Why Is It So Difficult To Buy A Concert Ticket?

11 Apr

Every now and then I long for the days before technology was so advanced. When buying a concert ticket meant you got to the ticket window really early in the morning and stood in line with all the other fans.

Fans. That’s right. People who loved the singer/band as much as you did that they took their hard-earned money and went out to the venue (or record store) and bought a ticket for themself (and maybe their friend) and that was it. Two tickets. Two fans. Going to see their favorite singer/band live. Where you paid the face value of the ticket and that was it.

Ah, the good ole days.

Now a days, you can get your tickets from the comfort of your smart phone. Convenient? Sure. But not so much when you have to jump through several hoops to get it.

Sting is coming to town. Yes! I love me some Sting. But trying to get a ticket to his concert was nearly impossible on Friday.

First, there was the email saying there would be a special pre-sale to all Sting fan club members. Sweet! But I would need a code. A code they didn’t include in the email. Oh no. That required an additional click on a link that took me to a page that said my membership had expired in January, but I was still active.


So there it was. The link to get the special code. Great! Oh wait. There were server complications and I should try back later. Grrrr.

Go back and click on link to buy tickets which takes me to Ticketmaster website, but going to need that code in order to buy.

Try. Try again. Finally it goes through. Yeah!

But no. If I want to get that special code I had to “join” the fan club for $45. Sigh. So let me get this straight. Not only am I going to have to pay for the ticket and all the numerous service/handling/whatever-reason-we-invent-to-charge-you-more charges, but now I was going to have to pay $45 for the right to buy the ticket?

It still said VIP packages were available. The VIP packaged GUARANTEED me a seat in the first 10 rows. Was it worth it? Was it worth the big-ticket price PLUS the fan club fee? Decisions. Decisions. Yes! This ONE time I will bite the bullet and see Sting up close.

Click on joining the fan club.
Click on getting the special promo code.
Click on buying the VIP package.

Whau. Whau. Whau.

After all of that (that being over an hour’s worth of time), there weren’t any VIP packages left. There was however a seat way over on the left of the balcony.

<insert slouching shoulders here>

And then to add insult to injury, tickets galore started popping up on Ebay and StubHub. And that’s what really made me burn. Because here I was a fan trying to get a ticket and they were bought up by scalpers. They aren’t fans. They’re just greedy people gobbling up tickets for a profit.

And, yes, scalpers existed when I stood in lines at box offices, but a lot less of them existed because it meant a much bigger time commitment. They would be stuck in that one line, for the one concert, for a very long time. So those suckers had to be selective on what concerts they thought they could sell for the biggest profit. Not like these days when they can scoop them up in just a click of the mouse.


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