Mar 15

Great post on his forums about scalping REALLY works from the artists POV

As we approach on-sale dates for the upcoming tour, I’ve noticed lots of you are curious / concerned / outraged at the plethora of tickets that somehow appear on all these reseller sites at inflated prices – even before the pre-sale dates. I’ll do my best to explain the situation as I see it, as well as clarify my organization’s stance in the matter.

NIN decides to tour this summer. We arrive at the conclusion outdoor amphitheaters are the right venue for this outing, for a variety of reasons we’ve throughly considered*. In the past, NIN would sell the shows in each market to local promoters, who then “buy” the show from us to sell to you. Live Nation happens to own all the amphitheaters and bought most of the local promoters – so if you want to play those venues, you’re being promoted by Live Nation. Live Nation has had an exclusive deal with TicketMaster that has just expired, so Live Nation launched their own ticketing service. Most of the dates on this tour are through Live Nation, some are through TicketMaster – this is determined by the promoter (Live Nation), not us.

Now we get into the issue of secondary markets for tickets, which is the hot issue here. The ticketing marketplace for rock concerts shows a real lack of sophistication, meaning this: the true market value of some tickets for some concerts is much higher than what the act wants to be perceived as charging. For example, there are some people who would be willing to pay $1,000 and up to be in the best seats for various shows, but MOST acts in the rock / pop world don’t want to come off as greedy pricks asking that much, even though the market says its value is that high. The acts know this, the venue knows this, the promoters know this, the ticketing company knows this and the scalpers really know this. So…

The venue, the promoter, the ticketing agency and often the artist camp (artist, management and agent) take tickets from the pool of available seats and feed them directly to the re-seller (which from this point on will be referred to by their true name: SCALPER). I am not saying every one of the above entities all do this, nor am I saying they do it for all shows but this is a very common practice that happens more often than not. There is money to be made and they feel they should participate in it. There are a number of scams they employ to pull this off which is beyond the scope of this note.

StubHub.com is an example of a re-seller / scalper. So is TicketsNow.com.

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 (TicketsNow.com)!

NIN gets 10% of the available seats for our own pre-sale. We won a tough (and I mean TOUGH) battle to get the best seats. We require you to sign up at our site (for free) to get tickets. We limit the amount you can buy, we print your name on the tickets and we have our own person let you in a separate entrance where we check your ID to match the ticket. We charge you a surcharge that has been less than TicketMaster’s or Live Nation’s in all cases so far to pay for the costs of doing this – it’s not a profit center for us. We have essentially stopped scalping by doing these things – because we want true fans to be able to get great seats and not get ripped off by these parasites.

I assure you nobody in the NIN camp supplies or supports the practice of supplying tickets to these re-sellers because it’s not something we morally feel is the right thing to do. We are leaving money on the table here but it’s not always about money.
Being completely honest, it IS something I’ve had to consider. If people are willing to pay a lot of money to sit up front AND ARE GOING TO ANYWAY thanks to the rigged system, why let that money go into the hands of the scalpers? I’m the one busting my ass up there every night. The conclusion really came down to it not feeling like the right thing to do – simple as that.

My guess as to what will eventually happen if / when Live Nation and TicketMaster merges is that they’ll move to an auction or market-based pricing scheme – which will simply mean it will cost a lot more to get a good seat for a hot show. They will simply BECOME the scalper, eliminating them from the mix.

Nothing’s going to change until the ticketing entity gets serious about stopping the problem – which of course they don’t see as a problem. The ultimate way to hurt scalpers is to not support them. Leave them holding the merchandise. If this subject interests you, check out the following links. Don’t buy from scalpers, and be suspect of artists singing the praises of the Live Nation / TicketMaster merger. What’s in it for them?

[online.wsj.com]

[www.boston.com]

[articles.latimes.com]

[www.econtalk.org]

[seattlepi.nwsource.com]

[www.stanford.edu]

[usgovinfo.about.com]

[blogs.consumerreports.org]

[www.dailytexanonline.com]

[news.google.com]

[www.financialpost.com]

[www.wisegeek.com]

[en.wikipedia.org]

[online.wsj.com]

[online.wsj.com]

* I fully realize by playing those venues we are getting into bed with all these guys. I’ve learned to choose my fights and at this point in time it would be logistically too difficult to attempt to circumvent the venues / promoter / ticketing infrastructure already in place for this type of tour. For those of you about to snipe “it’s your fault for playing there, etc… ” – I know it is.

I agree with him. You need to choose your battles and how you fight them. I give credit to Pearl Jams efforts over 15 years ago (was it really that long ago?) but how long did it keep them off the road only to play venues and sell tickets through ticketmaster venues a few years later?

