Some Thoughts On Ticketing and Scalpers

June 06, 2013

We'd like to acknowledge some of the frustration we've all (both fans and artists) been experiencing related to ticketing and scalping. We're always sorry to hear about fans who fail to get the tickets they were hoping for and no fan or artist likes to see tickets show up on a secondary ticketing site like Stub Hub at crazy prices.

Sammy is always looking for ways to keep ticket prices down and get them into the hands of true Redheads. Please know that Sammy, his management and booking agent, and us on the digital side are always discussing ideas for making ticketing work in the best way possible.

Fans should know that some secondary ticketing sites commonly post that they have tickets available when they don't and then bait and switch as they try to get them. Deciding to handle Birthday Bash ticketing directly ourselves is driven by wanting to avoid these sorts of problems. We know it's not perfect but we're always doing everything we can to make it work in a fair way for all you Redheads.


 25 Redhead Comments

pjbirchenough's picture

Truly appreciate Sammy and Mgt looking out for the fans. No system is perfect, but I personally like the online ticket sales, limit two per person, ID at the door. I know some people go to every show, but we typically only stay long enough to catch two shows...virtually cuts our chances in half with the lottery system and we lost out last year, so we ended up not going. Maybe, we just need to add a 'Halfway Birthday Bash' in May for those that didn't make it in October ;-)

Thanks for a great show in Vegas!

CaboWaboGuy's picture

When it comes to Birthday Bash tickets for Cabo, there shouldn't be a lottery at all, & if there is, taking people out of more chances if they already got tickets to another show! Tahoe or Vegas tickets weren't limited or a lottery! I forgo Tahoe & Vegas all together to do Cabo! So how would people feel that if you went to Tahoe or Vegas, you can't get tickets to Cabo!? Not fair right? Many of us have been going to the Birthday Bash since the 90's! We have made this event our vacation year after year, we've bought timeshares at that time so we could be there to see as many shows as we could get into! Go back to selling the tickets on line WITH NO LOTTERY or the good ol' overnight line on the street!! Go ahead & limit the purchase to two tickets with pick up in Cabo with I.D.! Last year there were many of the long time fans that didn't even come because of this lottery system! Why not have a true fan club with paying dues, with the members getting first crack at Bash & other show tickets!? That basicly has been done for both Chickenfoot tours anyways, right!? Or if limits of some sort have to be in place, why not go to the sign up date of people who have joined here?! I know that after the site was re-worked, they re-set the "Member Since" dates, but why not give people that have been here the longest, the better chance, a higher percentage to get Bash tickets?! I think that makes sense, the longer you have been a fan signed up here, the better chance you have at getting tickets! That's rewarding the long time true fan!

Carolyn6657's picture

Please someone or Sammy tell me when Cabo BB tix go on sale, I will be down there for my good friends' wedding hopefully on the same week, keeping my red rocker fingers crossed that I am lucky enough to get just one ticket, have heard from friends that have attended in the past what a blast it is, and am hoping to experience it myself, hell I'll even miss the wedding if I have to....I'm sure the bride would understand.

Cabogirl731's picture

It has just gotten a lot more difficult to get the BB tickets. My first BB was 1999 and it seemed so much easier tickets you just waited in line. I realize that doesn't work anymore since it has gotten so big but it also sucks when you make the plans and then don't get any of the shows like what happened to us last year. I don't know if there really is a great way to go about it that would be fair to everyone. As I do agree it sucked when people made all shows last year and some of us got none. I am just hoping to get some this year as resort is booked and flights are booked!!! Hopefully we will all know soon. I will enjoy the trip either way but its always good to have a Sammy show while there! See u all in Cabo!!!

aznyredhead's picture

I have been lucky to get good seats myself but also paid higher than ticket for good seats. As a true fan it breaks my heart to see people who got tickets because they work for someone or paid enough money when they aren't true fans - these are the people who leave 1/2 way though the show or are sitting like a lump and looking annoyed at everyone having a good time. A few years ago a kid was trying to get a shirt signed (15 or so) - so fun to see young people enjoying Sammy too. While we tried to get him up front to have it signed a few people wouldn't even let him get in - All he wanted was it signed - finally he got it done but it upset the few of us around him who knew this isn't how it has always been. After all this is the "Jimmy Buffet of Metal" things need to be a bit more Chill....I understand we pay a premium price to be upfront I get that but Redheads are a great group and I know the people who locked him out weren't' redheads!

rshofner71's picture

It doesnt seem fair that some people are lucky enough to get tickets to multiple birthday bash shows while others, like myself last year, werent able to get any through the lottery system. It sounds like a good system except for that. Remove people from other drawings once they have tickets to one show. Although this is not perfect, people will make up multiple logins so it will be impossible to monitor. Maybe, lock down the system July 1 and dont let any new logins until after the sale. Then its too late to make up multiple logins and true Redheads will have a better chance at tickets.

