Music Industry

So How Did You Do with Red Hot Chili Peppers Tickets Through Ticketmaster? I’m Guessing Not So Well.

Another big-name tour went on sale today through Ticketmaster with the predictable outcome: People getting screwed by ticket-buying bots. Here are a few emails sent my way:

I was online at noon and didn’t get a thing. Not even super expensive tickets. I then switched to Amex front of the line and that was also sold out. I included a screen shot in another tweet of a third party site advertising about having a bunch of tickets available and they’d posted that ad an hour before tickets went on sale. It’s so frustrating.



I’ve been listening to the new album like crazy since it was released. Just loving it. I’ve really fallen in love with their new stuff, which made me explore some of their other recent releases (I’m also very into the I’m With You outtakes – so many great songs in that bunch). My wife is a HUGE fan from way back as well – she picked up Mother’s Milk on vinyl a while back… so good.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get lucky with the presale for tickets here in Vancouver. This morning, though, I was ready – 15 minutes ahead of time.

The clock ticked down, the page loaded (for a noticeably long time). When it fully loaded, I quickly selected two tickets and searched, and BAM. “No tickets, but keep trying”.

I’ve been trying pretty much non-stop for oh… 54 minutes. Nothing.

It’s rare that I get excited about a concert these days, and even rarer that a great band from my childhood makes ANOTHER great album. I really wanted to see them, but it looks like this is a bust.

The sad part is, last night before any of this happened I was pretty sure it’d go down like this… it’s such a letdown.

As a programmer, I’m fairly certain this could be organized in a better way, but Ticket Master probably has no interest in that since they get their money either way, as does the band. In the end, it’s the fans that bite the bullet, and due to our admiration of some awesome bands end up getting exploited by… I don’t even know who. Scalpers? Or a Ticket Master / Stub Hub arrangement?

In any case, I’m disappointed… yet again. I hope someone implements a fair system for this stuff sometime soon.



I attempted getting tickets three days in a row for the Toronto show: for the fan presale; for the Spotify presale; and finally for the general public sale.  Same conclusion for each time: no tickets available within seconds of the start time.  Smells like Ticketmaster bull**it!

I’m so incredibly disappointed as I really wanted to see the Peppers at least once.

Looking forward to your views on this.



Anyone else have stories?

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 38300 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

9 thoughts on “So How Did You Do with Red Hot Chili Peppers Tickets Through Ticketmaster? I’m Guessing Not So Well.

  • There were 2 Pre-sale days for tickets to the Toronto show. The first was on Wednesday and the 2nd on Thursday. If you joined their fan club (for free) you obtained a pass code for the “Artist Fan Presale” which I did. Which I just found out about when the concert was announced on Facebook on Tuesday. I joined and got the pass code all set for tickets to go on sale at 10am Tuesday morning. I wanted 3 tickets. By 10:01 I was waiting for ticketmaster to search for tickets. It came back at 10:08 saying nothing matched my search. I kept trying to 50 more minutes same result. So I gave up. Figuring that like The Hip it was already sold out and I decided to try the Thursday presale. Later on Wednesday around 5:50 pm I thought I would try one more time and to my great surprise I got in and wound up with 3 tickets in the upper bowl area close to the stage. How that happened I’ll never know but I can’t wait to see them. I’m loving the new cd. It’s great just like the one before that as well. So my brother, myself and our nephew, his favorite band and his first concert, are all looking forward to a fantastic evening in February.

  • I ended up empty handed. For both the presale and the general public I was told there were no tickets less than a minute after they were released. Tried from app and online simultaneously.

  • I got two row three centre floor tickets for the Toronto show during the RHCP fan club presale on Ticketmaster on Wednesday. I refreshed right when the countdown hit zero, entered my unique code supplied by the band, and only had to check that I wasn’t a robot. For some reason I didn’t have to select the billboards or storefronts or or palm trees, or waterfalls, etc, like I had to do when I tried for more tickets during the Live Nation presale and general on sale. Anyway, the third row floor tickets popped up immediately. And get this – I actually considered throwing them back because they are closer to Flea’s side than Josh’s side and I wanted to try again, but I didn’t take the chance. Now I’m glad I bought them even more. No one I know was able to get tickets via the FB, Edge, Live Nation, Fan Club OR Spotify presales. Nor did anyone I know luck out with the Amex sale today or the general onsale. Given how quickly tickets were snapped up by scalpers as well as fans, I thought for sure the band would add a second Toronto show today because they added extra Philly, Boston, LA and New York shows, and there are a few days off after the first Toronto show. But then it was pointed out that Feb 5th, the day after the Toronto show and the day everyone assumed would host the second show because the ACC is available, is Super Bowl Sunday. So I spent two hours today refreshing the RHCP concert lists on Ticketmaster starting at 12 noon for nothing, waiting for a second show to appear (trying to secure tickets for friends). If I had known about the Super Bowl, I wouldn’t have bothered. It’s baffling that RHCP are trekking across the border for just one Toronto show when they always usually play two shows here. Also, I really think adding another show would’ve helped more true fans get seats like it did for the folks in LA and NYC (who got three shows each, and the third shows were not broadcasted – an email was sent through the fan club only at the beginning of the general on sales for the other two shows in each city today to give the fans a better chance of getting tickets). Anyway, I lucked out with my tickets, but with the number of people let down, it’s amazing how Ticketmaster and scalpers keep getting away with this again and again. The band is aware of what happened this week – Chad tweeted about it a few times – but unfortunately, they are powerless against it. People are going to buy through StubHub, etc, because they are desperate, thus fueling the beast. Maybe if fans boycotted third party ticket sellers and artists started playing to half empty arenas, there would be more pressure to examine and change the system. But ultimately, the tickets will sell, and in the end, the band still gets their money and to play for fans, so there is no catalyst to implement any changes.