Loads of bands use pre-sale with the customers names printed on the tickets. I remember buying warehouse tickets and being paranoid I didnt have my card with me for the May 2002 MSG shows.  My name was printed on the ticket, along with my membership id. I remember when WH tickets on eBay going for disgusting amounts, the wh threatened with cancelled memberships (which they did make good on) and banning. (Though that only worked until the person moved house again, which happened often as most of DMB fans are in college and move a lot in 4 years time) It did help cut back on a lot of the ‘bad’ fans making money off those who just wanted to go. Though they werent very scary rules, they were enough to keep most people in line. Ticketmaster can easily do this. Understandable 10 years ago when buying tickets online just wasnt common place and people had to camp outside their favourite hidden TM outlet, but now with most ordered via the web or online printing the name on the ticket is VERY easy.

I still dont get paying over $1000 for ONE ticket to a concert? The most Ive paid (well via  a scalper – and actually the only time Ive bought scalped tickets) was €150 for 2 Ryan Adams tickets for when he was in Dublin in 2006. I mean it was a stretch to pay £50 for my NK ticket, then the addition £118 for the upgrade (but worth it to meet the guys on THEIR terms) But even still, with all this its making concert going only being available to those who have the money or willing to go bankrupt to see an act in concert. Whose to say those in the middle – you know the middle/working class – arent as big of a fan as the stockbroker or the VP on some big company? They, too, have the right to see a show and enjoy themselves as much as the next guy without having to sit in the obstructed view area or nosebleeds to do so.

Like Trent said above, they dont care :( TicktBastard want their money and thats all that matters. Big time stars cant even rebel against it because it means either making tour stops in really random venues that arent up to par OR taking a hiatus completley, which still isnt fair. Worse, being blacklisted until they give in. Its only going to get scarier and not better.

I mean we have artists like the Eagles, the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney and more acts of our parents (well if your parent was born after WWII and BEFORE Vietnam started) generation charging stupid amount, bands wouldnt think they could get away with it.  I remember when I went to see the Depeche Mode in 1994 and thinking $25 was a lot. Now thats ‘cheap’.  Sad, really.

There needs to be more control and restrictions in place to protect the BUYER. If they put the prices through the roof, then live entertainment is going to see the same troubles that the recording industry is currently going through. Waiting too long to embrace change in their practices and policies they are now struggling to catch up with what the masses have embraced as the alternative. I mean I dont know how else bands will do it (free shows at random spots?!) without ripping off fans? there has to be a decent middle ground, right?

One can only hope and wait it out.. Hopefully other artists follow nins lead (well, alongside the String Cheese Incident and No Doubt) take the proactive vocal way to take on ticketmaster. Maybe there is hope out there. Maybe.

Feb 7

since my webspace has been down, the few moments ive had lately to blog, well i couldnt do it. there will be a full detailed write up of 27/01/2009 – a day that shall remain as one of my greatest. i promise.

i just wanted to make a brief message about jon knights supposed ex and him selling his story to the national enquirer. fuck off. how DARE you say you two remained friendly and sell him out like THAT. Was the $8,000 worth it? really? nice to know thats HOW MUCH jon was worth to you.

thats all.

Jan 16

i left my awesome custom made hoodie on the god damn 85 bus tonight. Now some chav is probably running around wearing it or gave it to their dog to shit on. :(

The front says NKOTB 2009. I was really surprised by the quality and the printing came out amazing! just like i designed to a T. if you ever need some custom tshirt printing done, i can totally recomend streetshirts.co.uk I even got free shipping that was next day delivery. woo.

Mike said if I (FirstBus, Sheffield Forums) cant find it then hell buy me a new one. He thinks ill get it back because of the uniqueness of it, but I dont think so.  Or if I do it will be torn to shreds :( I hope so. im a sad panda without it.

though in happy news, the guys are currently on stage at this VERY moment performing to thousands of ladies in manchester! woo!! Though in lesser news Sheffield has been reduced to half house seating :( stupid nottingham. grrr.

Jan 11


Nine Inch Nails – Gave Up (Live in HD) from WhoRu? on Vimeo.

apparently interscope couldnt be bothered with giving trent back his rights for his music and wouldnt let him release a tour dvd, so to get back at them he leaked over 405 gigs of HD footage from 3 of his concerts from last year (2008). Above is one of the first fan created items to become public and widely available.

ive watched it in HD (as linked above) and this is just too fucking cool. its gorgeous. so gorgeous. a must must must watch

i wish more large profiled artists would start telling their record companies to fuck off and let the artist be.