Az's picture

Man, I'd just like to see the BB lottery bought forward in the year so I could try to plan to get there. Trying to organise flights (at a decent price), accomodation, time off from work etc only a few months out from the event is pretty difficult when you're coming from Melbourne, Australia.

MadJack's picture

Hey Trent from NIN is making you pick your tickets up from will call and go straight into the event, or you lose them! Not a bad idea!

BammBamm87's picture

How about those that get tix to Birthday Bash show #1 are removed from the future drawings & so on? Once you have tix be happy and enjoy. Too many times some fans are shut out completely, while others have tix to multiple shows during the week. Wouldn't it be better to have as many Redheads attending a show as possible, rather than some Redheads attending 2, 3 & 4 shows? I'd like to know my chances increase with each presale drawing.

lars2k's picture

I just booked my trip for the birthday bash! Can someone tell me approximately when it was last year that they sold the tix to the shows?

mj8ball1's picture

As Redheads I think we all have the same feeling on your fans getting the tickets. The Birthday Bash system works even though everyone does not end up happy. I would suggest using this site for presale tickets at least. Maybe use the credit card approach at the event. I great thing I see every year in Cabo is the people that happen to have an extra ticket always sell them for face value. I can't wait to see you in St. Louis ( The 2nd best place in the world to see the Redrocker)!!

outlaw's picture

A ticket portal on this site that you can only access with your Redhead log in. Max tickets at 4. Let it run for a few hours the day before public release. Require Captcha input to ensure no robots. Give us access to GOOD seats... maybe ensure that each users can only access the "ticket portal" if they have a certain number of posts or have been a redhead member on the site for a certain lenth of time to weed out any B.S. last minute sign up by scalpers. This way the long-time fans that support the site and Sammy can get a benefit for being loyal all these years.

I've been lucky to get tickets to the Tahoe shows every year, through the existing methods,(f'ing love those shows BTW) but I'm on line as soon as the presale starts. And since those are general admission seating is not that critcal.

It seems like you are really trying to help based all the other attemps you've tried in the past... Will call sucks, I don't want to wait in line before a show... too old school. I thnk some upfront work on the site here could make it much smoother for the Redheads to get in to see our Boy tear up the stage... My $0.02


rshofner71's picture

I agree with onemoreshow...Paperless is the way to go. I saw AC/DC a few years ago and you had to have the credit card you purchased the tix with to get in. It worked great. At first I thought it would take forever to get in, but lines actually seemed to move just as fast. Here's hoping I score tickets for the bash this year, money already spent on flights and rooms.

sniper16's picture

scalpers will always get tix and people will always buy from them, have you thought about a lottery type ticketing for the bashes we could all sign up for the shows we can attend then names could be drawn couldn't even get thru last yet yet I see people went to all four shows, also do the outside show add to available tixs

onemorshow's picture

"Paperless Tickets" for all the good seats would be the best. You don't get tickets til night of show at Will-Call. The same credit card and ID that bought tickets has to be givin at Will-Call to get tickets. After you get tickets you and your guests will have to enter venue so you can't try to sell in parking lot.

Problem solved. They do this at alot of high demand shows.

leem080's picture

I like hallway7 idea of 100% will call!

Also, MORE than 2 or 4 tickets should not be allowed.

Fanclub and will call only would solve most of that.

What about people who pay others to stand in line, then bring in 5-6 people... Must be present or do a "line number" system.

I hate to say it, but a "premium" price for better seats and M&G's cuts out a lot of scalping just by pricing them out (no profit)... and YOU, the artist make the $$, not some lame scalper...

OneLMichele's picture

Solution: create an app for loyal fans. Maximum tickets per customer. Give us 90 days to sign up or we cannot purchase tickets. Close any sight that sells for more than face value. Sounds simple. I know it isn't.

