This morning started with a relatively minor task: I was to buy concert tickets for two friends and me. I had my password for the presale, and I had my credit card. So when the site opened at 10, I entered my information. But instead of having three tickets for the show, I was turned away with a message that there were no tickets that matched my exact criteria. And I received that same message for the next two hours.
Now let’s make sure that you understand the situation. I went in the very first minute of the presale with the special password I was emailed. I wanted three tickets in any location. And yet there were none that matched my “exact” criteria.
If you’re like me, you find this hard to believe. I’ve never had this much trouble getting tickets, although I rarely go the presale route since I’m not fans of radio stations, arenas, or even bands where they would send me such information.
So I’ve decided that it has to be something to do with the whole presale promotion. I’m beginning to think there are very few tickets and the password was sent out to lots of people.
And this irritated me, so far, not enough not to buy tickets, but I am rapidly reaching that point. Because halfway in my search, I decided to leave the site and start over in case something was wrong with my computer. I mistakenly went to a ticket resale site, and there were plenty of tickets for the concert I wanted already being scalped, while my puny three tickets remained beyond my reach. So somebody was getting tickets, just not this loyal fan.
As I waited for “tickets not available” screen to come up again and again, it occurred to me that if librarians ran ticket sales sites, things like this simply wouldn’t happen.
- It would never occur to librarians to send out an email to many people advertising something that would only be available to a small group. And if for some unfathomable reason we had to, we’d let everyone know up front. Librarians are big fans of everyone having access.
- We would never send out a password that didn’t lead to somewhere. If a librarian were in a charge, I would not have gotten ‘these tickets are not available’ when I knew they were, just not to me. Instead, there would have been a more helpful notice, perhaps telling me that only a certain number of tickets were available on the presale day and those were gone. And so please stop trying until tomorrow. And there certainly would have been a number to call if this answer didn’t satisfy me.
- Librarians would never expect anyone to spend hours searching for something that could not be obtained.
- And librarians would get pretty mean with scalpers who had tickets while loyal fans went without. We’re serious about equal access to all.
Living in Nashville, I am constantly bombarded with news of fears that the music industry is dying. Well, if my attempt to buy a ticket today is typical of how fans are treated, I can give at least a partial explanation why. We’re not all college students with unlimited time to hit refresh as we try to buy tickets. And if we’re willing to pay good money for a concert, then the ticket sellers should treat us with some courtesy.
Yep, the term “fallen empires” did come to mind quite often today, but probably not in the way the industry, the band, or even the ticket sellers had hoped.