What's on "L" 's mind

arts & entertainment · music

U2, Here We Come!

U2 BC Place Stadium

So I set my alarm 5 minutes before 10AM awaiting the release of U2 tickets to the public Onsale. Well, there was the option of becoming a (paid) member of the U2 fan club to purchase Presale tickets, but I thought about being a little more adventurous to see if I can snag some decent seats through the trusty and honest Ticketmaster system. So I opened multiple browsers waiting for the stoke of 10.

I was looking to buy 3 seats-hopefully somewhere in the lower seating sections. Normally, searching for tickets takes about less than a minute… 2 at the most! The wait time for this show ranged between 8 minutes to 14 minutes. Finally, the available seats came up. I think it was somewhere in around section 438… which is the upper level but decent distance and angle from the stage. I really wanted the 200-level seats. So, I passed on those tickets. The next search (after waiting a few more minutes) resulted in something like section 441… Which wasn’t too bad of a distance and angle, but I passed on those tickets as well.

Soon, I realized each subsequent search yielded worse and worse seating. Eventually, I was at the farthest distance from the stage. Any worse than that would be the seats behind the stage. But I was still stubborn, hoping for some miracle section to come up… or at least get back to the previous sections I’ve passed off. But an unusual section popped up, section 345, by the club lounge. Not quite sure how those got thrown in the loop, but looks better than the upper balcony sections. Even though I have purchased those club seat tickets, I continued the search to see if I can get anything better. It wasn’t long until all that were left were upper level seats behind the stage.

Okay, so maybe no one cares (other than me) about my club seats. Well, I do and I am pretty stoked about seeing these good-lookin’ fossils (okay, maybe just Bono with the shades) in concert. And of course these tickets were sold out in no time. But surprisingly the tickets on the TicketsNow site aren’t that bad… They range from $65 to $999 each.

As if regular Joe Blows, scalpers, and Ticketmaster/TicketsNow aren’t profiting from these second-time around tickets, some bands do it for their own shows as well. Other bands and performers are fighting back against scalpers by experimenting with various methods, such as suggesting printing buyer’s names on tickets or utilizing ticketless entry technology. Another deterrent is the anti-scalping law, which states that a ticket cannot be sold for more than its face value, but this law is not applicable to BC. (See Ticket Speculation Act.)

So far, I have been able to snag tickets to see Diana Krall, Coldplay, and now U2.. all 3 concerts for about the same price as I would pay for one show through a scalper. I think having the anti-scalping law brought to BC would be a good thing. Venues such as GM Stadium and BC Place should welcome this as this could translate to more profits at the concession stands since most fans have not spent all their money on the tickets to get in!

However, there are some incidents where a markup should be legitimate: 1) if the buyer offers to buy at a markup; 2) if there is an attached value to the ticket. Let me explain the latter. For instance, I am on the borderline with the BF. So, on that day of the concert, I may decide not to take him with me to the show. But I still need to get rid of the extra ticket and also find someone else to go with me. So, I may advertise to sell the ticket along with my company to the show at a markup. That should be justifiable!

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1 Comment

  1. jc

    May 12, 2009


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