The Black Cat is a rad middle-size venue here in Washington, DC (roughly 500-800 people I'd guess-timate), and consistently books great acts. Owner Dante Ferrando has long held the respect of many because while he's a music club owner, it's obvious he's also a music fan (Ferrando had been a drummer in many of the DC HardCore bands), and acts accordingly. Be it because TicketMaster is so pricey, or to avoid giving money to the competition, I know an entire community of music fans is singing Ferrando's praises right now.
Venerable D.C. music venue the Black Cat announced today that it will stop selling advance tickets through Ticketmaster, instead switching to competitor Ticket Alternative. The change will become effective September 25, so all shows that are taking place after that date are already on sale via Ticket Alternative.
In a strongly worded release, the venue made plain the reasons for the switch: Ticket Alternative's service charges are lower, typically $2.50 or less for the vast majority of Black Cat shows; and Ticketmaster's impending merger with Live Nation.
In a conversation with DCist, owner Dante Ferrando explained that while the local version of Ticketmaster has been relatively easy to deal with versus the oft-maligned national corporation, the company's merger with Live Nation made continuing to work with them impossible. Live Nation operates several venues in the Washington, D.C. market, including the Warner Theatre and Nissan Pavilion. "It just doesn't make any sense to be handing a portion of your shows to your competition," Ferrando said.
According to Ferrando, tickets for Black Cat shows that are $10 and under will be charged a flat $2 fee by Ticket Alternative, while for tickets that are $11-$20, it will be $2.50. The Black Cat's box office will remain free of all service charges. (Source)