I remember a night in 1993. Me and buddy of mine decided that if we really, really wanted to see Nirvana the only way to get a ticket was to head down to our local Ticketmaster kiosk and camp out overnight. I remember that evening… leaving the house at midnight, walking in the cold and wind only to plop ourselves down in front of the locked doors of the shopping mall and wait. In our minds, this was a battle of attrition that only the strong ‘and most diehard’ fans would happily wage in order to get the coveted golden ticket to a concert that would in the end (unbeknownst to us) change our lives forever. This was the pinnacle of fandom. If you wanted to really be there, if you were a real fan you could get a ticket. All you had to do was put in the time and effort required.

You know where this is going. Today, and with the advent of ticketmaster.com and other online retailers, not to mention the plethora of credit card, fan club and other corporate presales, the pool of available tickets available to the general public on the on-sale date has all but dried up.

I don’t know much about Matchbox 20, but recently they received a bit of backlash from their fans when it came time to purchase tickets for their latest tour. To their credit, they posted an informative and revealing response on their Facebook page. You wonder how tickets for a concert in a 20,000 seat venue can sellout in a matter of seconds? It’s all about the business. The scenario they detail below isn’t unique. Any Nationally touring major act will follow a similar protocol and ultimately many of their fans will end up being left with no other options that scouring the resale market (ie, $calpers) for their own tickets. Here are the facts Jack…  (more after the jump)

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HEY PEEPS,

So, it’s tour time again and we all know what that means. More messages about everyone’s problems getting the tickets they want. I can’t say everything I need to in 140 characters, so I thought I would direct everyone who cares to here.

Please understand that my twitter site isn’t the “ticket complaint” dept., so after this, I am not going to answer any questions regarding tickets. If anyone sees any concerns, please direct them to here.

We’re working hard to get the best seats we can but there are many layers of commitments that we have to work within outside of a normal headlining show. It’s hard to explain but there are a lot of “hands in the pot” I terms of inventory for this tour. Normally, there would be a headline tour and you’d have to deal with the following:

PRESALE, VIP PACKAGE, PROMOTER HOLDS, LABEL HOLDS, CITI/AMEX/VISA Cardholders, TICKETMASTER PLATINUM SEATS

Because we are doing this tour together with the GOO-GOO DOLLS, there is a lot more going on in terms of what demand is put on the tour for inventory. You have everyone below fighting for great seats:

MB20 PRESALE, GOO GOO PRESALE, MB20 FAN CLUB BUNDLE, GOO-GOO FAN CLUB BUNDLE, MB20 VIP PACKAGE, GOO-GOO VIP PACKAGE, CITI CARD PRESALE, TICKETMASTER PLATINUM SEATS, PROMPTER HOLDS, LABEL HOLDS FOR GOO-GOO DOLLS, LABEL HOLDS FOR MB20


All of these elements to the campaign are assigned holds or pull from opens (availability after holds). Also, because this is a Live Nation tour in sheds, most of the venues have season ticket holders that hold a license to the seats in the venue. These patrons get first pass at tickets and because this is a popular tour, I would guess most of those license holders jumped on the opportunity to purchase tickets.

Generally, VIPs and Platinum seats are assigned holds after the season ticket holds. Then, from there, fan club opportunities (both the bundle and the coupon code protected sale) are tied to 50% of the venue being open – basically the next best 50% of the house that’s available. Then all additional requirements get peppered to serve as a middle ground to the fan club inventory (citi, label, etc.).

Also, we have gotten more replies from people that are happy with their seats than unhappy. Happy people don’t usually complain. This is a complete list of why anyone may be having problems. I hope it answers everyone’s questions. See you out there.

Rob Thomas

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As mentioned, this isn’t a unique situation. Chances are, for some of the bigger shows, most of the tickets have likely been spoken for before they even go on sale to the public. The sad reality is that the time-honored tradition of camping out overnight to be the first in line to get the best concert tickets is no longer relevant. You can’t get the best tickets that way anymore. If you really want the pick of the litter, I suggest getting a Platinum Amex, buying a season ticket to whatever sports team plays in your local stadium, buying into the Fan Club of your favourite band and purchase the VIP meet-and-greet package. Otherwise you’ll likely be stuck up in the 300 level with me.

-Tamarack

radiohead sold out

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