One thing I definitely don’t miss about living in New York full-time is going to see shows. I love going to shows, but it’s the process of trying to get tickets to hot concerts exactly at noon that has escalated to a brand new level of ridiculousness. Every one of you has been through this before: your favorite act is coming to perform and you’re so excited and you know tickets always go on sale at noon on Friday or whatever it is. You log in to Ticketmaster and you are ready, like you are ready to knock virtual bitches down to grab your place. You keep refreshing your browser every 15 minutes just to be on the safe side.
11:55. Omg it’s tiiimmme. You’re ready to pounce. You keep refreshing that page.
11:59. Here we goooo!!!!
12:00 SOLD OUT, LOSERS!!!
Oh, um, I thought tickets went on sale at noon — how are they sold out exactly the moment they are supposed to be available?
This has happened to me at least 3 times this year — most recently to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs who played what was I’m sure a FABULOUS concert Sunday night at Webster Hall. I know Webster Hall is not a huge venue, but still. I figured the show would sell out but I didn’t know tickets would be gone by 12:00:01 p.m. It also happened with Beyoncé — I tried to score Beyoncé tickets in like five different cities on five different tour dates with like five different on sale times. All of them sold out the second they went on sale. One time I got so close to getting Beyoncé tickets I was actually putting the tickets in my cart and it they sold out right before my eyes.
WHAT IS GOING ON!!!
As a comparison, last year I tried to get tickets to see Sleigh Bells play Terminal 5. Same thing happened. But last fall Sleigh Bells played at this place called The National in Richmond and when I saw that they were playing I freaked out and bought tickets immediately. Tickets had already been on sale for weeks before I got mine. I was so shocked that they weren’t already sold out.
There’s some kind of conspiracy going on in the musical-entertainment-concert-going industrial complex, I don’t know what it is. Of course it’s easier to see hot acts in smaller cities because the demand is maybe slightly less. I have seen so many people perform in New York over the years and each time I got my tickets online or by sneaking in or by saying I was on the list or by flashing a nipple or by giving the ticket bro a handjob like you’re supposed to. Now, suddenly, tickets are sold out before they go on sale.
Sounds suspicious to me!
A friend of mine pointed me to a place called StubHub which is sort of like the eBay for all your event needs. Maybe you’ve used it? The funny thing is, tickets that are “sold out” on Ticketmaster are suddenly magically available on StubHub — poof — a third-party site, and they are marked WAY up. So, yeah, I could have paid some anonymous person $275 to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs last night or $1000 for general admission to Beyoncé for a ticket that may or may not have been real. SIKE THO.
Everybody knows it’s almost impossible to get tickets now, so that’s why Bowery Presents, one of the biggest promotion agencies in the city, started offering YouTube streaming videos of a lot of their red ticket acts. If you can’t see James Blake or whatever — don’t worry! You can watch him from home on YouTube for free! But that’s not a concert. That’s a YouTube video.
Having access to concerts and shows is one of the great reasons to live in New York. But if the ticket people are not going to let us buy tickets to see our favorite people, why sell them in the first place?