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M.Mouse
16th Feb 2018, 10:21
Last night I had an e-mail from the Albert Hall listing future events. I noticed that John Williams was conducting a concert of his film music in October. The tickets were being released for sale at 0900hrs this morning.

I dutifully sat at my PC and as the time ticked over to 0900hrs I refreshed the booking page and found I was immediately number 1894 in the queue!

The clever site updated my queue position every few seconds and after 57 minutes I was redirected to the booking page having reached the top of the queue. Only to find that the only tickets available were the hospitality boxes at 1,000 upwards. Even those had a booking fee of around 22!

I find it hard to imagine that there weren't some sort of automated systems operating in the background run by resellers.

UniFoxOs
16th Feb 2018, 10:28
SWMBO used to think that phoning the booking line was a bit better, but it's a real pain to actually get ringing rather than engaged. I've had this happen on many occasions, it's getting to the point where it's just not worth the hassle, and I am now unlikely to go to any major concert or show ever again.

For some venues/performers you can join the "Friends of..." type of mailing list, and this gets you access to booking earlier (generally only 24 hours so you still have to be on the ball). You also may get offers for "Join the cast in the green room afterwards" or other backstage events. I am currently on the Sarah Millican one and one or two theatre ones and find it worth while.

NutLoose
16th Feb 2018, 10:32
https://www.viagogo.co.uk/Theatre-Tickets/Classical/John-Williams-Tickets/E-2600703

M.Mouse
16th Feb 2018, 10:57
It rather proves my point when tickets are available on viagogo at double the face value.

It is a disgraceful situation in my view.

Allan Lupton
16th Feb 2018, 12:01
It rather proves my point when tickets are available on viagogo at double the face value.

It is a disgraceful situation in my view.
Yes disgraceful anyway and several venues do not accept viagogo tickets I understand.
The addition of a "booking fee" is also disgraceful, particularly when it's added by the only source of tickets. In past times a ticket price was the price you paid and the promoter had set that price knowing what agency fees etc. he might incur.

VP959
16th Feb 2018, 12:25
For some venues/performers you can join the "Friends of..." type of mailing list, and this gets you access to booking earlier (generally only 24 hours so you still have to be on the ball). You also may get offers for "Join the cast in the green room afterwards" or other backstage events. I am currently on the Sarah Millican one and one or two theatre ones and find it worth while.

We do this with our local theatre, as we found that just going through their website, or using the phone, was hopeless. The other advantage of being on the "friends of..." list is that they already have your details on file, so in my case they automatically give me the OAP rate. When booking by phone or on the website it was often near-impossible to get the OAP rate on any tickets.

Gertrude the Wombat
16th Feb 2018, 13:21
This it getting so bad that my wife can't even book us into college dinners any more without hovering over the button on the screen the second bookings open, which she can't do because she's at work and supposed to be working. Not surprisingly there will some agitation at college council level to try to ensure that fellows do get to book in to dinner in their own college occasionally, and that all the places don't go foreign students wanting to take selfies of themselves (against the "no photography" rule) in a "just like Hogwarts" dining hall.

Fareastdriver
16th Feb 2018, 16:53
I suspect that the ticket agencies like Ticketus etc. have a deal with the theatres where they have a block of tickets to themselves. Multiply the number of agencies and the whole theatre is taken.

I tried to book a ticket for a performance at Glasgow at the first available second and I could not get through. I tried two agencies within five minutes and they had none left. I eventually got through to the box office and got one seat at the back of the stalls twenty minutes after booking opened.

The only possible reason for this to happen is that tickets are being pre-sold and then resold at a profit later on.

ExXB
16th Feb 2018, 19:21
What I can’t understand, at least from a business perspective, why the original sellers are not setting their prices at levels the market will bear. If tickets have a face value of 100, but scalpers can sell it for 200 - why not up the face value to 200?

Perhaps I was in the airline industry for much too long, but they seem to be inviting scalping by underpricing in the first place.

As a consumer I think these things are already grossly overpriced. I can buy an artists’ entire library on iTunes for less than the price of a single ticket. Or I could steal their music, just like everyone else does. Well, except for you.

M.Mouse
16th Feb 2018, 20:04
It seems peculiar to the UK. In 2004 Simon and Garfunkel were doing a world tour. the concert in London was open air in Hyde Park and tickets were going for around 300. I went online and obtained tickets for around 60 each plus a few euros postage for their concert in the Ajax Stadium in Amsterdam.

Why does it seem to be just the UK where an ordinary punter cannot buy a face value ticket?

ChrisVJ
17th Feb 2018, 03:57
Not just in UK. It is a major problem in Canada too. It makes me especially angry when the scalpers exploit young people, the teenage fans etc.

It became a political issue a couple of years ago. For one concert the promoters required attendees to show the same card the tickets were bought with. Unfortunately they were under prepared and chaos at the gates ensued. Some concert goers missed the opening acts. The idea, which seems so obvious, has been dropped. We have enough political dramas on our plate, this got pushed to the back burner pretty quickly.

SnowFella
17th Feb 2018, 09:11
Not just in UK. It is a major problem in Canada too. It makes me especially angry when the scalpers exploit young people, the teenage fans etc.

It became a political issue a couple of years ago. For one concert the promoters required attendees to show the same card the tickets were bought with. Unfortunately they were under prepared and chaos at the gates ensued. Some concert goers missed the opening acts. The idea, which seems so obvious, has been dropped. We have enough political dramas on our plate, this got pushed to the back burner pretty quickly.

Guess with that system in force one could forget ever buying a ticket for someone else as a gift.
Few years back me and siblings went through the hoops of gifting our parents concert tickets and an overnight hotel stay at the venue in Stockholm for their 60th birthdays.
I first tried booking the tickets just to be faced with enough red tape that I had to give up, Ticketek refused to take an overseas creditcard as payment option.
Next option was for me to book & pay for the room just to be faced with almost equal amounts of red tape as the CC used for payment wouldn't be present at the time of check in. Took several emails to hotel management explaining the situation and in the end a signed/faxed statdec sent to them.
Still had to explain to the folks that there was still a chance it could get knocked back and be ready at check in for hassles.