Fans of young actress/singer Miley Cyrus, aka “Hannah Montana,” are clamoring for tickets for her first ever concert tour. Many of them are finding none available, though, except at many times their face value through scalpers and “ticket brokers” (the difference is semantic as far as I’m concerned), as the shows are selling out in minutes. One press source mentions front row tickets going for as high as $2700.00 apiece.
Folks, this is madness. To me, it represents a clash of “what the market will bear” versus “what’s right.” It's where "capitalism" translates directly to "sheer opportunism." This is not the Rolling Stones, it's a teenybopper show.
There have always been ticket scalpers looking to make a buck, but there was a time when face value was at least reasonable. I remember buying concert tickets about 15 years ago, when you could get any seat in the house for somewhere between $17.50 and $22.50 before service charge.
Now there are typically three ticket levels, with all but the most expensive (hundreds of dollars per) well away from the stage. At the same time these ticket brokers have emerged that sell tickets alongside Ticketmaster, but at even higher prices.
Nowadays the service charge and convenience charges ($10 per ticket for buying online) together equal what you paid for a ticket 15 years ago. Then there are the “facility charges.” What is this, advance payment for using the restrooms?
And you might think that spending an exhorbitant amount entitles you to the best seat in the house, but you soon find that all the prime seats have already been given away to radio stations for their undeserving listeners to win before you ever had a shot a them.
The public’s memory may be short, but I recall seeing far more elaborately staged shows in the 80s and 90s (Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Genesis) for far less money than I'm paying for a stripped down version today. WTF, people?
Scalpers aren't just the shady guys in the street, they're now also the guys in suits running these ticket agencies, the promoters and tour managers, too.
As for "Nina Nevada" or whatever her name is, let the kids see their damn show. Yes, it’s the parents who pay the money, but it’s the kids who miss out. That’s who you’re disappointing, you greedy, opportunistic bastards. You ought to be scalped… in the old-fashioned way.
Next post Wednesday: Five more to go!