Posted Thu, Jun 03, 2010 by Sardu
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In the great Pirates vs. Ninjas debate, when it comes to ticket sales for one of the hottest MMOG fan events of the year it’s pretty clear that the pirates are the reigning champs. Even with a second batch of BlizzCon 2010 tickets yet to go on sale this weekend, the secondary market is already attempting to get a piece of the action. We’ll take a little walk down memory lane to look at the ill effects of ticket pirates today in Loading… Better Luck Next Round.
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During the latter half of the 1990s, Chicago was my local stomping grounds. While I ultimately made my escape to the Pacific Northwest shortly after the world was supposed to end at the chiming of the year 2000 bells, one of my favorite things about living in that particular city was the multitude of clubs, theaters and other random spaces to see live music in. Any band with half a brain cell between its members was sure to make a Chicago stop if they toured the Midwest, even if it meant playing such awful dives as the Fireside Bowl which was a bombed out, stinky, rat infested mess that tried to pass itself off as being a “punk club”.
During that period the internet was coming into its own, and that was also when I discovered one of its unfortunate side effects. While standing in line overnight to snag choice tickets to see a favorite band had previously been a time honored tradition, it soon became apparent that even being first in line physically could still mean that tickets might be sold out before you reached the sales counter.
That in and of itself wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. What was, however, was the fact that internet ticket sales helped usher in an era when Chicago’s many ticket brokers held sway over the selling price for just about any major act to come through town. It seemed like nearly overnight there were hundreds of shady ticket brokers’ offices popping up all over the city, and the live music scene began to suffer as a result.
The reason for my long winded preamble today is of course none other than the joyous insanity of the first round of BlizzCon 2010 tickets getting snatched up in an estimated 23 minutes yesterday. In less time than it took for the first wave to sell out, tickets were already popping up on Ebay for between $400 and $900 for a pair, though I suspect the real secondary market ticket circus won’t kick into full gear until the second batch goes on sale this Saturday. The current sellers are either too silly to realize that a second batch will go up for sale this weekend or too confident that they’ll be able to make a quick buck off of gamers with deep enough pockets to afford the high price tag.
Either way, I still consider it a shame that there were thousands of legitimate Blizzard fans sitting in the ticket queue last night who were ultimately turned away thanks in part to the capitalist crapfest that is the secondary ticket sales market. To me the whole thing just brings up bad memories of discovering that the only way to get into a club to see a band I’d been waiting for months or years to see live was to pony up hundreds of dollars for what should have been a $15 ticket. I refused to do so back then, and I certainly don’t dig the fact that for some fans, ticket pirates may be their only means of attending one of the hottest fan events of the year.
Were you lucky enough to snag BlizzCon tickets yesterday or still have hopes of doing so this Saturday when the second batch goes on sale? Hop on the Ten Ton Red Line and ride it on over to the Loading… forum and let us know. And if you feel so inclined, you can also join me in a chorus of loathing about the lameness of ticket pirates!
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- Reuben "Sardu" Waters and the Ten Ton Hammer team