Fiona Apple Tickets Sell Out Instantly

02/24/2012 3:00 PM |

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Minutes after tickets for Fiona Apple’s pair of March return shows at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg went on sale at noon today, they were gone. This after yesterday’s Brooklyn Vegan presale sold out instantly, to much consternation (over what was surely a very, very small number of tickets). And this on top of the Kraftwerk MoMa kerfuffle, which has already been memorialized forever in story and song. It’s like the world is out to get us!

But it’s all utterly predictable. Musical act with large fan base plays a space that can’t fit them all. Panicked ticket seekers get on the Internet as soon as tickets can be bought. All of them do this. Though not all of them can win, their earliest possible preparedness combined with subsequent failure makes them feel like the game is rigged. It’s simple math that people are going to get shut out, and while we might think that it sucks, the fault generally lies with the venues and artists for choosing to prize exclusivity and buzz (and specialness, and intimacy, to be fair) over satisfying the largest possible number of fans. You could laud the artists for taking less money than they could possibly be making, but that side of things is seldom transparent, so who knows.

But the one legitimate gripe remains the role of Stub Hub, and other online ticket brokers in all this…

Several hundred tickets for the two Apple shows are now listed as available on Stub Hub, and some were up well before general tickets went on sale. Some of that might be what’s known as “speculative scalping” in which ticket brokers advertise tickets before they actually have them, on the assumption that they’ll be able to procure them eventually. But surely that can’t cover all of these instances. So how are these brokers getting the mass majority of tickets, to subsequently price-gouge, when 99% of fans are shut out? (The LCD conundrum was never quite solved (and nobody gave much of a shit after that show.) As rickety as the ShoClix system was, it’s worth noting that there’s not a single Kraftwerk ticket available on Stub Hub currently. As always, it’s Ticketmaster (and the paper ticket throwback in general) that seems like the weak link in preventing out-of-control scalping.

Speculation remains rampant that Apple will turn out to be the “???? ????” on the Governor’s Ball lineup. (The mystery slot’s current billing placement seems a little low for that, but poster’s can definitely be changed.) But that hunch, like ticket hoarding conspiracy theories, is just a thought that’s not based any real concrete information.

Follow Jeff on Twitter, @jeff_klingman, how about?

8 Comment

  • Way too many scalpers. So upsetting.

  • It’s a little lesson in economics for music fans. Lack of supply leads to overwhelming demand, which causes rampant inflation in the ticket market. The only solution? Musical act with large fan base needs to schedule more shows.

  • I’m so mad. Tickets for the Royale show in Boston were sold out instantly and now scalper sites are selling them for almost 3 times the cost. Apple’s managers should have had a plan in place to prevent this piracy.

  • What is the problem? Manahattan cost $24 in beads so all the real estate agents are out of control scalpers? The government needs to move in and stop them and control all the prices? One Ron Paul supporter says we should write our Congressman. People don’t get what they want so they go to Mommy and Daddy government to make the world “fair” again (“fair” means someone else does all the work and/or they get someting free). One person spends all day setting up web pages complaining instead of getting a job to pay the extra $50 to get a ticket. This is pathetic.

  • Slight lesson for protesters: don’t buy any tickets. Just buy the album when it drops. Leave the tickets in the scalpers hands. Fiona gets her money, and the scalpers get stuck. Maybe that will help? Don’t waste time writing your Congressman; the corporations already paid for his vote on matters…

  • Jim Wolson is a blowhard idiot.

  • Guys, all due respect but I am not really in agreement. You say in your second paragraph “… the fault generally lies with the venues and artists for choosing to prize exclusivity and buzz (and specialness, and intimacy, to be fair) over satisfying the largest possible number of fans.”….Well, why preciely are they at fault? Yes they are taking advantage of supply and demand, but I don’t see why this is wrong. They need to make a living lke the rest of us…As it stands, revenue streams for artists are WAY down. Selling CDs is not really viable, and live performance is one of the few available ways they can make any money. So they have to maximize it…..admittedly the scalpers are a problem but I think that is a separate issue….

  • “Fault” might be an unnecessarily loaded word. But clearly the choices made by her and her team are what left a lot of people out in the cold for these shows (small demand being eaten up by scalpers is related in explaining why fans felt aggrieved). Now that we know definitively that she’s playing the Governors Ball, it makes more sense, as there’s another outlet with much more capacity for people who were otherwise disappointed.