Citing High Ticket Prices, Long-Running Springsteen Fanzine Backstreets Announces Closure

It's the end of a 43-year-long run

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen performs onstage at State Farm Arena on February 03, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

It’s been a strange time to be a Bruce Springsteen fan lately. On one hand, the man continues to make acclaimed albums and remains a vital presence in the world of live music. On the other, it’s getting a bit more expensive to see Springsteen in concert than it once was — with ticket prices for his latest tour venturing into the thousands of dollars. It’s turning the idea of a night out to see Springsteen and the E Street Band into a luxury item, with one of the side effects being the loss of a long-running journal and community dedicated to all things Springsteen-related.

That would be Backstreets, which has covered The Boss for the last 43 years. The fanzine’s publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Christopher Phillips, made the announcement on Friday.

Phillips wrote that, over the years, the journal “has consistently sprung from a place of genuine passion, rooted in a heartfelt belief in the man and his music.” He went on to explain the reason behind the fanzine’s closure: “As difficult as it is to call this the end, it’s even harder to imagine continuing without my whole heart in it.”

He went on to cite the high cost of tickets for Springsteen’s current tour as a reason for this, noting that “the new ticket price range has in and of itself been a determining factor in our outlook.”

“Six months after the onsales, we still faced this three-part predicament: These are concerts that we can hardly afford; that many of our readers cannot afford; and that a good portion of our readership has lost interest in as a result,” he added.

According to the announcement, there’s still one issue of Backstreets yet to be published, and the journal will continue to maintain an email list and a presence on social media. Nevertheless, it feels like the end of something huge — and further evidence of the convulsions that the world of live music is currently experiencing. If this is what fans of a musician who’s virtually synonymous with live music are feeling, what does that mean for the state of concerts going forward?

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