On Friday, I happened to be flipping through the radio stations while I was in the car. I generally don’t listen to commercials, but I happened to hear one on KZPS 92.5 (a classic rock station) on Friday. It was promoting an upcoming Eric Clapton concert, and it was my first notice of the show and the fact that tickets would be on sale on Saturday.
As many of you know, concert tickets for a big show like this are almost exclusively sold through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster generally makes life difficult, particularly in that they seem more interested in making as much money as possible rather than distributing tickets in an equitable and expedient manner. See the linked Wikipedia article above to review some of the criticisms of Ticketmaster. The very fact that there is a general acknowledgement of a “secondary market” or the “market value” of a ticket to me is despicable. I don’t think people (individuals or a “business”) should be able to earn a profit by re-selling an artist’s product (e.g. concert ticket). The artist sets the price and agrees with Ticketmaster (or whichever ticket seller they use) what the fees will be, and that should be it. There outta be a law. Oh well.
Anyway, getting good seats for a show through the normal channels (e.g. calling or logging on to Ticketmaster’s website when tickets go on sale) is a pretty good way to ensure frustration and not getting a good seat. But it is also the only way I know of to have a remote chance of getting good seats and not paying through the nose. I blogged about getting Rolling Stones tickets last year (and about the concert itself) but failed to document the hoops Layton and I had to jump through, and the extra expense, of getting tickets to that show. It was a disaster. After Ticketbastard was finished with us, we went on eBay and found some fairly reasonably priced tickets. It seems a lot of people paid more than we did, so we were reasonably happy wiht the outcome.
After that debacle, Layton was of course up for seeing Mr. Clapton, so with more than a bit of trepidation, we each logged onto the Ticketbastard website a few minutes before the appointed time and kept hitting “refresh” on our browsers until the site started selling tickets. We each got in straight away, and the tickets were on the floor about halfway back. We decided the pair I had might be slightly better, so while I started the “check out” process, Layton went back in to see if he could improve our position any. Although the site said I had three minutes to complete the transaction before my tickets were released, it ended up timing out well before that and tickets which were barely within reach vanished.
Somewhat expecting this, Layton and I both went back in to try again, hoping the same malfunction had effected others. It proved to be worthwhile, as we ended up with seats in about the 25th row. I checked out lightning-fast and the tickets were delivered via e-mail almost instantly. These seats were much less expensive than the Stones tickets, and we are going to be, relatively speaking, right up front. Can’t wait.