This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 13, 2002 3:34 PM. The previous post in this blog was Cirque du Fatigue. The next post in this blog is Goose bump music. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, July 13, 2002


I have long been in the camp that believes Bruce Springsteen can do no wrong, but his continuing to turn the ticket sales for his tours over to business as usual at Ticketmaster is a real disappointment. Bruce used to find ways to make sure his fans got to see him without having to pay a scalper. For a while he even insisted on a mail order option, and fans who knew about it could sometimes get a first or second row seat just by mailing in a money order.

With Ticketmaster, even standing in line at the arena box office gets you nowhere. If you're further back in the line than about third, you wind up with tickets on the roof.

The reason, of course, is that thousands of scalpers, amateur and professional, are bombarding the Ticketmaster server from all over the country the very nanosecond that tickets go on sale. Even a fan with a high-speed internet connection and three or four browsers going at once doesn't get to see a seat for the first 20 minutes, and by then all that's left are decidedly bad locations. The scalpers with the fancy computer programs have cleaned the place out.

What's really disgusting is that not a half hour later, there are the choice seats on eBay for $300 apiece or more. The seller's location could be 3,000 miles away from the site of the show. So the ripping-off continues, on an unprecedented scale. It's become a national pro-am event.

I suppose that Springsteen's decision to make the floor of the arena a mosh pit is his new way of avoiding the phenomenon of the scalpers charging $1500 for a front row ticket for his show. But Bruce, if that's your reasoning, just click over on eBay and you'll see that you've risked audience comfort to no avail.

Bands have tried to break the Ticketmaster stranglehold in the past, and failed. But if anyone could force a change in the way that monopoly operates, it's stars like Springsteen and Jimmy Buffett. For the sake of their fans, they ought to think outside the box on tickets, and force Ticketmaster to do the same. There has got to be more that could be done to remedy the current sorry state of affairs. Meanwhile, the fans' options are: (a) shell out $500, (b) get some really good binoculars, or (c) stay home and hope you see it on HBO.

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