This week, Nine Inch Nails announced a fall tour along with a different way to buy tickets. Variety.com covered the ticket purchasing method in this way:
“The group is taking an unusual new/old approach to keep tickets out of the hands of resellers: They will be selling all seats to the tour in person at presale events called “The Physical World,” which will take place May 19 at each venue’s box office, with the exception of Red Rocks for which the presale will take place on May 20 at the Denver Coliseum Box Office.
“All seats (including the best seats) will be available for purchase in person only, first come, first served,” the announcement reads. “Fans can purchase up to four tickets per show. Visit nin.com/tickets2018 for a complete list of box office locations and further information. Limited quantities of tickets may be released via additional ticketing channels, subject to availability, at a later date to be announced. Ticket inventory available via phone and online channels will include ADA tickets.”
I can definitely appreciate the desire to keep tickets out of the hands of resellers. After all, many of those resellers are not necessarily fans but people who bought the tickets when they went on sale just to make a profit. This means that resale tickets are often more expensive than they were to begin with. No one wants concert tickets to be more than they already are. Ticket prices have skyrocketed, in my opinion. In fact, sometimes, they are so expensive that people simply cannot go and that makes me sad. Live music is one of the greatest things in life and I am sad if people cannot experience it at all. So, the intention of this ticket buying process is a good one.
Besides the intention, I also had to smile at the idea of fans being in line to buy tickets. It reminds me of how Record Store Day was in which fans lined up outside of record stores to buy their favorite new vinyl. Fans could chat while they waited, get to know each other, increase excitement over their upcoming purchases and more. Of course, I had the same feeling when I was a kid and we waited outside Ticketmaster outlets to buy tickets. Probably my favorite memory of that was senior year of high school. The plan was that my two best friends and I would stay at my place overnight and leave early in the morning to drive to the nearest mall (about a half hour away) to wait in line for tickets. My friends and I cheated a little bit in that we left at like 3:30 in the morning instead of waiting until 6. My mom didn’t realize how early it was when I told her that we were leaving. On the way, we stopped for donuts and coffee. When we arrived, there was already quite a crowd, which included a bunch of people we knew. It became like a party (until we realized that we desperately needed to find a bathroom and nothing was open).
Part of me would like to return to situations like that until…I think about how this would work now. This definitely would be a problem when it comes to Duran shows. First, the band does not play in Madison, WI, or at least they haven’t since 1984. Therefore, I would have to travel a distance to wait in line for tickets. The closest city is Chicago, which is 2.5 hours away. Then, what the heck would Rhonda and I do for shows in cities neither one of us is near? Would we have to hire someone to get tickets for us??? After all, we have seen Duran play in many different cities. With a policy like this, we simply couldn’t do that. We would be out of luck and couldn’t go to as many shows. This, of course, would hurt the band. Second, this policy is such that all of the tickets are going on sale at the same time. Again, what the heck would we do? Rhonda could go to one ticket outlet and I could go to another. We would need other friends to go to other cities. This just simply wouldn’t be possible.
So, in thinking about this idea, while the intention is good, it would suck in practical terms. It would definitely limit who can attend shows to just people who are able to get to ticket outlets on that day, which probably means local people with flexible jobs. Then, it certainly wouldn’t encourage fans to go to multiple shows or to travel. Now, I don’t know much about the Nine Inch Nails fanbase. Maybe that would work for their fans. I just know that if Duran Duran would use something like this, many Duranies (like us) would lose our minds. I think with every other ticket buying policy, one must think through all of the possible ramifications before going for one over the other. This one is simply one that I wouldn’t want any favorite of mine to use.