US comedy agents and promoters are becoming increasingly concerned that fees imposed on online ticket purchases are significantly hiking costs and pushing fans away.

Andrew Russell, a WME comedy agent, is just one influential figure to express concerns about fees that the likes of Ticketmaster are charging on top of the price of the ticket, according to VenuesNow.

He said: “A $25-$30 ticket often adds $9 in fees, which is on top of the ticket price and adds up real quick. Ninety-nine per cent of the ticket vendors are doing it, and it’s turning off the customers. The artists do not see that money.”

In addition, Steve Levine, co-head of concerts for ICM, highlighted that the industry needs to be “ultra-sensitive to the low-income families”. He added: “Pricing them out is not good for anyone.”

Ticket prices for comedy shows can range from between $20 and $250. Meanwhile, VIP packages are becoming increasingly popular with meet and greets and other perks attached, and can run as high as $1,000 or more for star names.

“The secondary market has glommed on to the comedy trend, scooping up tickets for the in-demand acts and selling them at higher prices. This will come back to bite us if the industry doesn’t take control,” Russell said.

Image: U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Timothy Taylor