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Tag Archives: ticketmaster

On Friday night, I was watching the Maple Leafs/Sabres preseason game and learned that it was a home-and-home, with the second game on Saturday night. I asked Pauline if she wanted to go on Saturday night and she said yes. Great! but the only problem is that we didn’t have tickets…

I ended up using StubHub for the first time, which is a website where people can resell tickets to events. We got a pair of 3rd row 300s for $31 each, which is over a 100% increase of the face value ($15). That’s not too expensive because I had looked at preseason tickets at the ACC and they were $35 for obstructed-view tickets! What pissed me off is that StubHub is the same garbage as Ticketmaster. I had to pay a 10% fee (so $6.20) for using the service, and then a $4.95 fee for “getting my tickets over email”.

Having a game in Buffalo also gave us an excuse to do some cross-border shopping, which we did, and then drove through some unfamiliar and ghetto parts of Buffalo before arriving at the stadium. The event parking was only $10 which was nice as I was expecting $20 as per Toronto. There were A LOT of Buffalo jerseys (the more recent gold and blue ones, not the old black and red ones) and not as many Leaf jerseys as I thought there would be. Although I did find a pair of Leaf fans wearing jerseys with the name Miller (and numbers 1 and 35) – so they had Ryan Miller on the wrong team AND wrong number! Speaking of wrong team, I also saw full poster advertisements for Tim Connolley who is now on the Maple Leafs!

(I saw Elliot Friedman as he talked on HNIC)

We sat above the Leafs goal in the first and third, so I saw a lot of #51 (Jake Gardiner’s) impressive skating and first pass skills. Unfortunately, Toronto played most of their regular lineup on Friday so we only saw ⅔ of the second and third lines, ⅓ of the defense. Here was the starting lineup for Toronto (Buffalo iced a much stronger team, although they were missing Miller, Roy and Pominville from their regular lineup).

(Grabovski just got thrown out so Kulemin is taking the faceoff)

The game ended up being Buffalo PP 3, Mikhail Grabrovski Crosbovski 2. Grabovski scored a couple of nifty goals, deflecting the first one off his skate and then leaping to tap in a rebound. Our PK looked shakey (couldn’t clear the puck and gave up all 3 goals) and Gustavsson did not look confident in net. Buffalo has a very strong team this year, and they played a stronger lineup so it’s not too surprisingly we lost; but hopefully we’ll get our act together and be more competitive by the regular season.

Coldplay is coming to town this summer, and their tickets went on sale a couple weeks ago at noon on Monday. I just happened to have a meeting then, and totally forgot about buying tickets until 1 something. I went on Ticketmaster and all the decent+ lower bowl tickets were gone. So I looked at the upper bowl – those tickets were cheaper anyways, being less than $40. There were actually good seats available and I thought about buying them, but didn’t. Why? Because Ticketmaster wanted to charge a $10 convenience charge PER TICKET. That’s more than 25% the face value. Add on to that the service charge, and taxes = NO THANKS!

If a 25% markup isn’t enough for providing online middle man services, Ticketmaster now wants to make even more money! They already have a monopoly on ticket selling, but they’re going to stretch their arm into concert promotions and venues by merging with Live Nation. This makes me angry and makes me hate the music industry even more. Why should I bother going to concerts if I have to put up with this rip off?

Even if the artists want to evade the system, like Trent Razor of the NIN, they can’t thanks to the monopoly. And now he is especially mad that Ticketmaster is branching into scalping:

Here’s the rub: TicketMaster has essentially been a monopoly for many years – certainly up until Live Nation’s exclusive deal ran out. They could have (and can right now) stop the secondary market dead in its tracks by doing the following: limit the amount of sales per customer, print names on the tickets and require ID / ticket matches at the venue. We know this works because we do it for our pre-sales. Why don’t THEY do it? It’s obvious – they make a lot of money fueling the secondary market. TicketMaster even bought a re-seller site and often bounces you over to that site to buy tickets (!

