This week I’ll be headed into town to buy Ra Ra Riot
tickets at the Trocadero. You might ask why I don’t just buy the tickets online or over the phone? Well on top of the $15 ticket price, Ticketmaster adds $6.90 per ticket; that’s a 46% surcharge. That’s near $28 for the 4 tickets I need to buy, but if I buy the tickets at the box office, no surcharge.
Here’s something that has always bothered me about ticket prices: why can’t the ticket prices include all of the surcharges? I would have been fine with them telling me the price is $22 with no service charge. Once you tell me the price of the ticket is $15, I expect to pay $15. Of course since Ticketmaster has concert goers over a barrel, they don’t care. According to artists want to be able to advertise inexpensive tickets, even if the ticket price doesn’t cover the cost of doing business.
So Ticketmaster won’t be getting my money this week. A small victory since they get my money 90% of the time. Must be nice to do business without caring what your customers think – although I can’t imagine why you’d want to.
* Picture above:
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.