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Dice's Russ Tannen Explains Why They Dropped Their No Booking Fees Pledge

LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — The UK-based independent ticketing company Dice made a splash when it launched in 2014 by promising not only the “best gigs” but also that they wouldn’t impose booking fees for tickets sold through the service. Well, that appears to have come to an end.

The change, which took place early last year, was unannounced, but as IQ-Mag noted, UK punk band Shame brought shift in policy to public awareness via social media, tweeting: “Everyone’s favourite ‘no booking fees’ vendor @dicefm have slyly added a 10 percent booking fee to shows costing above £10, we knew absolutely nothing about this.”

Since then, a rep from Dice engaged in a back and forth on Twitter with Shame before managing director Russ Tannen penned a blog post to explain Dice’s transition away from their initial no booking fees pledge.

According to Tannen, as the company grew, they were compelled to add booking fees in order to compete for allocations for significant shows, particularly in North American markets, where larger tours often equate to larger upfront payments, leaving smaller ticket sellers struggling to make the economics work.

“When we started DICE in 2014 our tagline was ‘Best Gigs. No Booking Fees’. For the whole time, we used that line we didn’t have booking fees and lost money on every ticket sold. Why? We were trying to figure out how this thing works,” Tannen wrote in the blog post.

“As we grew (thanks to you guys) we discovered that to get a significant allocation of tickets for bigger shows, we had to agree to include a ‘booking fee’. This was particularly the case for our expansion in North America.”

“Ultimately, it was a case of either drop ‘Best Gigs’ or drop ‘No Booking Fees’. So we decided to start incorporating some fees to a small number of shows and dropped the ‘no booking fees’ line in January 2017. What didn’t change is our commitment to always try and be the lowest price.”

He went on to add a mea culpa for not making an announcement about the change earlier but did not explain his reasoning behind waiting more than a year to explain the changes.