Jan 3

you never know how much something means to you until its almost taken away. ive been sitting here stressed beyond belief over this (though other personal circumstances havent helped much either) as ive been waiting 19 god damn years for this moment for some bald headed fuckwit to try to take it away from me.

ive been balling my eyes out because i didnt even know how much this meant to me until today because its almost out of my grasp. its almost like im not meant to meet them ever. :cry: whats worse is that i might be out of my £118 as well…

ive got my upgrade and my 3rd row tickets to see the guys in just over 3 weeks time. ive been excited about the concert since i bought the tickets in september and all i thought i had was block 101. ive found out the meet and greet starts roughly about 4pm and guess who gets out of work at 4? me.

i was on originally from 12-8 and because i knew my cock of a manager wouldnt give me time off, i did a shift swap. i got hell for that and the fact i need the next day off (oh hey im going to have no voice from screaming my head off the night before! but yes lets put her on the phone for hours at a time talking to one person and let her become completely useless!) because you know im not doing whats best for the business. of course not! im doing whats best for me. just because this shit job is YOUR life doesnt mean its mine. im only there to collect the paycheck.

i said to him i found out over the break that the meet and greet is earlier than i thought and i might need to leave a little earlier than expected. i said was it possible to work through my lunch and leave an hour earlier. he said no because then it will set precident for others on the team. eh? wtf? i said if its not earlier than expected i can always cancel this request, cause you know its better to be prepared early than wait to last minute.  i said ill know more once i get my confirmation email and he just gave me hell.

i really hate this place and i need out. we spent over £3 million quid on a new ad campaign staring celebrities who changed their names to something more exciting and saying ‘if i was this would i have been this?’ all because the company is rebranding to its international parent name. wtf? £3 million could have given pretty much every lower level employee a pay raise this year and I wouldnt have had to wait from 07/08 to 12/08 to get a damn raise!!! i just wish this market wasnt shit. i just spent the last 2 hours searching and nothing. :( i hatehatehatehatehate my job.

ugh on monday im going to pitch it to him to take my lunch between 2-3 so i can go home shower and then come back for the last hour of my shift.  then im still getting my damned dinner break. it will just cost me a fortune in cabs. i should bill it to them, if i knew their account number. fuck work.

Dec 27

oh how i miss you and your ease of loading bookmarks into a new tab automatically. i wish firefox would let you come back. you were the perfect add on.

ive been using ff 3.0 for a while now, and love it for the most part except for the fact that only one stupid extension doesnt work and yeah.. i love just clicking on my bookmarks and they would all open in a new tab, now they open in the current open window. lame.  i also only found out about using middle click (in my case, pressing down on my click wheel) but its not the same – waaaaaaaaaaah.

oh wells. heres to hoping and to using a middle click wheel. :/

Dec 19

so i was just browsing over on nktobfans.com and someone posted that Jordan updated his myspace that people were stalking him and his mother outside their homes yesterday and it was creeping him (rightfully so) out.

really ladies? are we still doing the ‘lawn dawg’ thing? cmon we’re all grown women who know how to have some patience and time to WAIT until the next us tour starts, buy our 5* packages and meet the guys on THIER terms.

i mean theyve been updating nktob.com and their personal pages regularly to let US know THEY are still thinking about us and letting us know they care, but yet thats not enough. WHY? why cant that be enough? i mean back when this whole thing started the web was relatively unknown thing (oh hai 25¢ per email!) and all we had was the 900 hotline, so it was slightly understandable to become a lawn dawg and wait outside their homes to meet them.  now things can happen in real time thanks to modern technology and  we do not need to do that anymore, thankfully. the guys can make contact with us at any time (jon posting about watching above us, kinda like a semi-god….) when they want to, so everyone can live theirs lives in harmony and peace.

maybe im the weird one. i dont want to meet them outside their homes (maybe when i was like 13 or something) as to me that was THEIR time. even as a young teen i *got* this. i mean, how much would YOU like it if someone was coming to YOUR private home and PEERING through YOUR windows? what would you do? how would you feel? pretty freaked out right? i know we all want to meet them (thats why i paid the £118 for the 5* upgrade to have my 10 minutes and crappy photo with the guys) but thats what ILAA is for or trying to meet them during load in.

If we, as fans, keep doing stupid shit like this its not going to keep happening. the guys are going to withdraw and STOP THIS. we will have no more tours, no more new music, no more meet and greets. all because a selfish FEW, again try to ruin it for us all.

i hope Jordan and his mom got a good look at those ‘womens’ faces and remember them for the meet and greet and either then blank them or remind them then shame them of what they did the last time they met.

anyways, i hope this doesnt happen much or start to increase because its really upsetting me. the guys are giving their all to us and all some people keep doing is spoiling it :(

Nov 22

mebbe?

