why can’t Bon Jovi? On top of that, you have to spend $50 to re-join the fan club? If they sell 1,000 tickets, that will reap a gross of $300,000.00. If they bring in 2,000 or 3,000, well, you do the math; they could potentially clear one-million dollars.
More information can be read at the-screen-door.blogspot.com.
Courtesy of www.antimusic.com