Rollerena's Birthday Bash

With a Studio 54 theme. Of course. (because it's also the 32nd anniversary of Studio 54)

Me and B, taken with V's iPhone

Me and B, taken with V's iPhone

The great Rollerena herself

Disco ball

A party-goer we were dancing with

I am shocked to report that Rollerena does not have a Wikipedia page. For those of you who are interested, here are two articles about the legend that is Rollerena:

Rollerena: A Forgotten Gem of Recent Gay History in New York City
Rollerena: Diva, activist, skater, legend



The Rest of You, Rattle Your Jewelry

Okay, so I'm not done with this topic after all.

If you haven't already, check out Ben Sisario's recent article in the NY Times.

I am today addressing this except of that article:
"Two years after the repeal of New York State’s decades-old anti-scalping laws, the ticket marketplace has become a fiercely competitive game in which major corporations compete over resale prices with the fan next door, scalpers have a Washington lobbyist and thousands of tickets disappear in a fraction of a second.

"... Once bought by telephone or at box office windows, tickets for concerts are now mostly bought online, pitting ordinary consumers against a network of professional scalpers who use ever more sophisticated technology to scoop up large numbers of tickets in a flash....

"After lobbying by ticket brokers to decriminalize reselling in the Craigslist era, many states in addition to New York have lifted restrictions on scalping, and large corporations have embraced what is called the secondary market for tickets, like eBay, which owns StubHub. New York’s scalping laws were softened in 2005 and have been suspended since 2007, allowing tickets for most large events to be resold at any price.

"Connecticut and Minnesota also revised their laws in 2007 to permit reselling, and in June, the New York Legislature will have to formalize its repeal or the old restrictions will return. The lobbying in Albany has already begun.

" 'This is a huge consumer rip-off,' said Russ Haven, legislative counsel for the New York Public Interest Research group. “There is no benefit to consumers in unlimited scalping.' "


Legislators should ask themselves: Who is benefiting from unlimited ticket resales? The consumers? (no....) The artists? (no....) the venues? (no....) Or the snake-oil salesmen? (ding ding ding, yes!) Frankly, I can see the reasoning behind softening resale laws a bit: While resalers like Stub Hub charge insane fees -- 15% charged to the seller, and another 15% charged to the buyer, for the same tickets -- on the other hand, when I had to sell tickets I couldn't use, I felt safe using Stub Hub, and the buyer on the other end was guaranteed that the tickets were not forged. But isn't there a middle ground between the old scalper laws and no restrictions at all? A cap on a resale ticket price, for instance? A time delay when tickets can be resold? An 80% tax on the price of a ticket over face value? Something?

I am going to assume that Albany is going to cave on this -- because caving is so easy and thinking about a better plan is so hard -- and I am going to offer here some alternate solutions for artists/venues to make the ticket-selling process a little fairer for consumers.

1) Fans could refuse to buy resold tickets. Ha ha ha ha ha ha, I make myself laugh. The reason that doesn't work, and will never, ever work, and the reason why scalpers have existed as long as popular music has been around, is that music and entertainment is an emotional, often irrational, purchase. The thing is, concert tickets aren't like memorabilia, which is another purchase that is often emotion-driven, but it can be argued that it is a type of investment. You don't spend the money on concert tickets and then own something tangible that you can pass down to your grandchildren or later sell to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If your kid has an insatiable crush on Taylor Swift, are you not going to try to buy him tickets for his birthday, even if they might cost more than you care to spend?

2) Lotteries. Before the internet, ticket lotteries were a common anti-scalper tactic. You would send in a post card, and either get a pass or an arm band with a number on it, which would entitle you to go buy a certain number of a certain value ticket. Of course, internet sales are easier to coordinate, since it cuts out the need to have people manning the phones or box offices, but the old-school lotteries, while by no means a perfect solution, greatly curtailed a certain amount of scalping.

3) Act like the airlines. A venue could set aside a certain number of seats that sell for face value. Then blocks of seats after another date would sell for a percentage higher. Then the last block of seats go for the highest prices. People are used to paying a cheaper rate for plane tickets bought 2 weeks in advance, and as those cheaper seats sell out, you pay more. The person next to you on a plane most assuredly did not pay the same price for his seat as you did for yours. Concert venues can just build that into their prices. Basically, this is what a lot of venues/artists are doing anyway, when they save blocks of tickets for "resale." This way, they are just being honest about it.

4) Set aside blocks of the best seats for insane amounts of money, and donate the profits, or a percentage of the profits, to a charity. Someone wants to pay a scalper $10,000 for a front row seat to see the Stones? Beat them to it. Have some premium/select seats available. Maybe have that price include champagne and a lap dance from Mick Jagger. Rich people can still feel special that only they can afford these seats, and the money can go to a good cause, or at very least, can be split between the venue and the artist. But it cuts out the snake oil salesmen.

original post:
Ticketmaster, We Have a Problem

Related posts:
Ticketmaster, We Have a Problem, Update
Bruce Gets the Last Word
People in the Cheaper Seats, Clap Your Hands


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP