Music Monday: Ticketmaster Scam?

April 16, 2012

Last week it was announced that Garth Brooks would be playing at the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede. This news excited me since I grew up listening to country music and Garth has always been a favorite, even though I really am not a country music fan anymore. Even more exciting was the fact that tickets were only $62, including Stampede gate admission. That’s one helluva deal!

Since I was going out of town on Saturday when tickets were going onsale, I put my mom in charge of buying tickets. I knew it would be a popular show and we probably wouldn’t end up with the best seats, but I really wasn’t expecting the outcome.

The Saddledome completely sold out in 58 seconds. 58 SECONDS! Less than a minute! Ridiculous. As I was riding in the car with my boyfriend I was texting my mom for updates and scouring Facebook and Twitter, reading the outrage from so many people who were unable to get tickets. Of everyone I know on social media, one friend managed to score tickets. Just one person.

Then I started hearing about how fast tickets were on Stub Hub, a scalping site, and for the ridiculous prices they were going for. Within minutes tickets were showing up there for hundreds of dollars. There is something absolutely not right about that.

To me it seems that either scalpers have rigged their computers to be ridiculously faster than normal people’s computers so they can scoop up all the seats to make a pretty penny, or that Ticketmaster has some sort of secret deal with Stub Hub. I realize that there were only a few thousand tickets available and probably more than a few thousand fans hoping to get tickets. I get that the show would have sold out incredibly fast regardless. But that fast and with that many scalped tickets for sale so soon afterwards?

It’s sad that the true music fans barely got a chance to see what could be a once in a lifetime show. Instead some loser with no time is making a quick buck or some big name corporation has a shady conspiracy going on, to make an even bigger buck. Seems to me Ticketmaster may not have been happy with such a low price being set for this show, they decided to sell an abundance of tickets to their little friends at Stub Hub, who will sell them for  hundreds, if not thousands more dollars.

It leaves me in an awkward place. I hate that I have to support a company that is no longer about the music and the concert experience, but is now just about the money. But when they’re the only major ticket company, what choice do I have? Especially since I’m such the concert junkie.

What concert were you unable to get tickets for that really disappointed you?

Do you think Ticketmaster has a secret deal with the scalping site Stub Hub?

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  • Reply
    April 16, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I don’t care too much about country music, but I couldn’t help but take notice when the only site I go to to get tickets seemed to screw everyone over. I’m incredibly disappointed with Ticketmaster, and I wish I could boycott them, but like you said, what choice do we really have? I can’t help but think that Ticketmaster had a secret little deal with StubHub. In fact, I believe it was CBC who reported that the most expensive ticket that showed up on StubHub within minutes of Ticketmaster being sold out was $4000. Four thousand dollars! I wish that Ticketmaster and StubHub and any other ticket website out there would just let us enjoy the music, and not make it all about the money.
    Garth Brooks was trying to make this concert affordable for his fans, and just about everyone got screwed over. I’m incredibly disappointed with this whole fiasco, and I sure hope that it never happens again.

    • Reply
      April 18, 2012 at 8:15 am

      I’m with you Amanda, it’s unacceptable. It really ruins everything for the true music fans.

  • Reply
    A. Parent
    April 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    The reason that we have to deal with Ticketmaster most of the time in the first place is because they have made long term deals with venues and promotion companies all over North America. Maybe a little pressure on the Stampede Board, the Jubilee Auditorium and such places to quit using Tickmaster would help.

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