Why You Can’t Get Tickets to Concerts, the Theatre and Sporting Events: A Fan’s Guide to Disappointment

Canadians frustrated with buying tickets to the Tragically Hip’s (probably) last tour aren’t the only ones struggling with bots and scalpers. This situation is endemic among all events that require tickets. This is from a site called The Ringer.

Back in January, Eric T. Schneiderman released a report on the inequities of a steadfastly dysfunctional ticketing business. Even if it wasn’t technically part of his job description, New York’s attorney general produced a remarkable study — mainly because it was accurate.

Fans have known for decades that, whenever they buy tickets for concerts or games, the deck is almost sadistically stacked against them. But those same fans have been inundated by nonsense from stakeholders in the ticketing business, and at this point, they don’t know what to believe. Those stakeholders refuse to admit that most government efforts to intervene haven’t just misdiagnosed the problem, but prescribed “solutions” that made everything worse. (Note: I worked as CEO of Ticketmaster from 2010 to 2013.) Schneiderman and his team — seizing on an issue that smart, aspirant politicians know is a no-brainer for their constituencies — finally stopped doing ear transplants to treat heart disease; in other words, they conducted a reasonably thorough analysis of the industry, correctly identified the salient problems, then proposed some common-sense solutions that might improve it.

Just last week, a British government commission released its findings on the ticketing market, which paralleled where the Schneiderman report landed. These documents are usually NFL-responding-to-its-latest-self-inflicted-scandal–level dense, and thus difficult to read (despite valiant efforts) if you’re just a newbie to the situation. I still purchase tickets myself, and I’m possibly more obsessed with this topic than Bill Simmons is with Deflategate. So I thought I would create a fan’s guide that explains why you’re screwed whenever you buy a ticket for anything — whether it’s for Hamilton, Adele, Oldchella, or the Super Bowl.

Read the rest here.

Hopeless, right? Maybe not. Kelly forward this article on how Louis CK managed to screw the scalpers.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

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