Radiohead and the End of Scalping

This story has a happy ending. A mother and 16-year-old son hopelessly attempted to buy Radiohead tickets after being told the tickets they purchased on a secondary ticketing site for $1500 were no longer accepted. To make matters worse they had flown five hours to make the gig. The Shrine Auditorium (Los Angeles) informed attendee’s last week that Radiohead would not honor any ticket bought online on a secondary ticketing site. What this meant was hundreds of Stub-Hub, Vivid Seats, Seat-Geek seats going for thousands would not be accepted. Numerous sites have offered refunds but some found themselves gravely out of luck for the over priced seats they had just purchased.

Radiohead’s policy swiftly puts an end to scalping. You buy a ticket from the venue, and you and ONLY you can pick up your ticket before the show and walk into the venue. Simple. Sure this may cause a few headaches for last minute cancelations but ultimately it means that when tickets go on sale you aren’t competing with hundreds if not thousands of online ticketing bots, organized crime, and people looking to exploit your fandom.

This policy surely contributed to the fair share of tickets that became available right before the show. Numerous Reddit users posted that they had purchased tickets the day of the show online. As for me, I showed up at 7:45pm to the box office line, waited 90 minutes or so and purchased a seat as the show was just beginning. I ran into the venue having missed two songs and sat behind Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich in the 15th row of the orchestra. Behind me was the mom and son enjoying their first Radiohead show for the far more reasonable price of face value.

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