Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Problem With Concert Tickets

concert tickets image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
We all want to have a fair chance at a good seat when tickets go on sale for a concert, but increasingly that's becoming a pipe dream as scalpers and third party brokers swoop in to buy them all up. These are then sold back to the public at an enormous increase in price. Add that markup to the service charges, premiums, parking, and general high ticket costs, and you have the situation today where ticket prices are so high that people can only afford to attend a show a few times a year.

There are ways around this, like electronic ticketing on your phone, or tickets that you print yourself at home, but believe it or not, there are actually laws against that in some states like New York. How a law like this benefits the public I don't know, but it sure does benefit the ticket brokers.

Green Day thought they found a way around this for a concert at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn in April. They came up with the idea that fans could only pick up tickets on the day of the show at "Will Call" at the venue. That way, brokers and scalpers wouldn't have a chance to get their hands on them, and everyone would pay a fair price, especially for the premium tickets on the floor.

It turns out that fan protests caused them to relent and revert back to selling the old fashioned way, making the brokers happy and the fans a bit poorer.

Why did they protest? Many fans felt that by only having the chance to pick up a ticket by showing an ID right before the concert, their rights were violated. The Fan Freedom Project insists that when a ticket is purchased, it's then the property of the fan, who then has the right to sell it, trade it, give it away, or use it as he so pleases. Other fans were upset that they would have no recourse than to eat the money if they couldn't attend. Of course, the brokers thought that the band was skirting the electronic ticket law, and were prepared to bring a lawsuit.

It seems that something that should be so easy, like purchase tickets to a concert, will remain in the dark ages at least for the near future.


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Jef Knight said...

I have descent gear that costs less than some concert

We have a nice venue here called Casino Rama that has a brand new, SotA theatre that looks like it seats around 8k. Amazing sound, 4cam live shoot on 20' screens. And cheap.

I saw John Kay/Stepenwolf (who sings like Bowie now) for $35 - 6th row - and the best Journey show I've ever seen (out of 3x) for $45 - halfway center)

Even Seinfeld was only $75 for FRC's. Not bad.


mrkristopher said...

How about not allowing presales at all? You show up, you pay, you see the show. Easy.

Joe Jonash said...

I like your idea MR. Kristopher. It's much better to not allow presale tickets so that problem will not persists.

Joenash said...

Why does problem like that always persist in every concert?


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