Music Industry

The Bots Strike Again: Eagles Fans and Swifties Thwarted

Eagles fans in BC are not happy. Within seconds of going on sale–yes, seconds–all the tickets for the band’s May 2018 gig at Rogers Arena in Vancouver were gone. Goddam ticket-buying bots, huh?

Now music fans in BC are demanding that the provincial NDP government crack down on bots like they’re attempting are in Ontario and Alberta and also jurisdictions like New York state as well as the UK.

Bot create all sorts of misery for us poor meatbags who just want the ability to buy tickets to a gig at face value. And while Ontario and Alberta have all sorts of plans to make the use of bots illegal, more governments in more places will have to get on board to make any measures successful.

Ticketmaster is trying to thwart bots with its “Verified Fan” measures but with mixed success. Claims have been made in places like Ohio of restriction bot sales to less than 10% of the available tickets, but the much ballyhooed Taylor Swift VF program has left some fans upset.

You were supposed to increase your chances of getting tickets if you watched Tay-Tay videos and bought merch. But Fred sent me this:

[A]lmost immediately after she started releasing her tickets to the public based on how many times you watched her videos and bought her merchandise, Swiftie tickets already selling for 4-5X what the face value is. 

I was looking for tix for a show in NYC (Harry Potter) and the show had an absolutely no transfer policy. If the purchaser tried to sell the tix they would be canceled. The vendor agreed to buy the tix back for anyone that wanted to sell. That may be the only solution. Although you have to be pretty certain you can sell them again….
I watched her videos close to 4,000 times (well played them) and bought the album and some mercy so my 14 yo Swiftie could have good seats for the show. I was in the first hour of ticket releases (although still 35 minutes in, having got almost every boost available). It allowed me to take my time and pick my tickets rather than the rush that normally occurs but I certainly didn’t get much better seats than the last time we went*.  Huge chunks of floors and lower bowl was gone by the time I got my code. 
And the Harry Potter that would cancel tickets sold online was London. Forgot I figured out it was cheaper to buy tickets and fly to London for a week than pay $2,400US on StubHub to see it in NYC. 
For the last concert, I actually had better seats in my cart…15th row centre but Ticketmaster crashed midway through the ticket buying process and I lost them.
The current score this month is be Bots 2, Humans 0.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38398 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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