March 30, 2009

Another Rant About Ticketmaster

Tickets for the local U2 show go on sale next Monday. I should be happy, thrilled, ecstatic.

Instead I feel nervous, anxious and angry because obtaining concert tickets is such a negative experience. In some ways its like playing the lotto - a few get lucky, but many will walk away with NOTHING. Its grossly unfair and the ticket industry’s greed is disgusting.

I’m not referring to the price of tickets (that’s for another day), what infuriates me is how ticket scalpers (aka ticket brokers or agencies) buy huge quantities of tickets than turn around and sell them for two, three or even four times face value. It forces fans that want choice seats to shell out big bucks. Its just plain wrong!

Its at times like this that I ask myself, where the heck are Eddie Vedder and Trent Reznor when you need them?

Remember back in 1994 when Pearl Jam addressed Congress? They clearly spelled out what goes on behind the scenes. They did an excellent job of showing the world how greedy and unfair it is to have one company, specifically Ticketmaster, controlling ticket sales for all the major events in the USA You can read the transcript here, its very informative. Peal Jam went to bat for their FANS and I will forever be grateful for their efforts and willingness to make changes (Eddie, I’d like to thank you in person, call me!)

Then there’s Nine Inch Nails. Those guys took things a step further and made sure their fans had a fair shot at getting GOOD seats at face value! Trent Reznor does a great job of summarizing how NIN deals with this issue (read the article for details of the hows and whys, I found it very enlightenting):

"We have essentially stopped scalping by doing these things - because we want true fans to be able to get great seats and not get ripped off by these parasites."
Once again, my personal thanks to Trent (you have my number, lets do lunch!)

I am seriously considering starting a grassroots movement to put an end to unfair monopolization of concert ticket sales!! Anyone want to join me? Lets do it!


Starrlight said...

The one decent thing about U2 tickets is that the cheapest are the best. General Admit for the win!

Ticketmaster sucks. I would almost rather buy guaranteed decent tickets from a scalper. The are both money hungry whores but the scalpers are at least honest about it.

Guitarman5150 said...

Ticketmaster has always been a rip off in my opinion. They do nothing but force their prices down your throat and give you whatever seats they want you to have.

I remember the good old days when growing up in Richmond, Va. When tickes were like $12:50 and they were General Admition. What happend to those days?

I'm a big Van Halen freak. I didn't go see their tour for other reasons but tickets were over $100 for cheap seats!

These people need to wake up! CD's I think cost enough these days(I know they are cheaper on itunes but you don't get the artwork and all with it and that's a big selling point with me.) We shouldn't have to pay out the nose for tickets to see the artists as well. They are just to money hungry for me. That's why I only go see the bands I really can't live without seeing.

Sorry for the rant, but it had to be said.

tad said...

This isn't a rant about Ticketmaster, but....
I've bn reading thru yr Classic Rock & Writing blogs 4 mosta the last hr, & have Njoyed & bn impressed w/ yr very personal writing, yr openness in talking about yr problems w/ yr son, yr optimistic outlook, how music always helps -- U seem very down-2-earth, & this is reflected by yr site & yr writing.
But what I really wanna know is:
How was the Pretenders concert?! Did U review the show & I somehow missed it? U were so Xcited, & then...? Nothing? Is the Alzheimer's kicking in on my Nd? MayB there's just 2 much other stuff going on?
NEway, yr blogs R great, & I'll B back.
PS -- I've bn writing a music- & book-review blog since mid-Dec; I review SOME "Classic Rock" acts there, but some of it's pretty off-the-wall stuff (on purpose), & it's written JUST LIKE THIS COMMENT. U R welcome 2 visit -- the site doesn't LOOK like much, but I think some of the writing's pretty good. The site's at -- my son set-up the site 4 me. I have a son I worry about 2, so I have NO TROUBLE relating 2 some of what U've written.
Hang in there, take care of yrself, & Thanx!
-- TAD.

Southern (in)Sanity said...

I seem to recall that Pearl Jam had some type of "lottery" or other method to determine who got first choice of seats during a tour years ago.

Why more bands don't do that now, I don't know. Unless it's what they're getting paid by Ticketmaster.

Jeff said...

Ticketmaster is certainly near the top, if not at the top, of my most despised companies. I would love to boycott them, but by doing that I would be missing out on so much. Only if there was another option... I've been really limiting the concerts I'm going to see because of how sleezy this entire concert business has been, but U2 is one show I can't pass up, and $55 for GA tickets is pretty incredible when taking into consideration how absurd they could be given U2's stature.

drewzepmeister said...

Guitarman-exactly! I remember camping out over night just to get the best seats for a decent price. (back in the days of Ticket Tron) The most I ever spent a ticket was $40 for a lawn seat at an Eagles concert in 1995. I recently went online to check out ticket prices for a Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood show. I was horrified to find out they were $98 to $2575!

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Hi Starr! GAS is always the cheapest but some of us (me) can't handle standing all night. I have sciatica and my leg goes numb...I can see myself falling over and getting trampled by those rowdy U2 fans...

5150, I agree 100& do the same thing...only see the bands I absolutely have to. Did I ever tell you about my front row VH experience????

