I bought the cheapest possible seats for WEEZER/PIXIES on March 17 here in Baltimore, at the Arena or Royal Farms Whatever they call it now. They were high up on the side, with a price of $21. I got four of them, $84 worth of tickets, and it ended up running me $159.20. Here’s the breakdown:
It’s been a long time since Ticketmaster won and we all lost, but the results keep getting more ridiculous. The venue slurps $4, there’s a mysterious $5 Order Processing Fee, then Ticketmaster bleeds out Thirteen Dollars and Fifty-Five Cents for the Service. “Delivery” was FREE, though, thanks, Ticketmangler, for sharing with me the facts of my purchase! If I wanted paper tickets, it would have cost me anywhere from $4.50 to $18.50 to get them mailed, depending on how fast I wanted them.
So even without mailing costs, we’re closing in on a 100 percent markup. Also, it’s a twin bill, and I don’t know the particulars, but if we assume the Weezer are splitting the take down the middle with yon Pixies, each outfit gets $10.50 from each of my so-called $21 tickets, while Ticketmaster gorges on my wallet’s precious bodily fluids to the tune of $19.05 in service fees. The amount of money an individual band gets for being itself and playing songs in front of an audience is a fraction (the fraction being 210/381, aka 55.1 percent) of the amount of money Ticketmaster gets for inserting itself invisibly between the audience and the band. Where’s Eddie Vedder when you need him?
And that’s if the customers get there in time. While I was selecting my cheap seats, I noticed there were these little pink cycle-icon seats and I clicked on one to see what the deal was, and it was seats already being scalped—excuse me, offered as “Verified Resale” seats—ON THE TICKETMASTER SITE, for a wee bit over double list price! Plus fees! Fuckers!
Anyway, I bought the goddamn tickets and let a friend of mine know, and he wants to bring his son, who is now old enough to make it through baseball games, and so it’s time to start getting him into mom and dad’s music. That leaves me a ticket short, so I dive back into the site to try and get one more ticket in our row, and there are seats available! For 10 bucks more. Same damn row.
So I buy the ticket and now Ticketmaster has mastered an extra $15 out of me. Then I check the seat numbers and realize that in my haste, I bought that extra ticket in the correct row, but two seats away from the ones I already bought, so we have a discontiguous group. I envision the whole “Hey do you mind if we switch seats” thing at the show, and I make an end run around that by burning more of my cash in the Ticketmaster bonfire. I buy two more tickets at the beginning of the row, so now we have an uninterrupted group, and now I will scalp the extra tickets I’m holding. I am now the thing between someone else and their Weezer and/or Pixies experience. I have become the Predator. Ticketmaster is a ripoff and now I am Ticketmaster.
UPDATE: MARCH 7, 2019
I’m not even Ticketmaster, I’m Ticketminor. Today I tried to re-sell my $31 unforced-error ticket. I just wanted to get rid of it for face value, I’m ready to absorb the service fees I already paid, but Ticketmaster won’t let me sell it below $32.
Very nice how Ticketmaster would support me selling it for $309,998.75, though. And look how they’re doing me; another service fee, $4.43 subtracted from my potential $32 sale. Except there ain’t gonna be no sale of a $32 ticket in a section full of $21 tickets! (See the original post above for why I bought a $31 in a $21 ticket section, thanks again, Ticketmaster!)
Plus, Ticketmaster is enjoying another service fee on the other side of this theoretical transaction. Look at the bottom line on this $31 ticket I’m trying to dump.
An extra $6.16 from the BUY side, plus $4.43 from me on the SELL side. What a racket! Whatever, I’m totally eating this entire ticket because look at all these blue dots, good seats still available!