Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Trying to beat the scalpers in a race for tickets is like Yeshiva University trying to beat Duke in basketball. It's a near impossibility. I'm not going to profess to know everything about the intricacies of the scalping industry or the flawed technology of Ticketmaster's website, because I just don't. But I do know this: on Saturday, at exactly 10:00:01 a.m., I logged onto Ticketmaster expecting to buy tickets to several of the upcoming NYC Ratdog shows only to receive an automated message stating that no tickets were available for any of the 3 shows.* NOT ONE FUCKING TICKET! How could that be??? This is Ratdog, not Billy Joel!!!

Now I've seen Ratdog many times, especially at the Beacon Theater. From experience, I know that if I log onto Ticketmaster within the first 1-10 minutes from when they go on sale, there is a decent likelihood of getting mid-orchestra, possibly seats in the coveted Loge, and certainly the lower balcony (upper balcony is available for days, if not weeks). So why would Saturday be any different? The logical assumption is that the scalpers flooded [hacked into] the system and single-handedly destroyed any possibility for the fans to secure tickets. It is a joke. The whole thing is a joke, and the fans are the punchline. When I was a teenager, we actually used to campout for tickets! But, those days are long gone. Everything has changed. Ticket prices are out of control. Fans can't afford, let alone, get tickets to see their favorite bands anymore. Tickets are so expensive these days that even the most devout fans are forced to contemplate whether it's worth seeing Neil Young, or Van Morrison, or David Gilmour, or Eric Clapton. It used to be about wanting to see, not worth seeing.

It's not just Ratdog. It's everything. Tickets are trophies. They are bragging rights. Shows are selling out before the fans even learn about them. It's an unfair game, and we're losing.

Whose to blame? Ticketmaster and their purportedly "fail-safe" website? The entrepreneurial scalpers who have masterfully perfected the hunt? StubHub, who benefits tremendously from the faithfuls who pay top dollar (including a healthy commission) to see their favorite acts? The bands themselves for not rebelling against the industry and figuring out a way to save the music?

Sounds like a doomsday scenario. I better start working on my jumper...

*In one final act of desperation and an hour after tickets originally went on sale, I logged back onto the site (more out of curiosity) and miraculously, was able to secure tickets in the lower balcony for two of the shows. Five minutes later, there were no tickets left. Nonetheless, I can't explain how or why this happened.

1 comment:

partyinpeepsblog@gmail.com said...

totally ridiculous. My lady and I saw Umphrey's @ the Aragon 3 nights this NYE and were not able to score 3-day passes. I think the tickets were (2x30)(2x30)(2x60) or $240 face value. I easily paid at least another $100 in service charges! a few weeks ago seeing moe. in Chicago, 2 tickets at $25 cost $75 with the convenience charges!!!

I am a law student, I can't afford this! (I was lucky and got 7th row moe. knoxville tix for face value from someone on the PT moe. board.)