Another Reason to Hate Scalpers

Album Cover: Narrow Stairs

"As the flashbulbs burst, she holds a smile like someone would hold a crying child."
Death Cab For Cutie / Cath...

Posted on October 07, 2003 12:59 AM in Music
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Last week my friend Brian informed me that Pearl Jam was going to be playing a benefit concert in Seattle soon and that tickets were to go on sale shortly. I quickly turned to The Sky I Scrape to get the low-down, and learned that they would be playing a show at Benaroya Hall to benefit Youthcare on October 22nd. Needless to say, being a huge Pearl Jam fan, I was excited at the notion of being able to see Pearl Jam play an all-acoustic set in such a small, unique venue.

Come Friday morning, the morning of the ticket sale, I had Internet Explorer open (I still don't trust Mozilla in such critical situations) to Ticketmaster and was ready to go. As soon as the page changed and it was possible to search for tickets, I did so, looking for a pair. When the site informed me that the combination I was looking for could not be found, I immediately tried for one ticket to see if I could at least get lucky with a single. No go. The show had vitually sold out the instant tickets became available. I was upset, to say the least.

Not long after, I paroused through the Pearl Jam newsgroup to see if anyone else had better luck, and it turns out only one or two people actually reported getting tickets. Then tonight, in the same newsgroup, I discovered an entire thread discussing the unfortunate way Pearl Jam went about selling the tickets (e.g. the 10 ticket limit that only served as fodder for the scalpers) and lamenting the dismal outcome of the whole situation.

It's hard to say whether the band had any control over how the tickets were handled and/or sold, but it is easy to see that someone screwed up given the current state of the Pearl Jam fan community and that of Pearl Jam ticket sales on eBay. The newsgroup also brought to my attention something that I had overlooked. Fan club ticket sales and ticket offers for fans that live in Seattle (e.g. me) have been lackluster at best. One person pointed out that the last time Seattle fans had a legitimate chance at fan club seats was back in 2000 (at the end of the Binaural tour, both shows of which I went to). There have been quite a few shows since then, so the point really stuck in my head.

I can only hope that someone learned from this experience and that measures will be taken in the future to try and deter scalpers and serve the true fans of the band. I also hope that the current outlook is much more pessimistic than it seems on the surface, and that there is a good number of fans that were able to buy tickets and will get to experience what will doubtless be an unforgettable Pearl Jam concert in an incredibly small and memorable venue.

Comments

Laila on October 07, 2003 at 8:26 AM:

How frustrating. I too found myself in the same situation when trying to get hold on REM tickets. If bands at at all have any control on ticketsales, it might actually be run smoothly. I came here through your Coldplay site, it looks great.

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