♥ Bill Hicks

“Like, I was over in England. You ever been to England, anyone, been to England? No one has handguns in England, not even the cops. True or false? True. Now-in England last year, they had fourteen deaths from handguns. FFFFFourteen. Now-the United States, and I think you know how we feel about handguns-woooo, I’m getting a warm tingly feeling just saying the fucking word, to be honest with you. I swear to you, I am hard. Twenty-three thousand deaths from handguns. Now let’s go through those numbers again, because they’re a little baffling at first glance. England, where no one has guns, fffffffourteen deaths. United States, and I think you know how we feel about guns-woooo, I’m getting a stiffy-twenty-three thousand deaths from handguns. But there’s no connection, and you’d be a fool and a Communist to make one. There’s no connection between having a gun and shooting someone with it, and not having a gun and not shooting someone. There have been studies made and there is no connection at all there. Yes. That’s absolute proof. You know, fourteen deaths from handguns. Probably American tourists, too.

(Angry tourist voice) You call this a sandwich? BANG! BANG! You don’t boil pizza! BANG! BANG!
(Scared English voice) That’s the way we eat here, that’s the way we eat here! BANG!
(Tourist voice) This food sucks! BANG!

And boy, does it suck. Okay, great. If I had a gun, I woulda been number fifteen on that fucking list. Okay, though, admittedly, last year in England, they had fourteen thousand deaths per every soccer game, okay. I’m not saying every system is flawless, I’m just saying, if you’re in England, don’t go to a goddamn soccer game, and you’re coming home. It’s weird-they don’t have guns in England, but they have a very high crime rate, which tells you how polite the fucking English are.

(English voices)
Give me your wallet!
All right.

At least no one was hurt. How do you have a crime rate and no weapons, man? Does a guy walk into a bank:

(English voices)
Give me all your money! I’ve got a soccer ball!
Shit, Ian, that’s a Spalding, he’s serious! Hand over the pounds!”

Nov 11

i am LIVID. i was browsing around nkotbfans.com and someone posted about a new blog over on nkotb.com from jonathan. apparently the other week after their ft lauderdale gig some girls were following his and jordans bus and they forced them to drive the wrong way. not only that, but the girls themselves knowing they were going the wrong way, continued to follow the band.. i mean wtf is up with that?? her excuse was that she was being 16 again.. stupidstupidstupidstupid…

not only did her selfish action put her own life (and her friends) but jon and possibly jordans life at risk as well since they both share a bus. i mean losing two new kids is bad enough, but if it had been joes bus it would have been just as, if not more, horrible.. he has his little baby boy and wife with him plus their nanny… jesus h christ people.

i have never ever gotten the whole following the bus thing. i mean if i meant to meet someone, ill meet them where i saw them. not following over state lines and into different regions. thats just crazy. crazy ass fans, a few rotten apples ruining it for the bunch. cows. moo.

i will be fair and have my own story, but mine was an accident and we were all going in the same direction. i remember when i went to see dmb in washington, dc and as shannon, barry and i were all leaving the city about 1am we accidentally landed next to LeRois (r.i.p.) bus. he was sitting in the front seat eating some noodles and smiling.. we tried to catch up a little (not going nuts cause those buses are massive) to see if we could get him to wave, but when we realized after 10 minutes or so we wouldnt, we gave up. our small adventure happened on accident and the bus and us were all going the right way down i-95 towards virginia

ugh. stupid people shoud just die.

edit:

joe has posted a blog, kinda to counteract jons… but yeah.. some people DONT get it and you need to be more than blunt with them.

Edit 2:

Thank you to everyone who is responding and agreeing. Its a real shame theres a few select some that cant be adults :( Im sorry I cant respond to everyone directly – but if you want to talk you can email me at alternageek@gmail.com to continue the discussion further.

Thank you VERY much to the new kids web(blog)master who saw my trackback and allowed my comment to be posted

Nov 9

So when we went food shopping last week, Mike picked up a 12 pack of these.. We couldnt tell what made this different from normal K1664, but we figured why not, since they were cheap. Well on Thursday Mike decided to reach into his beer fridge and have one. It exploded EVERYWHERE. At first we were upset and though the can had been shaken, but nope. They have these ‘widgets‘ in them, similar to those found in Guinness & John Smiths cans, and if the can is opened too quickly beer goes everywhere. There was no mention of these widgets on the can or the packaging, but it wouldnt have stopped us from buying them. The only thing is unlike Guinness & John Smiths you have to open the cans VERY slowly – kinda like opening a coke bottle thats been dropped from a vending machine – otherwise the beer goes flat and theres more on your floor than in your pint glass.

I just want to know why, if somethings not broke, then why fix it? Regular K1664 cans are fine… Oh wells, we arent buying this type of Kronenburg again.

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