Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How to be a Music Fan in 2009

[Warning - severely pissed off language ahead]

If you want to be a fan of music and support it then there is only one solution. Be rich, realllly fucking rich.

There is no other way.

Touts and promoters are ripping the heart out of the live scene and turning gigs into a battle of who can afford it. Going to see any band that has a national following is now like Chelsea and Man City battling to sign an overpriced British midfielder.

Ticket prices appear to have rocketed over the last 2 years. I am pretty sure that attending a small to mid sizd gig has crept up between £6 and £15 for about 10 years. Suddenly I am paying £25 a ticket, plus £3 booking fee and £5 delivery charge, and £3 credit card fee and quite frankly gig going has been forced into the realms of theatre going and holidays where you have to plan months in advance and can only afford to go once a month.

That isn't helped by bands who decide a UK tour is London and Birmingham. Not only does it mean we have to pay for trains and hotels in order to go, it means the touts smell an opportunity, and in the UK its oh so easy to screw real fans out of money.

Lets take today. I ordered a cd from HMV in order to take part in a pre-sale for tickets.
  • 9am tickets go on sale at £40 each.

  • I load the page at 9.00, choose tickets, and it won't let me buy them.

  • I try again at 9.04 and it says four left, and it won't let me buy them.

  • 9.05 - sold out.

  • 9.50 - Listing for two tickets on ebay at £400.
Mother shit eating worse than Hitler slimy evil greedy fuckers...

Touts are now an unlawful tax on gig going. Not only do they make a fortune ripping off real fans, they take the tickets we were going to buy in the first place.

It's not just eBay. Seatwave is a 'fan to fan' ticket selling service. Well, no matter what the intentions, when a £30 ticket is going for £130; that's touting, regardless of whether it was a genuine purchase.

I propose a new law:

It should be legal to strangle touts with guitar strings until they give you tickets at list price.

I would even vote for David Wormface Cameron if he agreed to pass that one.


Rebecca Rae said...

Shall we form a vigilante group armed with water pistols and go take those mothers down?

I will have to go the gym a bit first though, as I assume that plan will involve a lot of running away!

FishNChimps said...

I must admit being pissed off at not getting Muse tickets despite being simultaneously online on 3 different PCs at the moment of them going on sale. If you're restricted to 2 tickets each, how on earth do the touts get so many of them?

Rob Mortimer said...

There are lots of them. And they are all cheating bastards.

If you make 50-100% profit on every ticket then I bet you can afford PC's and so on to buy a shit load of tickets.

Thanks for reading my fury...

Chris said...

The only solution is to promote gigs yourself. Won't necessarily get rid of the touts but will allow for some cheering corrective action in the manner of the late Mr Peter Grant.

Rob @ Cynic said...

I hear you - but it's not like this is something that just happens with music, it happens in all sorts of areas, it's just the touts are the ones who maybe do it to one of the greater extremes.

But I do have a thought ...

Why don't all the fans club their cash together and approach the promoter offering to buy thousands of tickets the moment the concerts are officially announced?

I am pretty sure they'd agree because ultimately ...

1/ This is what they already do with other organisations

2/ There's the potential they could make more cash as I am sure fans would be happy to pay face value rather than ask for a bulk purchase discount

And then, once the tickets have been purchased, they can be distributed [for a minimal P&P charge] to all the people who put their money up to enable the approach in the first place.

Hell, surely this is something fan clubs should be thinking about?

Don't get mad. Get evil. Ha!