Ticketmaster & Ticket Touts, I F****ng Hate You.

A couple of weeks ago Michael Jackson announced that he was going to perform twenty dates at the O2 arena. I was very excited about being given the opportunity to see one of my musical heroes once more.

I’ve been a big fan of Michael Jackson since “Thriller” came out in 1982 and I was lucky enough to see him at Wembley Stadium for the opening night of his “Bad” tour in the summer of  ’88. I was sixteen years old and queued for twelve and a half hours to see my idol,  It still marks as one of the best days of my life so far. I managed to get to the front of the crowd and I’ll never forget that atmosphere. I have also been to see him on other occasions 1992 and 1997 and each time it has been amazing but none as magical as my first concert.

Each time I bought a ticket, It seemed to be simply calling Wembley Stadium, and within a couple of weeks I’d have my tickets and then I could look forward to the big day safe in the knowledge that the ticket was in my house. Now of course, It’s very different.

As soon as this new tour was announced, I registered for the pre-sale window which allowed “real fans” to buy tickets a few days before they went on sale to the general public, as soon as I received my code I went online in the vein attempt to buy two tickets for myself and my best mate Chris (he went with me to the ’97 concert). Could I get any tickets though?

No sodding chance.  Ticketmaster, the company in charge of ticket distribution, were a joke. Not only was I unable to log on to the site, but I also couldn’t ring them ( you know, the old fashioned way, like back in the day when you could actually speak with somebody on the phone.) Four bloody days I tried to book these tickets before the general public sale, in these four days it was failure after failure. So I tried again at 7am on the day the tickets went on general sale, once more I was unable to complete the purchase and all tickets to all shows (including the extra dates well into 2010) were gone within four hours.

So out of interest, I logged onto Ebay to see what the tickets were selling for, and this is where I started to get even more pissed off. There were hundreds of tickets for sale and every one was going for more than fives face value with one pair up for the astonishing figure of £10,000 . Ten bloody Grand. Now the strange thing was that many of these sellers had only recently opened accounts and only had a couple of feedbacks. Another problem, these tickets weren’t even in the sellers possession. The buyer had to give over his money,  and then the seller would send the tickets via special delivery when they themselves received them from Ticketmaster. This could be upto ten days before the concert date. I can imagine all shades of shit hitting the fan with this arrangement. I started “watching” these items, not with the intention of buying but I wanted to see what people were willing to pay.

Well I was very pleased to see that a lot of them didn’t sell, many of them didn’t even reach reserve. A few re-listed with a much cheaper “buy it now” price than previous (sometimes cheaper by £200.) I hate to admit to a certain amount of glee at these at these poor souls not raking in as much profit as they had hoped.

So basically these tickets sold out very quickly to people who were more interested in making a quick buck than seeing Michael Jackson. I was under the impression that ticket touts were being clamped down on,  but I suppose that hasn’t happened. They only care about selling their stock and if arseholes are buying tickets and selling them off at stupid prices, then tough shit eh?

For the first time, I am unable to see my music hero when he tours over here and I’m gutted,  although I suppose I shouldn’t be too upset. After all the bloke is fifty years old and is well past his “best before” date. He simply cannot produce the same magic he did back in’88 or even ’92, and I would hate my memories of these days to be tarnished. I want to remember him as the great performer that he was.

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2 Responses

  1. Well, well, well Timothy,
    a finely worded rant mate, we do indeed live in an increasingly greed oriented society, hence the current ‘credit crunch’ situation crippling the world.
    I like the way you reconciled yourself to not going by concluding that ‘the bloke is fifty years old and is well past his “best before” date’. Perhaps if you’d reached that conclusion a little earlier you might have saved yourself from all that anguish brother, but then we’d have missed out on your literary tirade, and as such,a further loss to the English speaking world at large!
    By the way, wanna buy a couple of tickets to see him?, I got ’em on the Never Neverland!!

    Chuckles

  2. Ticket Disaster…….

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