Tad! Thank you so much for your kinds words!!! I really appreciate it. You're the first person that asked about The Pretenders. I was hoping to avoid saying that I did not go. It was during a week when I could not trust my son to have the house to himself so I stayed home to guard my own home...pretty sad huh? It kills me that I had to miss it :( I am looking forward to checking out your blog!

Starrlight said...

I hear you Barb. I have fibro and arthritis but I take a painpill and THEN go. I don't really feel it during the concert but the next day I feel like I stood in for Larry's kit ;)

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

SinS, Yep Pearl Jam had the right idea its disappointing that more people didn't follow their example!

Jeff, $55 is phenomenal!! I can't wait to hear your review of them (and Starr's of course!!!) Have you SEEN the stage? Its insane. I can't wait....if I don't get tickets you may never see me again.....will be too depressed to blog....

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Drew, I loved camping out in line to get good seats - it was SO FUN, a great time to hang out with other fans and get good seats. Those were the days. I can't believe anyone would pay over 2,000 for a concert ticket (actually I guess the extremely wealthy wouldn't bat an eye at that....)

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Tad, trying to access your site but its not letting me, I'll try again later.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Starr, I have fibro too. I hope you don't feel quite as beat on as Larry's drumkit the next day, but hell even if you do, it'll be worth it!

Starrlight said...

Church of U2 is always worth it =)

Carson F. Ball said...

Trent Reznor has done a great job sticking up for fans and ensuring that they are not ripped off. I cannot think of another popular artist or group that goes so far out of his/her/their way for fans.

Releasing digital versions of albums for free and not only allowing, but encouraging people to remix his songs are great concepts.

Many artists seem to either be afraid of taking risks and trying new methods of distribution for their music, or are greedy and keep pushing prices of their merchandise higher, but artists such as Reznor clearly are in it for the music, not the money.

tad said...

My site Cms 2 B having major problems right now (as of Tues aft, 31 Mar). It's not the 1st time I've had Issues (the site's host has reportedly bn attacked by hackers 2wice in the last month), tho the timing is kinda Mbarrassing. Not sure WHO stuck that giant Media Player screen there, or why. But it wasn't me. & I can't get past it 2 the Real Stuff. Possibly it was placed by my son while he was trying 2 add more new stuff & upgrade the site's appearance? I'm checking on this. I'll get back 2 U when things R normal & there's actually something 2 READ again at the site....
Thanx 4 yr patience, & keep rockin!
-- TAD.

Jeff said...

Layla - You and me both. I really wanted to go when I thought it was just U2 and some random opening act, but now that I know Muse is opening for them, I HAVE TO GO! Nothing will stop me, and sadly I'm willing to pay whatever amount as long as I don't have to resort to selling any organs or going homeless.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Starr, got that right baby! You may have talked me into it. Will Kidlet go with you?

Carson, thanks for stopping by here! I agree and wish more would follow in their footsteps. Radiohead was bold enough to step out with their last album and I think it was a win/win situation.

Tad, I'll give it another go!

Jeff, I don't get Muse here on the West Coast. HEY! I just had an incredible brainstorm idea!!! I checked out your area (New York) and get this - they are playing ON my birthday. And its one of those big deal birthdays....I bet I could talk my sister into paying for me and her to fly to NY to see them (and of course visit NYC - never been there). And then if she pays for all that for me I will pay for your ticket (or at least pitch in for what you can't scrounge up!) YOU HAVE TO SEE THEM. ITS NOT NEGOTIABLE!

tad said...

My site's back up, still at the same address. Not sure what went wrong, tho I think my son knows -- he was able 2 fix it pretty quick.
U R welcome 2 browse & comment, but Bware my weird mangling of English -- 20 yrs as a newspaper reporter/editor, I don't wanna waste time, try 2 get info across FAST! No Springsteen reviewed, tho I'm the only person I know who bought "Born to Run" when it came-out on 45 back in '75. Does that count 4 NEthing?
& B sure 2 track-down Lewis Shiner's novel GLIMPSES. As a big Rock fan, I'm sure U'd love it -- tackles big Life Crises like growing older, losing parents, lost love, etc., & has Xcellent guest appearances by Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Wilson, The Beatles, etc. As a nearly-50-something rock fan, I had no trouble relating 2 NE of it. I wish I could write something 1/2 as good....
Gael Baudino's GOSSAMER AXE is a very good heavy-metal fantasy -- the part that happens in the Real World is great, the key'd B if U don't get bored w/ what happens in the land of Faerie -- I kept reading 2 C what happens 2 R heroine's heavy-metal band!
Thanx 4 yr patience,
-- TAD.

The Mad Hatter said...

In my short lifespan so far, I've discovered this little piece of wisdom: don't spend your money all the time. As much as it pains me -- not that I have anything against U2, the Yankees, Best Buy or anything other type of for-profit company, BUT -- enough is enough; I can't shill for them every time just because they're selling something. The economy is hurting, and it's hurting because the power of the people has finally arrived, even if in a perverted way. We don't have any money, and so now they don't either. I'll quit at that.


Hang tight. Muse will probably do their own shows beyond the U2 openers.

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