I won’t be seeing Radiohead (screwed by Ticketmaster)

I got my ass up early today to get tickets for Radiohead. I generally have good ticket buying karma – I like to think it’s because I don’t steal music. Anyway – I kept track of the atomic clock, and promptly refreshed my browser at the right second – it actually took a second refresh to see an order form, but I was in! I put my order in, and got a message that no tickets were available – this was at ten o’clock and twenty seconds. I put a second order in, same thing. Finally the third order goes through and I’m on the fucking lawn. The fucking lawn! Who got reserved seats if twenty seconds is too late? I’ll tell you who – Stubhub – because they have plenty of great seats selling for $150 and up (more than twice face value) And don’t tell me that this is the way bands make their money because Radiohead makes none of that profit. Want to bet one day we find out that Ticketmaster is somehow making money off of Stubhub sales?

And what of Radiohead’s pre-sale? At fucking ten A.M. on Wednesday when I have to be in a meeting. I know it just wasn’t meant to be. Why are all these pre-sales during the work day, when people have to work?

I tell you, I kind of miss the days of going to a venue at five A.M. to wait in line at the West Coast Video – because that seemed to be more fair. As I sit here in a t-shirt and boxers, I realize buying tickets over the internet is insanely easy and convenient, but at the end of the day, is no more than a lottery, and winning means you don’t have to pay a surcharge to scalpers if you really want those tickets.

At least I’ve been lucky enough to see Radiohead five or six times in some really ridiculous venues (at the Trocadero opening for Belly for instance or a couple of years ago at Tower Theater), and seeing them a seventh time would be solely a luxury; I feel bad for the person for who this show would have been their first time. The system doesn’t work in your favor.

I know come August 12, I’m going to be annoyed when I’m sitting at home instead of watching my favorite band, but I’ll live. Oh well.

  • http://www.merujo.com Merujo

    Spencer, this is the same BS that happened when Ticketbastard oversaw the pre-sale for Crowded House in DC. The code was available to anyone, and within seconds of the 10 a.m. start, all tickets were gone. Within the hour, they were available for $255 a piece on a variety of websites, including StubHub. Bastard scalpers. I won’t dignify them by calling them “brokers.” Fortunately, I was able to snag tickets at the start of public sales, but I had no confidence it was going to happen.

    Major league suckage – I sympathize.

  • http://www.svrspy.blogspot.com Scarlet

    I wish they would not announce shows like this. Because some people out there know when their favorite bands are working on an album and when it’s being released and they know when the tour will probably be. But then they make it a level playing field by announcing it and the on-sale date and time. it pisses me off. It’s not like Radiohead won’t sell out anyway, ya know? They could let the real fans find out on their own and buy tickets and then if they need to they can advertise. Grrr. I could go on and on…

  • Spencer

    Like I said, it’s good that I’ve seen them already – otherwise I’d probably be really angry about it. On the good side, we were able to get Flight of the Conchords and R.E.M. tickets in the past week without much trouble.

  • Spencer

    I tell you what – the fans are somewhat to blame too. I’ve heard people say they’re going to buy extra tickets, and put the extras on eBay to finance their purchase. That’s all well and good, but what they’re doing is essentially screwing other fans out of seeing the band, so they can make a few bucks.

    I wish there were some way to fix this. It all just ends up being a lottery. I’m kind of glad that most of my favorite bands play small clubs, so seeing them is easy – but eventually you won’t be able to see a show without buying from brokers and that’s in no one’s interest.

  • http://www.svrspy.blogspot.com Scarlet

    You’re right. It sucks. I’ve lucked out with seeing a lot of bands early on. Radiohead, though, is a good example. I got lawn tickets for May, but I think I deserve to be closer:) And last year I couldn’t get Muse tickets and I’ve liked them longer than anyone I know!

