Which brings me to my rant.
I remember a time when I sent a cheque off to a PO Box, having seen a gig I wanted to go to advertised in a Sunday newspaper. Some weeks later, a ticket would arrive, and that would be that. Gigs didn't sell out in 30 seconds, touts in Scotland didn't sell tickets for gigs in London, and there was no such things as a 'golden circle'.
The ticket buying process seems to be changing for the worse month by month. At one point, internet ticket buying went a bit like this - at 9am on Friday morning, you choose your ticket reseller, and you go and buy tickets, then bitch to your friends about the booking fees.
Now, it looks more like this
- Find out on the grapevine that an artist may be touring
- Sign up to their mailing list, forum, facebook group, knitting circle and book group
- Join the fan club
- At some point, you will (if you are lucky) get wind that there will be a pre-sale
- Or two pre-sales
- Or three
- So then you have to decide whether you'd like to take part in the mailing list pre-sale, the fan club pre-sale, the venue pre-sale, or the pre-pre-sale for the people who will give ticketmaster the most money
- At the alotted time, you arrive to find that either a) they have no good tickets b) the site has crashed or c) you actually get some tickets
- Of course, the ticket buying process is worsened by the tiers of tickets. Hello, golden circle, I'm looking at you. Just last week, I was offered tickets in Row T for a gig, that were claimed to be 'golden circle'.
- I put it to you that the twentieth row is not a privileged view.
- Can someone identify to me when it became acceptable to gouge people going to shows in enormous venues for extra money to guarantee being in the front third of a football pitch? It's not like Bon Jovi aren't making enough money.
- And and of course, the different ticket merchants get different allocations depending on how chummy they are with the venue / promoter / artist - so should you go to Ticketmaster? Seetickets? Ticketline? Stargreen? Ticketweb? Or just give up and go read a book.
I'll let you know if I get any REM tickets.
Anyone who knows why it costs Ticketmaster more money to put a £50 ticket in an envelope than a £10 one, do feel free to get in touch.