I know where I’ll be the weekend of April 15-17, Coachella. But because of scalpers, Indie rock’s great event is out-of-reach to many. 51,000 passes were snatched up over the course of three days and the only place to find tickets is on after-market websites like Craigslist and eBay.
The only way to get in is spend (roughly) the price of a used 2-door sedan or a kidney, which ever you’re willing to part with first. (I’d recommend the sedan.)
The $300 face value tickets are going for $600 or more on Stubhub, with a few aggressive scalpers asking $2,000 for a general admission ticket. When the lineup of Kings of Leon, Kanye West, Arcade Fire, and The Strokes was announced reaction was mixed (sounds great to me, but you can’t please everyone), yet, it seems scalpers are finding a very fertile market. The Coachella Message Board is packed to the brim with angry music lovers lashing out at the now-unreasonable prices. Considering that even an $85 3-day car camping pass is now being sold for $850 on eBay, maybe they have a point.
And it’s not just music lovers who are up in arms over the scalping trend. In the past few weeks, artists have begun to speak up against ticket scalpers as well. LCD Soundsystem recently announced their final show (ever) at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and scalpers went on a rampage buying up nearly every ticket available and trying to resell them on eBay and Craigslist for a whopping $1,500. LCD frontman James Murphy, angrily took to Twitter, even ranting “NO MATTER WHAT WE DO, IT IS NOT WORTH THAT KIND OF MONEY TO SEE US!” LCD took it a step further by announcing five additional shows in NYC. In case their intention of doing this isn’t clear, see their website where their announcement is titled: “Fuck You, Scalpers. Terminal 5 Shows Added.”
Murphy isn’t the only artist battling these scalpers. The Indie-folk band Dispatch, who have announced their first tour in ten years, are taking steps to avoid the overpriced scalping of their tickets, making them purchasable only on Ticketmaster.com and Ticketmaster outlets for a solid $40 across the board. This won’t end scalping but it will make sure no one takes deposits for tickets they haven’t purchased yet. An honorable attempt, but not one that seems to be confronting the problem well enough.
I admit to bragging about my promptness in purchasing my Coachella ticket, but to all of you who are unwillingly sitting this one out: Keep your heads up. You never know, Kanye might ruin it before it starts anyway.