Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rolling Stones Vs. Scalpers

The Rolling Stones want to stop scalpers, so for their show at the relatively small Beacon Theater, they simply said ticket buyers are the only ones who can gain entrance to the show. It's a tactic a number of bands have started to use: you bought the tickets, you have to be one of the ticketholders to get into the venue. It's a great way to frustrate scalpers. However, it can create problems. The Stones had to delay their concert a night and so people who can't make the second date aren't allowed to hand their tickets to a friend. Security simply won't let you in unless the purchaser of a ticket is there with ID. And what happens if you want to buy tickets as a gift? Or if one of you wants to get in early while the other one works late? It's a tricky situation, but frankly I think EVERY rock concert should insist that the ticket purchaser be part of the group trying to gain entrance to a venue. It's a great way to stymie scalpers. One possible tweak to make this work better: let the purchaser list a second and third person on the tickets (up to one for each ticket) for ID purposes. So I buy the ticket but I also include the name of the person I'm taking or the name of the person they're a gift for.

One idiot fan -- who has seen the Stones dozens of times -- was angry they cancelled a show in Atlantic City because the fans had booked a flight and hotel rooms, etc for the weekend but all they got refunded was the ticket price. Uh, if they flew to London to see a concert, would they expect to be paid back for their flight if the artist got sick? How stupid are some people? If you choose to travel across the country to see a rock concert, obviously YOU'RE the one taking the risk.

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