Buying concert tickets for a megastar in 2018

(the megastar being David Byrne.)

Tour’s coming to Oakland and San Jose. Oakland’s easy to get to, San Jose a bit farther. I hear of the show going on sale on Friday, so I make a note to buy tickets on Friday. Sure enough, I log on on Friday at 12pm and Oakland’s sold out. Turns out they added a second show in Oakland, and it instantly sold out too.

Uff. So I try to buy tickets for the San Jose, and the company selling tickets to that one (“AXS”) is super broken on the critical parts of “sign in” and “create an account.”

So I go on Stubhub and end up paying about double sticker price.

This is weird. It’s weird that Ticketmaster can’t filter bots. (I guess it’s because they don’t have any incentive to.) But given that all the tickets went so fast, I suppose they were priced below the “fair” market price… so getting them to Stubhub or another similar auction mechanism is more economically efficient. But it does feel unfair for everything to be determined by money, when money is so unequally held. But… I don’t really mind a system whose biggest failing is that some people can’t afford concert tickets.

Like, why not just release tickets onto Stubhub first?  Would it be a PR issue? I guess it might look bad, like money-grubbing or something, but I’m not sure why. I mean, we already have a system where rich people can buy their way in, and poor people can’t; the only thing that our current system does is make half that money go to a little industry of Ticketmaster bots instead of to the artist (or venue, or anyone who’s creating real value here).


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