Sometimes, just sometimes, Ticketmaster is kind

For the past two years, at least, my byline has been associated with cynicism and skepticism when it comes to ticket sellers.

Today, I share with you a positive story about (dare it be said?!): Ticketmaster.

Like hundreds of others (thousands?), I anxiously tried to get tickets for the Radiohead show in Toronto next week. The first time I saw them was at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1998. Easter Sunday. It was glorious. Why wouldn’t I want to see them again in my favourite city?

I lucked out. I got a ticket during the initial sale a few months back. It was a great day.

And then… Pearl Jam announced a special fan club night at the Seattle Mariners game.

On the very same night.

Two nights before the Candlebox reunion/anniversary show I’d alright bought tickets for a month prior.

This is my exact luck.

Ok, no problem – I’ll just transfer my ticket! I’ll resell it! Thousands of people across the GTA wanted to go to this show, Radiohead’s first trip back to Toronto in almost a decade! No problem!

Except… yeah, this was one of the shows where you couldn’t just resell it via Ticketmaster. Or transfer it to someone else. Or sell it through Ticketmaster’s resale site,


For weeks, I waited. I sat on the sidelines, hoping something would change. That, maybe, the Scotiabank Arena (what?!) would change its mind and allow tickets to be sold. Or the show would appear on the resale site.

Nothing doing.

Finally, a week out from the show, I gave in. I emailed Ticketmaster, knowing full well that the company has a policy of not allowing sales on tickets for certain shows, or with certain artists. It’s a policy that’s been shrugged off as no big deal – an elected official I used to cover on the regular in Virginia had rallied against just such a policy because he was stuck with tickets to some schmaltzy band and I laughed at him. He introduced legislation to prohibit Ticketmaster from forbidding selling tickets on certain shows in certain venues and such legislation was deemed ridiculous here.

Within a few hours of emailing Ticketmaster, explaining that I couldn’t make the show and I hated the thought of the seat going empty, I received a perfectly pleasant email saying my purchase had been refunded. No muss, no fuss.

The moral of this story? If you can’t resell your ticket, purchased through Ticketmaster, don’t despair. Just reach out, explain the situation, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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