I got an email a couple of weeks back at work inviting me to attend the Changing the World conference. I had never heard about the conference until now, even though it’s targeted towards young(ish, I’m still young right?) people. Organized by Queen’s University, they bring in world leaders who then give short, 18-minute talks that will inspire us to change the world! Ah young people are so idealistic.

The event is free for students, professors and teachers, while others have to pay $500 for a “Friend of Changing the World” ticket. IBM and some other companies sponsored the event so we got some free tickets as well. I guess I am a Friend of Changing the World since my ticket was $500 (and gold, I’ve never seen a gold Ticketmaster ticket).

Since Pauline is a teacher, she got to go too. Even though her ticket was “free” I still had to pay Ticketmaster $4.75 AND go out of my way to pick up the ticket. They should call it convenience free, not a convenience fee.

I am half-over the hype surrounding Arcade Fire. When I first heard about them, they were ok, and a change from the typical rock music that’s out there. I didn’t think they were revolutionary or incredibly great, but I bought their album, their EP, and listened to them regularly on my iPod. Their sophomore album is coming out, and I was not overly impressed when I gave Neon Bible a listen. But they are supposed to be great live, and when I heard that they scheduled two dates in Toronto, I was reasonably interested in getting tickets to the show.

The only problem is that those two shows are probably the hottest ticket in town the continent. You may have heard that their five shows in NYC sold out right away. To make matters worse, they’ve enforced a new anti-scalping policy whereby the credit card and person who bought the tickets must goto the show. This has led to interesting forms of bartering in order to go see the Arcade Fire.

Tickets went on sale at noon today, at my most favorite site in the world…Ticketmaster. At least the show itself was reasonably priced, $35-$39. I signed in and got ready. At 11:59, I started refreshing every few seconds. Then it was noon. Still the site wouldn’t let anyone in to buy tickets. Finally at something like 12:01, I was able to pick my tickets. I chose 4 tickets (the maximum) with the best possible seats, and lucky for me, I got them! The bill came out to $175.50, which included: a $2.50 facility charge per ticket, a $5.50 convenience charge per ticket, and a $3.50 processing fee…

Anyways, what I didn’t do was figure out who wanted to go with me. I’m undecided whether I want to keep 2 of the tickets (who wants to go with me??) and sell 2 of them, or try and sell all of them (if I can — see anti-scalping policy above). To keep things in perspective, tickets for the NYC show were going for $1000 each! That would sure take the bite out of Ticketmaster.

As follow up to my Marlies story, we did a McDonalds 2-for-1 deal to get tickets. I had some trouble with Ticketmaster though, as the first time I bought the tickets, I ended up getting one ticket. I called them up, they cancelled my order, refunded my money and said what I had to do was to buy two tickets. So I re-bought two tickets but they charged me convenience and building charges on both tickets. That’s not 2-for-1 now is it? that’s more like 2-for-1-and-Ticketmaster-fees.

Did you know, when I bought one ticket, the Ticketmaster fees were equal to 78% of the ticket price!

On the Ticketmaster site, the camera policy for the Air Canada Centre is that no cameras are permitted. Ever. However, on the Air Canada Centre site, the camera policy is much more lax, non-flash still photography is generally permitted. So again, Ticketmaster tries to screw you over.

On a side note, the ACC policy is that if your lens is detachable, it can’t exceed 75mm. Which means, it is incredibly adventageous to have an ultra-zoom.

yesterday was endfest 13. seattle has a station called 107.7 the end which is basically their equivalent of 102.1 the edge in toronto. it was held in some remote part of the country near an indian reserve called the white river amphitheatre so it ended up taking more than the half an hour we thought it would take.

the first act was metric, whom i had never heard of. but we missed them anyways so i can’t say anything about them. the next act was muse, whom i wanted to catch because i’ve been hearing from ian that they’re good, except that white river was so damn far away, so we didn’t get there until the next act had started. anyways, we got some seats and watched everyone rock to the psychedelic furs.

i remember the psychedelic furs for their one new wave single from the 80s called heaven, but i guessed these furs were a different band than the one i knew because they were really rocking it, and the crowd was really getting into it. anyways i didn’t know any of their songs so i just kinda listened and wondered what all the fuss was about. so they finished up their set and one of those faceless djs came on stage to tell us muse a big hand. oh.

