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Backstreet Boys Declare War on Scalpers

After discovering a mass ticket scalping ring in Denver, CO, Backstreet Boys have pledged to activate their Backstreet powers to combat those evil doers who would swindle eager fans out of their milk money. Following their Halloween night engagement at the city's Pepsi Center, the B-Boys were informed that over 1000 tix were released to various Mike Damone types who easily tripled the $38 asking price and got mad. How mad? So mad that they dispatched their management The Firm to hire investigators, who discovered that the tix were indeed released while under house control. In response, the Boys have asked that the show's promoters donate $75,000 to the Columbine College Fund, which helps provide secondary education to students affected by last April's Columbine High School massacre. In a statement, Backstreet say: "We've done everything we can to prevent scalping, from limiting the number of tickets purchased to distributing wristbands... To think scalping of this type occurred at our Denver show infuriated us. With us, the fans always come first and anything that compromises our connection with them will always be addressed and properly investigated. We were horrified to learn that our fans in Denver were manipulated and ripped off in this way." The Backstreet Boys are "infuriated" because they've taken pains to keep their ticket prices low, which is understandable but we can't stop imagining just what they Backstreet Boys look like when they're that mad. I mean, do they break stuff? Do they curse? On a note less apt to get them even more mad, the boy band have arranged to sell fans 1,000 good seats for their Spring 2000 tour, via auction. Proceeds will be donated to a TBD charity, so that if fans pay upwards of $100 for a ticket, at least they'll get a good seat and help a good cause. Check Noise for details soon.

From Rolling Stone

BACKSTREET BOYS fans must get bigger allowances than we thought. At the band's Oct. 31 show in Denver, more than 1,000 tickets were sold by scalpers charging at least $110 each for the $38.50 tickets. The always do-right Boys were so horrified when they heard about this mass bamboozling of their fans, they asked the show's promoter - the House of Blues - to donate $75,000 to the Columbine College Fund. What's more, the band will be working with the Web site to distribute 1,000 tickets via auction to each show during its spring 2000 tour. "With us, the fans always come first," said the band in a statement, "and anything that compromises our connection with them will always be addressed and properly investigated."...

Backstreet Boys, House Of Blues Concerts Square Off Over Scalping Fiasco

The group wants the promotions firm to make donation to a Columbine scholarship fund.

By Mark Lewis

Alleging that House of Blues Concerts allowed tickets to their Denver show to fall into the hands of scalpers, Backstreet Boys are calling on the promotions firm to make a $75,000 donation to a scholarship fund.

The group, which will wrap up the 1999 leg of its ''Millennium'' tour in Florida next week, claims that HOB Concerts (which earlier this year acquired Universal Concerts and their Denver promotion unit) allowed the sale of at least 1,000 prime seats for an Oct. 31 concert at Denver’s Pepsi Center to ticket brokers, who in turn sold them for $110 to $350 instead of the $29.50 and $38.50 face values.

Mark Norman, senior vice president of HOB Concerts in Denver, told the Denver Post that a discrepancy netted his company several hundred extra ''house tickets''--promoter or venue allotments, held back from public sale, that the promotions firm normally sells through its own office to clients or to businesses taking large groups. The belated realization that an unusually large number of tickets had to be sold by showtime prompted a decision to loosen the usually strict limits on the number of house tickets any one client or group can purchase.

HOB Concerts admits that tickets fell into the hands of brokers, but not that it knowingly sold the tickets to them. Norman said that the channeling of the tickets to brokers is being investigated.

Backstreet Boys’ managers and accountants discovered that fans had bought seats from brokers after they polled the first twenty rows of the Pepsi Center, according to the Post. And when settling accounts after the show, group accountants discovered that House of Blues had increased the price of prime seats by including parking and dinner with them, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

The group’s publicist released a statement last Tuesday (11/23) in which the group asked HOB Concerts to donate $75,000 to the Columbine College Fund. The fund provides financial aid to high school students affected by the April 20, 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. HOB Concerts has not said whether it will honor the request.

The Backstreet Boys’ statement said that the group was “horrified to learn that [its] fans in Denver were manipulated and ripped off,'' while also portraying the group as a fair-minded act which tries to keep its ticket prices down so that fans can “purchase merchandise and pay for parking plus other concert amenities without completely emptying their pockets.”

In the statement, the group proclaimed their support for “publicly-held companies and reputable organizations such as SFX (a national concert promotion conglomerate) and”

The group's management company, The Firm, owns an equity stake in, a national ticketing company which provides auction and, ironically, ticket broker services.

The statement also implies that the group may favor venues aligned with SFX, a rival to HOB Concerts, when tour dates are announced for their February-March U.S. tour in coming weeks.

More concrete is a plan to use's services to auction an expected 1,000 tickets for the upcoming tour, with profits earmarked for as-yet-unnamed charity groups.

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