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Are multiple ticket pre-sales letting scalpers get away with it?

February 27, 2017

A week ago, Live Nation announced that Metallica would be going on tour in the summer, hitting stadiums at the top markets in the country, and were going to be supported by Avenged Sevenfold, Volbeat, and Gojira. My initial reaction was “YESSS!” because I have been waiting for the summer dates since last year, but at the same time worried because I knew that the hot tickets usually sell out, tickets were going to go on sale the next day. I am one of the few that support Ticketmaster (well…I do hate their insane fees) because we can purchase tickets in less than 5 minutes without going out of your house. One thing that Ticketmaster implemented were the “presales”, where lucky fans get first dibs on seats before the general public, but I feel like that perk is completely outdated now. Here’s an example: for the Metallica tour alone, I saw at the very least SIX different presales for the Dallas show...just on Tuesday there were the Legacy Fan, 5th Member and Citi Card member presales. Two days later there was a Live Nation presale, an Avenged Sevenfold fan club presale, a Volbeat fan club presale, and in some cases, there were venue presales and even Club member presales (for example, the AT&T Stadium sells year-long seats for fans that want to attend all their football games, and they usually also get first dibs on concert tickets). With so many presales nowadays, what is exactly the point of offering them when they feel like a regular sale? I have friends that went to the website right at 10 AM and through the presale codes they were offered tickets on the level 300 sections…yeah, so much for “first dibs.” It was also pretty interesting to see so many tickets for the shows already listed on Stubhub before the first presale even started. On the Metallica forums (which I frequent often)(I’m a die hard Metallica fan), a fan said that the industry should go back to selling tickets at the venues, because it is likely that the scalpers won’t camp out for them. I disagree, because I have seen corruption at the ticket booths where the scalpers walk straight to the ticket counters avoiding the line, get a few tickets, and leave. So, is there a solution to the scalping problem? I don’t think so. Ticketmaster introduced a “verified fan presale” last year where you sign up and somehow they verify you are a real fan (I actually wonder what exactly they do) and then text you a unique presale code for the show you signed up for. But I also don’t want to say something like “Stubhub needs to die!!!” because I have bought from Stubhub before and I had a good buyer experience. There’s also the credit-card entry, but a smart scalper knows how to get away with it…I was at the Metallica show at the Fonda Theatre back in December (a day after finals)(I got a C on a final because of not studying)(blame Metallica) and tickets literally disappeared in seconds because, well, you don’t often get a chance to see one of the biggest bands in the world play a venue that holds around 1,200 fans inside…anyway, tickets were Will Call only, but many people were selling theirs for over $500 (OG price was $25 for Fan Club members), and people were buying them. I approached a guy that got his ticket through Craiglist because I told him the tickets were Will Call only and he would not be able to get in without the original buyer credit card, but he said that the scalper got the tickets with a prepaid gift card and he shipped it to him and he will have no problems at the ticket booth. Impressive. Evil, but impressive. In the end, the music business is, after all, a business, but I wish some of these ticket companies and even bands could do more to make sure their tickets are going straight to their fans and not someone trying to make quick cash.   Written by: Jorge Ramos

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