so i did end up catching muse and well, i still don’t know if they were good or not. after that, we went to get some food because you know, the car ride was so long. of course since the concessions were a monopoly, we got raped. i got a pizza (smaller than mcD’s personals) for $6 and a drink for $4.75. i wouldn’t be so pissed off at the prices, if we weren’t already raped by ticketmaster. the ticket itself was only $17, but there was also a $3.75 facility fee, a $4.10 order processing fee, and a $7.05 convenience charge. the total ended up being $31.90. wtf. anyways, we got back and watched the real psychedelic furs, and they really had a single called heaven which they played.

i was pumped for the next act which were the yeah yeah yeah’s. i had heard a lot of hype about them about how they were awesome live so they had a lot to live up to. this was also the first time that we were sitting around so we could check out the much hyped rotating stage. basically the stage was split into two semi-circles; one for the performing band and one to set up the next band. unfortunately the stage people there were incompetant or something, because we still had to wait 5-10 minutes between sets.

yeah yeah yeah, after a wait the stage rotated and the red leotard wearing crazy lead singer started jumping around on stage. i hadn’t heard their music before (again) so i didn’t know what to expect, but in the end i was disappointed. there was a lot of throwing the mike around, posing, spitting on the crowd, and stagecrew wiping the stage during the set; but NO GOOD MUSIC.

next up were x. i had never heard of them before, but those crazy djs said they were the “best band in the world”. so bigger than u2, radiohead, rolling stones? anyways, they looked like fleetwood mac and i went for a walk haha. they gave out more free stuff than i expected there, i got some aol keychains, verizon bandanas, pins, stickers, etc but not enough to offset the cost of the tickets/food. the sun set by the time x finished their set, which meant that the crazies were about to come out at night.

the next act looked like they pulled out a bunch of geeks from some of the neighbouring tech companies and gave them some musical instruments otherwise known as the violent femmes. now they actually put on a good show no doubt helped by all the crazy 30 something groupies yelling their lungs out around me. but seriously, they style was a little older but they pulled out all the stops including a trumpet, saxophone and even a xylophone. it was awesome especially considering i didn’t know any of their songs and i was patiently waiting for the next act; franz ferdinand (which i blogged in more detail earlier).

franz played a good set, so i was happy. i didn’t care too much about the remaining two acts; echo and the bunnymen and the headliner, presidents of the united states. i didn’t know anything (and i don’t think the people around me did either as they were playing gba sp) about echo, and they seemed to be intent on keeping their identity a mystery by not letting us see their face clearly. apparently they’re from the psychedelic furs age having previously toured with them, but the question remains why they scheduled these guys as the second last act. anyways it was a funny set in that we couldn’t see any of them, the lead singer kept saying that he was the best or this was the best song, or he puts “the virtuo in virtuoso”, he consistently swore and yelled at the sound crew and best of all, we couldn’t understand a word the guy was saying (thankfully my roommate lived in england and was used to the liverpool accent so he could translate). they even got booed in the end after walking off the stage in the middle of a song haha.

finally, the presidents were up. i was a little curious as to why they were the headliner considering most people thought that they had broken up. anyways, i had seen some of their mp3s on the web recently so i guessed that released a new album (indeed they had) and also it turns out that they were from seattle (one of the guys had an orange seattle t-shirt; where do i score one of those?). they started off great, but maybe because echo sucked like the manure smell in the air. the hometown crowd was really into it and they played some of their favourites: lump, peaches, and their cover of video killed the radio star. i noticed that they had a lot of songs about nothing in general, like the ones previously mentioned and there was this one about a meowing cat, and one about an old man sitting on the back porch. anyways, it was great but we left after peaches so we could make it out of the place without sitting in traffic for 2 hours. meanwhile all the other kids were running into the pit to join the fun since they stopped checking. anyways was it mostly fun aside from one thing? yeah yeah yeah!

update: here’s another review of endfest 13