Mean Fiddler ticket rip-off

I recently bought tickets for Slaid Cleaves at Borderline in London. Since the Borderline has been run by the Mean Fiddler organisation ticket prices have gone up, but they’re still reasonable. I used to pay about £8 a ticket, but now it’s more like £14. The thing that really really gets me, though, is the amount they charge to book the tickets. For this event, I was charged £2.60 a ticket booking fee, plus a further £2 to have them posted to me. Appalled at what they were going to charge, I went out of my way to get to one of the venues to buy the tickets in person. I was careful to bring cash as they charge an extra £1 if you pay by card even at the venue, but the venues stop selling tickets after 6pm. So, unless you happen to work in easy distance of the venues, it’s not possible to get tickets at face value.

The thing that drives me nuts about this is not the amount I pay – I would pay £18 to see Slaid Cleaves, but the fact that by associating these costs with booking and administration, I bet none of the extra goes anywhere near the artist. I’m also annoyed because the cheapest setup for Mean Fiddler must be to take online bookings, where the card transaction happens automatically and they just have to put the tickets in the post, but this is the most expensive way for the customer to get the tickets.

I’m also not against any charges. If the booking fee were £1 a ticket, and postage £0.50, I’d be perfectly happy to pay it. It’s the obvious rip-off element that gets me and makes me want to avoid Mean Fiddler events at all costs (excuse the pun!).

One Reply to “Mean Fiddler ticket rip-off”

  1. Hi…So you think you are being ripped off eh. OK This is a slightly different slant on the goings on at Mean Fiddler. Here’s my story.
    Sunday 16th October…Invited over to the Spock’s Beard gig at Charing Cross by the band them selves! Gig was brilliant!!!!They are sooooooo good! Went back stage to see the guys after the gig, and what I found was absolutely disgusting! The state of the dressing room was inexcusable. Even “the beard” guys were horified.
    I’ll let the guys tell you what it was like by quoting from their website
    From Nick D’Virgilio (drummer and now lead singer with the beard).

    “Another great London show. One of the best of the tour. Even with the technical problems. The power went out on stage 3 times during the gig. Not just Ryo’s keys. Everything. The lighting trusses above our heads were shaking so bad because of the band playing upstairs that if was kind of scary. I looked up while singing something and I thought London was having an earthquake. The backstage area at the Mean Fiddler is THE worst ever. The rankest, smelly-est, just down right shittiest place ever!!!! I am not kidding either. Some of the other guys braved it but I could not even sit in there. There was mold growing everywhere. All over the ceiling and pipes. It was just gross. Just another reason we are Gluttons for Punishment. I felt like going and getting a gas mask to just be in there.”

    Is this the way visiting American and European bands get treated. No wonder there is a shortage of excellent foreign bands within these shores. They think it’s a shit hole and I kind of agree with them!

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