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Keep On Rockin In The Free World: Cheaper Concert Tickets For Cash-Strapped Fans
May 30, 2013
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Jon Bon Jovi and his band are doing their Spanish fans a solid: they're waiving their performance fee for a concert in Madrid.

Tickets to the show are also cheaper than usual, selling between 18 euros ($23) and 39 euros ($50). That's about half the regular price for a Bon Jovi show.

The band decided to play the show unpaid to show solidarity with the people of Spain, who are facing high unemployment and an economic crisis.

Bon Jovi wasn't even planning to play a show there as the band didn't think there would be enough demand from cash-strapped fans.

"We did a study and we saw that due to the economic situation Spain wasn't going to be on the roadmap. But I didn't want to leave out fans from a country I love that has treated me well for 30 years," he told El Mundo.

So the band dropped their performance fee, meaning all the ticket money will go to cover the costs of staging the June 27 show.

Here are some other acts that have lowered their own pay, or found other creative ways to help ensure their fans get to see them live.

Kid Rock Playing Cheaper Shows This Summer
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(Photo: AP)

The name of the tour says it all: this summer, Kid Rock is heading out on the '$20 Best Night Ever Tour'.

Tickets to the shows - which will also include some combination of opening acts ZZ Top, Uncle Kracker and Kool & the Gang at each date - are selling for $20.

But it's not just ticket prices, it's also "the service charges, the fees, getting in there and not knowing what beers will cost, what they'll hit you for parking," Kid Rock told Billboard.

He collaborated with Live Nation to create the tour, which will also offer fans $4 beers, value food packages, and cheaper parking.

And to try to stop tickets from being sold on the street at higher prices, Kid Rock is going to release 1,000 tickets for each show to a site called Platinum Tickets, run by Ticketmaster.

The plan is to undercut the street sellers and offer fans an alternative place to get slightly overpriced tickets if the cheaper ones run out.

U2's Concert for Sarajevo

Back in 1997, U2 became the first major artist to play a concert in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina after the end of the Bosnian war.

The concert was part of the band's 'Popmart' tour, but unlike the rest of the shows they played that year, this one didn't make them any money.

In fact, the show cost U2 750,000 dollars. At the time, the unemployment rate in Sarajevo was 50 %, so the band priced their tickets at about $18, despite the huge costs of transporting their stage show in and out of the country.

Originally, the band offered to come and play a smaller, free show, but Sarajevo city council requested the full road show that other cities got.

A few days before the show, a lot of tickets were still available. Apparently many people didn't believe the show would actually happen but in the end, about 45,000 people showed up.

At the last minute, authorities threw open the gates of the stadium, allowing about 10,000 people in who couldn't afford tickets.

The next day one newspaper ran a headline saying "Today was the day the siege of Sarajevo ended."

Buffy Sainte-Marie Plays Free Show At Cultural Congress
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Buffy in concert in April, 2011 (Photo: Getty)

Next Wednesday, June 5, Buffy Sainte-Marie is going back to school. She'll play a free show at the University of Victoria as part of Congress 2013 (aka the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences), a gathering of Canada's academic community.

The event is expected to draw 7,000 people and the 72-year-old Sainte-Marie will be joined by her band of First Nations musicians, Cree bassist Leroy Constant, Lakota/Ojibwe guitarist Jesse Green and Ojibwe drummer Mike Bruyere.

Along with the show, Sainte-Marie will speak at the conference about her Cradleboard Teaching Project.

It's an initiative to foster pride and self-identity within First Nations students from kindergarten through to post-secondary education.

Sainte-Marie holds a Ph. D in fine arts, and she told the Times Colonist "I'm teaching universities how to do it themselves with regard to their own aboriginal population."

She was on the program this season. Check out that interview below:

Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West And Many More Want Their Fans To Take Action
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Pearl Jam plays the 'Made in America' tour in September, 2012 (Photo: AP)

Imagine getting a ticket to your favourite band's show, just because you did something good.

That's the idea behind the Global Citizens Tickets Initiative, which offers fans the chance to win free tickets to shows by artists including Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, My Morning Jacket and lots more.

It works like this: fans earn points for their charitable work. You get one point for creating a Facebook video dealing with extreme poverty, and 20 for raising $20 or more for a participating charity.

Those points then go into a lottery, and somebody wins two exclusive tickets to each show. And the tickets are from the band's personal stash, meaning the winner gets to sit in sections reserved for radio-contest winners and the press.

It all came out of the Global Citizen Festival, which featured headlining performances from Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, and the Black Keys, and raised $1.3 billion in donations to charities aimed at ending extreme poverty.

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