OneLMichele's picture

Trish is right, we the dedicated fans deserve the best seats....we are willing to pay a fair price....sometimes lowering the price makes it even more difficult to purchase because of scalpers. They do if for the money. Whatever it takes to cut them out of the equation is fine by a loyal fan who just wants to rock on!

hanterman's picture

We have a bunch of fans in the UK who would just like to be able to get to have a show, never mind ticketing issues.

Trish Newkirk's picture

I remember growing up and trying to get decent tickets and the only way was some radio contest like being the 8th caller or whatever....LUCK/ I used to get so upset because they never did TRIVIA!!! I feel whenever I get to see Sammy- I should be in the front row!!! I have spent soooo much time, effort, and money following his career since I was 14 and I am 45 now!! There should be a better way for true REDHEADS to get better seats- it's such a heartbreak and let down when some "Megadeath" fan happens to be bored at work and picks up the phone and is the Lucky caller and has better seats than me...I get riled!! Or when I travel from Spokane WA and am the 3rd in line to get tickets for Sammy's bday and some person from cal. Gets them on the Internet and it's sold out before the doors are even open and I'm there in the flesh and would've paid any amount of money when they got them free over the Internet!!! YES!! PLEASE FIGURE OUT A WAY FOR REDHEADS TO GET THE BEST SELECTION!!!!!!!

jmcatalano's picture

You can't scalp plane tickets... Use the same concept.

Tickets must have the name of the person attending.

ID required upon entry


Offer insurance option upfront (like Nascar) - if the person cannot attend - refund $$ only. Make those tickets turned in available at the box office the day of the show.

BTW, was lucky enough to see Sammy, Lars Ulrich, and Michael Anthony at Cabo Wabo years ago! FREE

hallway7's picture

Wouldn't 100% WILL CALL solve this problem? Holiday Star,Merrillville,In does this.

bja5150's picture

For example,

To be in the front row, one ticket $1,599.00 (not even a meet and greet)The hardcore fans lose here unless you are rich and don't care about money. That is like $800 an hour..! Most people and fans CANNOT afford to do this! Not to mention, NO RICHIE either. Is it even really a true Bon Jovi show would be more like and overpriced Jon solo show?

bja5150's picture

Sammy has always been great to his fans and to me personally. I have seen him personally do free shows and he has always tried to keep the prices fair so this does not go against him. The ticket buying system is totally flawed nowadays. Fans used to wait overnight in lines, get wristbands early, do whatever it took to get close to the artists (like Sammy) that they love. The business stopped all that when "scalpers" made money on their artists. The "big companies" in ticket selling are crooks and do exactly what they stopped in the past. They charge high costs (some due to artist greed), ridiculous high fees are passed on to the fans and they do not give fans fair access to the tickets. I just tried to get tickets for me wife for P!nk (very popular tour right now) and with multiple "presale" codes on various days, I never got an option one to buy even when they went on sale at 10am. However, with trick computer bot systems, Stub Hub spilled over with thousands of tickets all at premiums. VIPS are also an option, but at super high costs. You can spend like $1000 for say front row Bon Jovi (not even get a meet and greet) and you get to keep your folding chair! I used to be a front row fanatic especially for Sammy all the time, but it got harder and harder. When I could wait as long as it took, I was there. It was always worth the wait. I am not rich and have a family now so without the right "VIP" access I sit farther back, but I still go and support people like Sammy. I do not go to as many shows as I used to mostly due to costs. I really wish people would stop paying these stupid high prices and they would go down. I know people in the business and know this is indeed true. A certain high profile tour went on sale and the floor was never offered to the fans. A " ticket broker" I know got a call and was offered any tickets he wanted from lets just say the "powers to be". That was years ago amd things are only worse now. Its all a scam. Shows are not sold out when they say, they drive the hype to get people to pay the money they need and WANT. Take Pearl Jam in their heyday. They did not want high ticket prices or fees. When they fought the system, they were basically not allowed to play. Some of what happens daily is criminal! Think about it

dacoop1969's picture

One of the WORST examples of ticket scalping was done by Ticketmaster/Live Nation themselves. They sold a lot of tickets for the current tour under heading of "Official Platinum Tickets" at very inflated prices, $275-$350 per ticket to the St Louis show. They already charge over inflated "convenience fees" on every ticket and now the sorry bastards are in the scalping business as well.