Thursday, March 27, 2003

NO PRESALES: Hmmmm. What to make of Radiohead getting Ebay to pull sales of tickets for forthcoming gigs? On one hand, you can see they have a point - and it's not easy to complain about a band taking a move to swipe tickets from the hands of scalpers to keep the prices down. On the other... we're a little curious as to the claims in the NME that people offering tickets for sale on the site were told they wouldn't be getting any. Now, this might be sloppy reporting, but if it is the case that offering a ticket on Ebay means the seller won't receive their tickets to pass on, how will Radiohead know who these people are? Are Ebay going to hand over names and addresses direct to Mr Yorke and his friends? Are Radiohead setting themselves up as some sort of Karma Police?
Of course, Ebay isn't the only auction site on the net; sure, this might work as a stunt, but we suspect that the dedicated tout will probably sidle over to, say, QXL or and offer the tickets there. That's if the Ebay stunt is genuine anyway - when we checked, there were still sixty five seperate auctions online at the E.
Ensuring ticket sales are fair is a great idea, but frankly, unless you have someone stood in the street ensuring that touts are selling to walk-up at face value only (like that would happen), you're not going to do anything to change the fact that people with lots of money have a better chance of getting to see a gig than people with less money, and that there are going to be people who attempt to exploit that. Perhaps fairness would be better served by admitting that telephone sales lines are, basically, a lottery and don't allocate on first come, first served so much as earliest connected gets the tickets and that rather than leave the randomness of the telephone system to decide who can see Thom emote, make it a proper lottery. Surely that would make more sense than trying to\police Ebay?

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