Buying concert tickets through Ticketmaster is the worst. No one denies this. Not only do you have to worry about whether the event’s going to sell out and that dumb, always impossible to decipher security code (they’re not always this good), you also know you’re going to pay $$$ for your ticket and then $$$$ in assorted fees. So jam band String Cheese Incident recently devised a way of getting around the evil, monopolistic monster that is Ticketmaster.
One Friday afternoon recently, about 50 fans and friends of the band String Cheese Incident took $20,000 in cash to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles to take a small stand against the system — in this case, Ticketmaster.
With money advanced by the band, each person had enough to buy eight tickets at $49.95 apiece for the group’s show in July. Once all tickets were in hand, almost 400 of them, they were carried back to String Cheese headquarters in Colorado and put on sale again through the group’s Web site — for $49.95.
“We’re scalping our own tickets at no service charge,” Mike Luba, one of the group’s managers, explained in an interview last week. “It’s ridiculous.” (Via)
It’s a cool stunt, but not a sustainable one. Buried at the end of the story, it says that SCI still charged $12 for postage to mail the tickets, so fans really only saved about $5. (I fake bought a ticket for the band’s upcoming show at UC Berkeley; the ticket cost $50 and the convenience charge/order processing fee came to $15.) Their point was purely symbolic: the only way things are going to change is if venues stop making deals with Ticketmaster and go with smaller ticket companies, like Brown Paper, that charge smaller fees. That’s drastically simplifying things, but I believe in you, 1990s Pearl Jam.
Also: $50 for String Cheese Incident? LOL!