At least James Murphy fell on his sword. Admitted he was not prepared and tried to take action. The rest of the concert industry?
As for the public… Just because you listen to a band’s music ad infinitum that does not mean you’re entitled to a front row seat at a tiny price. Seats are worth more than that. And unless a special system is put in place to make sure you get them, you’re not.
Paperless would be the best solution. But it appears to be illegal in New York. Why? Because the scalpers don’t want to be put out of business and the legislators are too dumb to know the truth. But it’s worse than that. The public doesn’t want paperless either. People talk about the inability of a grandmother to buy tickets for her grandchildren, but the real point is the public wants to scalp too.
What we’ve got here is the mortgage crisis. Everybody wants a home for a cheap price and everybody wants to get rich flipping it.
How do we know this? Because when paperless is employed, demand shrinks. Shows don’t sell out. Because the mania’s gone. Only those truly interested in going buy tickets. And that turns out to be fewer people than everybody thought. And it kills your career overnight.
So first blame the acts. They don’t want to risk playing to an empty building. Isn’t an entertainment career based on smoke and mirrors? Why reveal the truth? That despite being in the news every day you’re not that big a star, like Miley Cyrus, she went paperless and found out that not that many people wanted to see her, she hasn’t toured since.
And let’s also blame the acts for refusing to sell tickets at fair market value. Maybe the front row really is worth $500. So charge it. But you don’t want to do this, you’d rather blame the big bad scalpers than risk appearing greedy. Maybe every other row is fair market value and you institute a system where fans truly can get the other good seats. Paperless does this well. Ask Trent Reznor. His final show at the Wiltern was sans scalpers. Sure, fans had to line up, but no one complained, it was an EVENT!
And Metallica manages to get fans in too.
So James Murphy was ignorant. Dumb.
But the act is always at the center of the show, in a bubble, insecure, he truly does not know what he’s worth. The final show in America’s number one media market? That’ll definitely go clean.
But if you think they’re gonna put all 20,000, or in this case 13,000, seats on sale on Saturday morning, you’re sorely mistaken.
The public’s been told this story again and again and refuses to believe it. They blame Ticketmaster and scalpers. Do you really think Ticketmaster is in a conspiracy on one LCD Soundsystem show in New York?
There was a band pre-sale, handled poorly.
American Express card holders get priority.
Then there are senate seats and other holdbacks and in the case of a 13,000 seat show, it appears 1,000 seats were truly available on Ticketmaster on the general public on sale date.
In a market of tens of millions is it a stretch to think 1,000 tickets sold out in seconds?
Now I’m not down with the scalpers. I can’t believe they got that ridiculous law passed. But they’re only there because the act won’t charge fair market value. And sure, it’s bad if scalpers use bots or inside connections at Ticketmaster to get tickets, but if you think this is the only way they get ducats, you’re ignorant too. They buy the senate seats. Not only do season ticket holders not want to see certain concerts, they want the profit from resale too, just like the acts.
James Murphy could publish exactly how many tickets go on sale to the general public, but he doesn’t want to. No act wants to, they’re afraid of the public outcry. This information is available to acts, but they don’t want to disseminate it. Because if the public doesn’t believe it can get seats at a fair price, it’s out. People turned on Toyota, they could turn on the concert industry too.
Then again, there are alternatives to Toyota. And not to a hot act.
So it’s incumbent upon a hot act to be informed of realities and to do its best to make sure that good seats get in the hands of their fans. You may abhor Bon Jovi platinum packages, but they wouldn’t exist if people didn’t buy them. True fans are willing to pay a fortune to be up close and personal. The extras just dress up the fact that you’re paying a fortune for a good seat.
The industry does not want change. Acts and promoters want that American Express money. And with recorded music revenue down, acts scalp their own tickets. It’s less seamy than selling them at fair market value.
Is this news?
No. Print media and TV have done this story again and again, but the public refuses to believe it. It’s easier to just blame Ticketmaster and the scalpers than the acts and the promoters and the venues.
So it’s just like the rest of America. The rich profit and the poor get screwed. I wish the poor knew the concert industry better, but they can’t seem to figure out politics, so the odds of them figuring out the concert industry…
But the average person only goes to a show once a year.
You wonder why?