Karma? After Jacking Up Ticket Prices on Fans, Bruce Springsteen Cancels Yet Another Round of Shows Due to “Peptic Ulcer Disease”

73-years-old (soon to be 74) rocker Bruce Springsteen was forced to cancel all remaining eight shows in September for his 2023 International Tour due to “peptic ulcer disease”, according to a statement released Wednesday night. This is the third batch of shows this year postponed by Springsteen. Several shows in April were postponed and rescheduled to September (now cancelled again) for an unstated reason. In August, two shows in Philadelphia were postponed to August 2024 due to an unspecified illness affecting Springsteen. Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa both caught COVID last spring during a break between the U.S. and European legs of the tour. Several members of the E Street Band caught COVID during the early part of the U.S. tour, however no shows were canceled with other band member pulling double duty to fill in for sick E Streeters.

The Mayo Clinic says about the causes of “peptic ulcer disease”:

“The most common causes of peptic ulcers are infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Stress and spicy foods do not cause peptic ulcers. However, they can make your symptoms worse.”

Springsteen became health conscious after having to postpone over a month of shows in 1981 on the River Tour due to “exhaustion.”

Bruce Springsteen, Cleveland, Ohio, April 5, 2023, photo by Kristinn Taylor.

Statement posted to Springsteen’s website and social media:

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band have postponed all performances currently scheduled for September 2023, beginning with tomorrow’s show scheduled for the JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. Mr. Springsteen is being treated for symptoms of peptic ulcer disease and the decision of his medical advisors is that he should postpone the remainder of his September shows.

Springsteen made the following comment:

“Over here on E Street, we’re heartbroken to have to postpone these shows. First, apologies to our fabulous Philly fans who we missed a few weeks ago. We’ll be back to pick these shows up and then some. Thank you for your understanding and support. We’ve been having a blast at our U.S. shows and we’re looking forward to more great times. We’ll be back soon.

Love and God bless all,
Bruce”

Ticketholders will receive information regarding rescheduled dates for the postponed shows, which are listed below.

Thurs, September 7 – Syracuse, NY @ JMA Wireless Dome
Sat, September 9 – Baltimore, MD @ Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Tues, September 12 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
Thurs, September 14 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
Sat, September 16 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
Tues, September 19 – Albany, NY @ MVP Arena
Thurs, September 21 – Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena
Fri, September 29 – Washington, DC @ Nationals Park

The tour got off to a rocky start when tickets went on sale last summer for the tour that began in February in Tampa, Florida, when fans were shocked that Springsteen was using Ticketmaster’s “dynamic pricing” to jack up ticket prices. This was new to fans who had grown accustomed to Springsteen charging below market rates for decades so fans could afford to see one or multiple shows during a tour. The fanzine Backstreets shut down in protest over the Boss’ new ticket pricing scheme

Springsteen was silent for months on the ticket prices, finally giving a dismissive comment to Rolling Stone: ” I know it was unpopular with some fans. But if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back.”

Rolling Stone: “It caused a bit of an uproar in the fan community because some of the tickets used dynamic prices, and some tickets hit $5,000. Did you know in advance about those price points and dynamic pricing, and do you have any regrets about that?”

Bruce Springsteen: “What I do is a very simple thing. I tell my guys, “Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let’s charge a little less.” That’s generally the directions. They go out and set it up. For the past 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there under market value. I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been great for the fans.

“This time I told them, “Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.” So that’s what happened. That’s what they did [laughs].

“But ticket buying has gotten very confusing, not just for the fans, but for the artists also. And the bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable. They’re in that affordable range. We have those tickets that are going to go for that [higher] price somewhere anyway. The ticket broker or someone is going to be taking that money. I’m going, “Hey, why shouldn’t that money go to the guys that are going to be up there sweating three hours a night for it?”

“It created an opportunity for that to occur. And so at that point, we went for it. I know it was unpopular with some fans. But if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back.”

The shows have been well received by fans but with some grumbling over static set lists for the shows which have centered on the aging rocker at once focusing on his mortality after the death a few years ago of the founder if his first rock band when both men were in their teens in the 1960s while also celebrating the vitality of life itself. The shows have been free of Springsteen’s liberal politics save for a Ukraine flag guitar played by Little Steven Van Zandt during the usual show opener, No Surrender.

Springsteen took a fall on stage last May during the European leg of the tour in Amsterdam, but was not injured.

The International tour is set to resume in November with shows in Canada before winding down for the year with December shows in California. No make up dates for the September shows have been announced as of this writing. Springsteen turns 74 on September 23.

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