Perhaps nowhere is human nature more self-mocking than when you’re in a crowded situation and pissed off at everyone around you for it. You get ample opportunity to explore the many manifestations of this when you live in the bay area, being exhibit A of a victim of its own success. I can’t wait until two years from now, when I stop working and get to spend all my time strategizing over when to go to the grocery store, the hardware store, the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival, so as to avoid the irritating masses (which will be at 3am, 4am, and never, respectively).
One instance of this has nothing to do with living here, or anywhere in particular, and is a grim reality of which we have all partaken: the unique ordeal of attempting to score a ticket online to a popular concert. Since I’m a pretty avid live music fan, it is my fate to adorn the guise of combatant about twice a month in this regard. But guess what? I’ve figured out the trick to success, and here it is:
Oh, ha effing ha. Did you really think…?
“RIGGED! BIGLY!” Right concept, wrong target by he of the small hands. A buddy of mine just sent me this article that pretty much confirms everything we’ve ever suspected about the ticket sales systems. Yes, professional scalpers own these systems. Yes, bots are widely deployed. Yes, venues direct a huge proportion of available tickets to preferred customers (read: corporate sponsors). Yes, there are subscription websites that will provide anyone the presale passwords to every show. Yes, we are screwed and it is hopeless. Yes, Stubhub is your friend (who demands you pick him up in a stretch limo with caviar and Moet et Chandon in hand).
Does this mean Ticketmaster and Live Nation are to be spared of blame? Should I stop calling them Ticketbastard and Evil Nation? Well, they’re for sure in cahoots with venues where allocating seats to corporate elites is concerned. And their precious little service and processing fees will gall me to the grave. But just like the Ruskies can hack an election if it really wants to, so too can the reprobates of the internet hack these systems no matter the attempted defenses by the systems themselves. It’s a jungle out there, baby.
So, at least for now it really does boil down to how bad do you want to go, and if you do, then paying the man. Our consolation? That little wretch of a notion you have to let hold the door for you now and again: misery loves company. Then again, once you’re at the show, the lights drop, the band tears into that song you came to hear, that’s a joy that eclipses what it took to get there. And that’s human nature too.