As someone whose been going to concerts since she was 14 (almost 21 years now!) and never ever being able to get the best seats, regardless how early I was up or if I camped outside a ticketmaster office (remember those days?!?!) I always seemed to get nosebleed seats. No matter how hard I tried, no luck.
I always knew there was something up. Ticketmaster or the venues themselves selling off the prime tickets to brokers, scalpers and various other bastards, so they can resell them at extortionate prices and split the profits. Whenever bands or artists would try to circumvent this (remember when Pearl Jam tried to take on TM?), so the real fans - and not just the ones with the fattest wallets - could get their hand on the best seats. Yet, someone would circumvent it and restrict how much was actually allocated out to the fan clubs, while slowly lowering the amount allocated year on year. Forcing fans to no longer rely on the priority of being in a fan club and having to go to ticketbastard anyways.
I know theres a chance of getting tickets last minute thanks to stage rearrangements or friends & family tickets being allocated back into the system, but this requires you to get to the box office first thing the morning of the gig and having a hope and a prayer. I remember when I would follow the Dave Matthews Band around the East coast of the US.. They were able to keep scalping down thanks to the fan club getting priority, the tickets having unique ID numbers on them (so if sold on eBay, etc, for more than face value could have their membership revoked and tickets voided) and more, but if the venues and ticket merchants themselves are doing this then what hope is there to making the process better??
It should not be a stressful process to go and see your favourite band live. Nor should only the people with the fattest wallets be allowed to go to gigs (as 9/10 they only want to hear the current single and tend to leave once its played!) I do believe the reason why ticket prices have become so expensive is because of the 2nd hand market. Venues and bands alike see that people are willing to pay 3-5 times as much as the face value, so why not make the inflated value the actual price then? I remember being able to go to gigs at the Roseland for under $20 (and thats with the service fees!!) No longer.. Hell, I usually pay £20 in fees alone!
We need to get these louts under control and let the tickets go back to being in control of the fans. Yes, there will always be scalping, but it should NOT be a big business or done in cohorts with promoters and venues.
*good for watching for 29 days from today - 24/02/2012. If outside the UK use TunnelBear to view