50 amphitheaters in summer promotion

Temporarily addressing concertgoers’ long-standing gripe, Live Nation Entertainment announced Tuesday that it was eliminating service fees on tickets to shows in its 50 U.S. amphitheaters during June.

Program, which follows a more limited promotion by the company in 2009, will cover nearly 8 million tickets for more than 700 shows by 110 acts. Ducats will be available exclusively through firm’s website, LiveNation.com, through June 30.

Pricing policy does not affect shows at Live Nation’s House of Blues clubs or smaller venues such as the Hollywood Palladium. Company notes that “parking, shipping and other non-‘service fee’ costs may apply.”

Live Nation president and chief executive officer Michael Rapino said in a statement, “A fan in every seat is our mission this summer. We know that’s tough in this economy, so it’s our job to find a way to make concerts more affordable.”

“No Service Fee June” program expands on last year’s 10-week “No Fee Wednesday” offering, which waived fees on millions of lawn tickets sold on Wednesdays for company’s amphitheater events.

Company initially took heat for that promotion after it was learned that parking and facility fees were still tacked onto the discounted ducats. Those charges were later dropped.

Announcement comes in the wake of high-profile tour postponements by major acts like U2 and Christina Aguilera that will almost undoubtedly erode the concert market this summer season.

June promotion is the first to succeed Justice Department’s January approval of the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger (Daily Variety, Jan. 26). During 2009 hearings on the deal, opponents voiced concerns that the union of the two companies would result in skyrocketing ticket prices.

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