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New York Versus Los Angeles: Two Opposite Results For LCD Soundsystem Ticket Sales

LCD Soundsystem at the Fox Theater in 2016


‘New York I love you but you’re bringing me down’, but shouldn’t New York sometimes take a lesson from Los Angeles? I explain myself, Spin magazine is reporting about the disastrous ticket sale for LCD Soundsystem’s upcoming Brooklyn residency, at the new East Williamsburg concert Hall owned by The Bowery Presents: ‘It seems like no one in Brooklyn was able to actually get a ticket’… Are you really surprised? The right question would rather be, was any human able to get a ticket or did the bots get everything?

Despite the fact that the new hall is a 1,800 capacity venue, the shows sold out within minutes, leaving tons of fans desperate for tickets. Surely, tickets were immediately resold on StubHub and elsewhere, 3 times their value… I have been there, nothing new, it happens all the time! I just had the exact same experience with Bjork at the Disney Hall.

But I had a second thought because I got to see LCD Soundsystem for one of their very coveted concert in the LA area last year in April. Yes, I managed to get a ticket, and it was not that difficult. This is why I am saying, may be they should take a lesson from LA? At the time, I was almost sure I would never be able to grab a ticket, we obviously all know how it ends when you are in line in this virtual waiting room.However, they decided to do things differently this time, I don’t know who got the idea, but they sold tickets in several LA record stores. Suddenly, it was like the good old times, when you had to wake up early, get in line in front of the store when it’s not even open, and patiently wait, distracted by other people’s conversation. This is what I did, and I got a ticket, it was that easy! I don’t know what percentage of tickets they sold this way, but a lot of people got some, and we even heard someone saying ‘tickets on line have sold out’ when store employees were still selling tickets at Permanent Records. What is so complicated about the process? Sure, they recorded our ID, and asked for it at the Theater to check if they matched together, so this may be some extra work ticket sellers would like to avoid, especially for such a large amount of people, but it works and fans are happy!

After the disaster, the venue Brooklyn Steel tweeted that it will attempt to combat scalpers by only distributing e-Tickets on the day of the show, and that AXS ‘reviews all orders to make sure only fans get tix’… Again, it’s difficult to believe they will be able to do this, because StubHub, Vividseats, Seatgeek, and probably other sites have plenty of tickets to sell for $300-400! Why would AXS care? Why would AXS spend any energy, they are paid no matter who gets the tickets. One way to do it would be to identify the tickets bought by bots and cancel the transactions? But then why this isn’t done each time?

Sometimes good old methods are the best ones, last year, the venue (Fox Theater in Pomona) had about the same size than this new East Williamsburg concert Hall, so this is possible. The old method would avoid all these frustrated fans tweeting their despair and rage against the bots machines, and mostly, this would prevent scalpers from getting rich.

We have reached the point when the hard-ticket sale in a store would be so much better for fans. I have the feeling that the current ticket system is not doing anything to fight the scalpers, and this is a damn shame.

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