  • Me too! Nothing and I was checking since 8am. Went on official website AXS & it got so far then froze after waiting 20mins in virtual waiting area.i went on 2 other devices each time getting a little further but no tickets available HOWEVER Checked stub hub website & tickets were available for March 10 for $358.00 at 8:30am. Funny how they had them b4 Axs released them at noon SUPER DISAPPOINTED!!!!!!!
    I probably won’t get to see RHCP for third time. I tried both this and last tour and was at KROQ WENNIE ROAST when Anthony was rushed to hospital & sadly couldn’t perform . I’m so disappointed that once again corporate America screws the little guy or girl ?

  • Every year, I try to get tickets the traditional way. Every year, the tickets sell out immediately. This year, as part of the Chili Peppers fan club, I got my special code which gave me hope. But again, even with the code and the presale, the tickets sold out immediately. So, I did what I do every year after failing. I went to StubHub and paid $1100 for two tickets that should have cost under $200. Some of the tickets were in the $5K range. I only see a few bands for this reason. I can justify the price if I cut back on the number of events, but it’s an unfortunate trade off.

  • I got lucky. Sort of. Too stupid to see what time the presale was, I checked in at 3pm for the Minneapolis show. Of course it was too late. Next day, I’m on a 12:50 for the 1pm main sale, and I’m put in a que. FOUR stinking minutes later, I get two tickets. In the worst 20% of the building. I went for the I’m with you tour, 4 years ago and got great tickets. This shit show is getting worse and worse. The Tragically Hip debacle should have opened my eyes, but I was still shocked!!
    So if you really want good seats, buy the crap ones, show up 10 min after the show starts and the scalpers will be there panicking. They’re about to get nothing for the tickets, and they’ll approach YOU to sell them to you. I did this a few years back and scored front row center for Santana for 150 bucks plus my two blueline stage side seats. All four (mine and his) were face value 60 bucks.

  • North of Seattle here – I was going for the general sale this past Friday – been my dream to see Flea work that bass! Just buying a ticket for myself; got in online right at 10am and was actually able to view not one but TWO different seats before I got kicked out for a while. Yeah, it was stupid to let those two go, but both were not very good seats anyway. Refreshed page for the next hour or so; no dice. Started to worry about ever getting to cross RHCP off my bucket list. Finally a few hours later, I was able to get back in! Took about 5-10 minutes of waiting in the queue; felt like forever and was sooo tempted to refresh the page, but glad I did not! I even got a better seat position-wise and in the lower risers instead of the upper ones like earlier when I first got in at 10am. Sucks though – guess I am waiting through some “delivery delay” bs…but I did get my code for my free CD; can’t wait to get it!

  • Tried for Vancouver right on time, and didn’t get anything. Tried for a few more minutes, and thought hell, I’ll give Seattle a shot. Ended up getting not-so-great seats there, but at least it’s tickets. Still haven’t received them because there was a “delay” with sending out tickets. I’m a bit nervous about that still. I lost all faith in Ticketmaster and refuse to buy from the bot-buyers.

  • I’d like to see a photo system.

    Every ticket sold on ticketmaster must be purchased with a ticketmaster account. The owner of the account must upload a headshot to the account. Headshots can only be changed once a year by the user, but can be changed as many times as ncessary if the accountholder submits government issued ID.

    Every ticket purchased with this account will have the account holders photo printed onto the e-ticket/hard ticket (Much like a Costco membership – perfect with the new partnership).

    If a person purchases tickets for their group, all of the tickets purchased will have the purchasers photo on them. This person MUST be with the group for entry to be allowed.

    If someone is purchasing tickets for another person, at the time of purchase they will enter the email of that person. The ticket will be sent to that person and they will have to link their account before tickets are printed or sent. The person has 10 business days to accept and do so, otherwise the tickets will be refunded and put back into the ticket pool.

    If someone has purchased tickets and needs to transfer them to someone else (can’t make it etc.) then they will have to go into “transfer tickets” section, enter that persons email and then ticketmaster will send a link to that person. When they click that link, the purchaser will purchase the ticket DIRECTLY THROUGH TICKETMASTER for face value and, once this is completed, ticketmaster will refund the seller minus a fee for the transfer. The new ticket is then printed with the new ticketholder’s information. The person has 5 business days to accept and do so, otherwise the ticket will be refunded and put back into the ticket pool.

    For last minute (day before/day of) cancellations, the ticket holder can return the ticket to ticketmaster (this can only be done if they purchased the $3 cancellation protection fee) and be refunded (less service fees).

    Would love for it to be implemented.


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