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Singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers sells tickets to Chicagoans ‘like it’s 1965’ 

“Come buy a ticket like it’s 1965,” musician Maggie Rogers posted to Instagram when introducing a “Box Office Day” in downtown Chicago. The April 19 event was an effort to combat ticket reseller fees and promote her upcoming “Don’t Forget Me” tour dates. 

Chicago’s House of Blues was one of four stops in Rogers’ “Box Office Week” where she sold tickets in person for her upcoming Oct. 24 arena show, as well as tickets for a small performance later that evening. 

The second leg of the “Don’t Forget Me” tour will be performed in arenas across the United States, which will be the first time Rogers performs an arena tour. “Box Office Week” was a promotional opportunity for her fans to buy tickets at fixed prices, aiming to “eliminate bots and lower fees,” according to the singer. 

Fans were excited to see Rogers and buy her tickets onsite. Danielle Mardahl, House of Blues staff member and Chicago native, said fans were lined up for Rogers “as early as 4 a.m, and the line had wrapped around from Dearborn [Street] to Kinzie [Street] by 9 a.m.” 

Those who attended Rogers’ Chicago event were able to buy a ticket to the “Don’t Forget Me” show at a fixed price, rather than pay increased prices to ticket resellers like Ticketmaster, which tack fees on to ticket purchases. “I think [the sale] is nice because I don’t have to pay the extra fees and I can just get the ticket for the original price,” said long-time Rogers fan Mary Rose, 25, of Chicago.

Ticket sales associate assisting a customer purchase tickets to see Maggie Rogers at her October 24 United Center Show. | Photo by Izzy Smith.

In her “Summer of ‘23” tour, Rogers first introduced “Box Office Day” with this goal in mind: to make it easier for her fans to buy tickets. Through agreements with Live Nation and Ticketmaster, Rogers was able to sell her tickets at a one-time price in order to avoid fees, and again for her “Don’t Forget Me” tour, but this is a rare situation. 

“Ticketmaster is well aware that it has a huge PR problem, but to allow this artist to do that was definitely an exclusive event,” said Jim DeRogatis, co-host of “Sound Opinions” on WBEZ, professor in the English and Creative Writing department at Columbia College Chicago and former pop-music critic at the Chicago Sun-times. While Ticketmaster and its merger Live Nation are making efforts to improve their reputation with fans, DeRogatis still refers to them as a “monopolistic entity.” 

Rogers’ “Box Office Day” is not a permanent solution to eliminate ticket fees and resellers. DeRogatis said, “Until ticketmaster is disabled as a major force, this problem is not going to be cured.”

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