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Friday, February 24, 2012

Ticket Brokers Be Damned

The old tickets go on sale Friday at noon routine.  Scrambling around to be near a smart phone or computer at noon Friday is challenge enough.  Then the Ticketmaster dance.  The 800 number is a good 5 minutes until human interaction occurs.  Too long.

And the website provides little relief.  Even with the website loaded you cannot move forward until noon.  Next we head to the encrypt word page which is always dicey.  Is that an R or M?  1 or I?  More minutes pass before you end up on the credit card page.  Then authorizations...  more passwords.  Before you know it 7 minutes have passed.  Oh, and guess what.  The show is sold out.

Wait, what?  1000 tickets for Alabama Shakes at Bowery in 5 minutes.  4000 tickets for Wilco at Wellmont in 3 minutes?  85,000 seats for Bruce at Met Life?

With the help of intricate hacking software and malicious intent ticket brokers buy the majority and then turn them around for juicy profits.

For instance, Alabama Shakes tix went on sale today (this author clearly did not get tickets!!)  Bowery is small so an hour or two sell out would be fair.  The moment I entered the system (12:03pm) the shows were finished.  No tickets available for both the Bowery show and Williamsburg, Brooklyn show the night after.  A coveted $20 concert ticket is paper gold for today's broker.  Take a look at Stubhub for this event a mere 3 hours later.  Brokers Suck Example 1  $90 is now the lowest ticket available.

That's real money.  That's half a Whole Foods order!!

For Wilco, and bands like them, sometimes a pre-arranged second date is added.  Those shows sell out soon after too.  Wilco, Radiohead and The Avett Brothers are getting wise to it.  They run their tickets through their own websites and include generous pre-sales to their fan base.

High time everyone else does that too.  The whole industry is so incestuous it is astounding.  Soon it will be a company like BiNLo from Pixar's billiant film Wall-E.  Assume Live Nation owns all the venues and Ticketmaster/Stubhub control the tickets.   It is plausible.  Eventually they will merge into a massive conglomerate without any regard for their clients.  Right now they are like that, just individually.

The biggest injustice is not that folks like me get shut out.  Rather, the bands see NONE of the money from the brokers mark up.  Don't you think if Alabama Shakes thought they could get $90 a ticket they would be playing MSG?  Not Bowery!!

But as is the case with any crime it appears the criminals are outwitting and outpacing law enforcement.  Brokers Suck Example 2

Surely I am not the only one with this gripe?  Take a peek at this thread from Alabama Shakes Facebook page:  Brokers Suck Example 3 Fans are angry and are being heard.   Look here as this author laments missing out on Fiona Apple tix yesterday: Brokers Suck Example 4 (Audra's blog).

Day in and day out it is a struggle to do stay ahead.  Toll increases.  Gas prices skyrocketing.  Property reassessment.  And this without talking about all the home repairs that cannot get done!

Is is so match to ask that my entertainment dollar stays relatively low?  What is it going to take for artists to grab hold of this mess and make some change?  After all their pockets are getting fleeced far more than yours.  Not like they make any money on record sales these days.  If they want to make any money isn't in their best interests?

Or is this all of matter of supply and demand?  Capitalism and the beauty therein?  To the victors...

Stop barking at the moon, huh?  Maybe this is not as important an issue as what?  Government debate over a women's reproductive system?  Men losing lives over oil supremacy?  The lunacy and idiocy of hype that occurs when Asians succeed at basketball?  George Clooney getting MORE attention for his pedestrian film?

No, this is vital folks!

There has to be a reason to put up with an unsatisfying career and the cost that comes with that.  For me, it is the reasonable expectation that the playing field should be even (only for concert sales.  I am not a madman!)

Who's with me???

GTS News:

Regular followers will note that their are now a few other contributors.  Doc S, Kevin, Jennifer and Lelica have all done a great job.  Thanks.  We would always like to here your voice.  Send in some comments, become a fan on Facebook Fan Us Already!! or follow on Twitter Twitter GTS.  Don't rule out a blog either.  Teacher struggling with your class?  Great blog topic.  Pharma sales who travels way too often?  Let's hear it.  Frustrated soccer mom?  Dad?  No judgements here.  No, wait, nothing but judgements here.

But whatever, do whatcha like and have fun doing it.

And no I will NOT practice what I preach.  Happy Weekend!!!

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