Yesterday there was a pre-sale for the Radiohead UK shows in October. The tickets, as you’ve probably heard, are quite expensive. A standing ticket or block 101 seat for either O2 show was £73 (including all fees) so you can see why people were ticked off – whether they got a ticket, didn’t get one or just didn’t bother.
A lot of this is repeating what I said on Twitter so if you follow me a lot of this might be old news. My point is this: yes, the prices suck but the presale was still a sell-out. The main sale on Friday morning will also probably be a sell-out. If the demand is there and if there are people out there who will buy tickets from primary sources no matter how much they are, then this is a sad reality we might as well all get used to.
I don’t think it’s ok for the people who are setting the prices for tickets to do that. The ‘who’ in question is the promoter but even their decision is influenced by more than one source these days (managers, venues, ticketing agencies) and it’s hard to know whether the band in question has ANY participation in this at all. For all the moaning, if people still buy tickets, the promoters will look at this and use their business brain to charge more next time and if that sells out they’ll just keep going and going. It’s greed, pure and simple. How else can they charge up to £115 for Barry Manilow or £125 for The Cure? How else can they charge £60-65 for a Stone Roses show in Manchester even though they have only two albums and haven’t played live in years?
I know it’s a well-worn phrase but the primary ticket market really is the secondary ticket market now. Instead of actually trying to get rid of the problems posed by touting they’ve chosen an easier, greedier option. I don’t agree/like it as much as the next person and I know this makes me sound a lot like a pessimist (it’s not far from the truth) but, at the same time, no one has a better idea of how to ensure people aren’t taken for fools. It’s also not like you can say to fans “hey, don’t buy tickets” since that would be impossible.
Louder Than War have written up a decent piece on this as well. I’d recommend it if you have a few minutes spare.