Pearl Jam will start their North American tour in Toronto on March 18 and the whole thing is pretty much sold out. Naturally, there will be significant number of tickets available on on the secondary market. But there’s a BIG issue.
Pearl Jam and Ticketmaster are working together (yeah, I know; it feels weird typing that) to make sure that tickets don’t fall into the hands of secondary sellers or scalpers. The only way anyone could purchase tickets was through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan system to smartphones.
Tickets live on your phone and cannot be transferred to anyone else EXCEPT through a dedicated ticket exchange mechanism that will connect the original holder to another fan. If you want to sell your Pearl Jam ticket, you can only do so for face value. If you want to buy a Pearl Jam ticket, you’ll pay only what the original purchaser paid.
For some reason, though, tickets for this tour are listed on a wide variety of secondary sites. I just checked one and found general admission pit tickets for the tour opener in Toronto for US$3,071 (CAD$ 4,078.42). Tickets Hamilton show can be found selling for $3,663 each.
How is this the case? Are those tickets actually available? If so, how are the secondary sellers getting around the non-transferability/smartphone situation? Did they use a bunch of cheap smartphones to buy the tickets? Then if you buy tickets from them, you’d presumably get this phone, too.
Another possibility: guest lists. Perhaps those don’t require the same route through Ticketmaster to get tickets. Or how about tickets for corporate boxes? Are those electronic or hard tickets?
Whatever the case, this just isn’t fair. Pearl Jam and Ticketmaster went to great lengths to ensure that tickets stayed out of the hands of resellers, speculators, and scalpers. In this case, Pearl Jam fans shut out of the tour have a right to be angry.
And this is a bit weird and ironic: If you go to this story about the issue, chances are good you’ll see ads by VividSeats advertising Pearl Jam tickets.
I’ve got some people asking questions. Meanwhile, any input/explanations are appreciated. Let’s get to the bottom of this.