  • http://ktw17.blogspot.com Kevin

    You nailed my feelings in this post. I checked the radiohead site constantly to see updates on tickets and ran into the same exact problem last Wed…I had to be in a meeting at 9:30 and by the time I got out, all the tickets were gone. Presales should not be held during the week.

    And I have to admit that I kind of lucked out on Saturday…I was so excited to get tickets that I kept waking up (5 am, 6 am, 7 am, 7:30, etc…) until finally I just waited at 9:30 for the page to refresh at 10. My first request gave me lawn (for the same show in NJ), and I was bummed out…waited about 5 minutes, then checked again and got seats in 200 level. Thanks to whoever backed out of those tickets.

    But you’re right…the ticket-buying system is one thing that has been ruined by technology. Real fans should NOT have to pay 400% markup to get good seats from 3rd party e-retailers who are just making a profit off of shows that they don’t care about. For a show like Radiohead, I’ll camp out to hold a position in line to see them. My apologies that you got stuck with lawn seats…I’m in seats pretty much as close to the lawn…but hey, seeing Radiohead from afar is definitely better than not seeing them at all!

  • Sean

    same thing happened with the hollywood bowl shows spencer…tix were gone in a nanosecond…but hey, lookee here, all the great box seats miraculously were already listed on scalper sites before the tix were even “officially” on sale…at nearly $2000 each!!!

    i stopped buying tix thru ticketbastard ages ago…here’s what i do…i go early to the venue box office early the day of the show and just wait for the ticket releases to come thru…on the hail to the thief tour i got front row pit tix for the hollywood bowl shows for $45…no extra ticket fees or surcharges, just face value of ticket.

    i’ve also managed to see the rolling stones at the wiltern for $50 in 2002 in this way…front row dylan at pantages…5th row center for the bruce springsteen and e street band reunion tour at staples in 99…in the heart for the 2000-2001 u2 tours.

    it’s the only way if you’re willing to give up a day to wait at the box office…but at least i know the wait will be worth it, while trying to buy tix the day they go on sale is pointless because on top of all the internet scalpers, ticketbastard never puts the good seats on sale to begin with…they are pulled to use for friends and family of the band and record labels, radio station giveaways, sponsors, celebrities, etc.

    and then, whatever is left from that batch of tix is then released to the box office the day of the show.

    kevin is right, technology has screwed up the concert business; used to be you only had 10 or 20 ticket outlets(back in the 70′s ticketron was the big baddie, not ticketmaster) to worry about, and it was only the people in your general area that were buying tix…now, thanks to the internet and telephone tix buying, every bloody bloke in the solar system is trying to buy tix to the same concert so they can scalp them on the net.

    i’d rather go back to the days of camping out for a week in the la forum parking lot waiting for zeppelin tix to go on sale…even with 5000 other people waiting in line, i still managed to get decent seats to most of the shows and even great ones up front for 2 of the 6 nights.

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  • Spencer

    You know what they say about hindsight Sean ;)

    That said – going to Camden, NJ early in the morning is the closest thing in the states to going to Baghdad in the morning. For bands I’ve really wanted to see at big venues, I generally have joined the fan clubs – that’s what I’ve done for Peter Gabriel and Prince most notably – and ended up with great seats. Would have done it here – but alas work got in the way.

  • Julia

    Ticketmaster is just going to get worse. They are no better than the secondary market. They ARE the secondary market. Ticketmaster just purchased TicketsNow–StubHub’s competitor.

    http://www.ticketnews.com/Ticketmaster-completes-acquisition-TicketsNow0282661

  • Adam

    And I will not be seeing AC/DC as I got screwed out of amazing seats by TICKETMASTER. Had A4-Floor seats, 20th row, seats 3&4. Website wanted info, we gave it & site said your e-mail address is already registered, then automatically brought us back to the Main Events page, thus eliminating the offer of those seats. No success in getting any other tickets. n*$^*&$##@%%#@#%^$# Ticketmaster!!!!!