How to survive the secondary ticket market
Last year, an estimated 89 million concert and event tickets were sold in North America, a number that pulled in a cool $7.3 billion for the entertainment industry. However, this doesn’t take into account the secondary market, a place most of us get screwed into when bots and programs snatch up all the available tickets without giving anyone else so much as a chance. The gray market, at its core, is sketchy as hell — and it often leaves scammed music lovers in its wake. So what to do? What to do, indeed.
SITES TO AVOID
Tickets are completely non-existent in VividSeats’ inventory. Rather, it’s a middle-site that provides an outlet for a secondary market through “professional ticket resellers and pre-screened individuals.” That means fees and their expected profit margin racks up costs on your end. It’s not a scam, but it’s definitely scam-ish.
But you can always trust a geek, right? Wrong. SeatGeek is basically a site that just sits there and does work you can do for half the cost. An independent study of finding Guns N’ Roses tickets in Denver proved it lists tickets at easily twice the price as buying it from the venue. Hate bots? Buy from places like this and you’re funding their existence.
F this place. The income mooch often charges hundreds of dollars or more for tickets that you didn’t look hard enough for. It makes good money by having its army of ticket buyers on deck devouring up everything before you can even enter a CVV number. Don’t bother, avoid it like an Ebola flavored Dum Dums.
WHAT TO DO
Venues, bands, Ticketmaster — they all have one way or another to bother you. By signing up for their email blasts, members are regularly rewarded with early access to pre-sales, discount codes or other ways of jumping the line. Really, what’s one more email that you’re definitely not going to open?
CRAIGSLIST DAY OF
Shit happens to everyone, and when it does, it means super bonus happy time for you. Strangers frequently post days before or the day of when emergencies come up; check often (be sure to scour other cities around you) and be persistent. You can even compare prices to get the best deal.
If you’re a music lover, chances are you have friends just the same. Put out an APB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever, for your connects to find one for you. You’d be surprised at what a few shares can do for your search. We’re all connected, best to take advantage of it.
IT HAPPENED TO ME
“It was 2011 when I was looking for tickets to a Red Rocks show that was sold out. I found one on Craigslist and decided to meet the guy at 7-11 with friends beforehand to buy it so I didn’t get murdered. When I got there, I was shocked at how cute he was — I expected a creep in a van. He told me his friend bailed on him and was going alone. I left, like an ass, but ran into him inside the venue. I was pretty drunk by then so I asked him to sit with us. I completely forgot my friends were there. We’re married now and are having a baby soon.” - Deena, 30
HOW TO GET THE BEST
One of the most sure-fire ways to get the best seats the house has to offer is to just simply get rich and buy expensive bundles like VIP packages and specialty boxes. What, you thought we had better advice than this?
National headliners command massive prices because they can. That noise-crap ensemble that always invites you to obscure bars through Facebook? They can’t. Going local is a great way to save on ticket prices and still get out of the house for live music.
You could always just like shittier music. If no one is planning on going to the show, finding freebies from the neighborhood radio station becomes easier. Paying bottom-dollar for the same excitement you’d find at a sold-out gig is the new penny-pincher’s guide to excitement.
Maybe you’ll find tickets, maybe you won’t. Often coming up on a handout is directly related to luck and how much of it you have. The game is rough player, sometimes it’s simply up to the gods.