3.6.09 (J. Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J. Kravitz)

Something’s got to give in this discouraging state of affairs.  Phish tickets have gotten nearly impossible to acquire on actual on-sale dates, and there is no solution in sight.  In a nutshell, this sucks, and many fans are being left ticketless. This weekend, we witnessed the death of online Phish ticket sales, and discovered the only way to score a decent ticket is to be the first in line at an outlet- sometimes.  Although I had most of my tickets, I tried to score tickets for every on-sale this weekend to fill in the gaps and grab tickets and hook up friends in need.  Not interested in buying lawns, I was able to score a whopping two Gorge tickets out of seven on-sales.

This isn’t coming from a place of bitterness-I have my tickets, and for that I am blessed- just one of utter dismay and empathy for those who had similar experiences.  I tried all weekend long to score a decent stub and met with fail after fail after fail- and I consider myself pretty savvy with the ticket thing.  After my multiple experiences this weekend, I thank my lucky stars for having so many friends looking out for one another, because without such a network I’d be out of luck right now.  Yet not everyone has such a network, and these on-sales are their only real chance of getting tickets, and herein is my point.

Page and Trey (J.Kravitz)

Page and Trey (J.Kravitz)

Let me narrate this weekend’s bumpy road, and I bet that some of it sounds quite familiar.  Red Rocks- not a chance.  I never even saw the screen after I selected two four-day passes.  Next day- I tried for Darien while a friend stuck out on Merriweather.  I was never able to access a screen to actually select tickets- not sure why.  Maybe I refreshed one too many times, but I was never let back in, even after restarting my computer- though obviously nothing was left at that point.  There is nothing on Live Nation’s site about refreshing screens.

SPAC- nothing.  I am thrown into a waiting room from which I never emerge. Once I decided to bite the bullet and refresh the screen, tickets were gone.  Live Nation’s server seemed to be jamming every single time, and even when I did get by the captcha in under fifteen seconds, there was always an error message waiting on the next screen.

blockbuster_video_storeMeanwhile, I heard of a friend’s success at their local Blockbuster, and decided that for Shoreline, that would be my plan.  But first the Gorge was going on sale.  Completely defeated and ready to toss my computer out the window, I would attempt Gorge tickets as a mere formality.  But less than an hour before they dropped, a friend stopped by and suggested we look at places to go in the city.  We hopped in her car and sped down to a little Ticketmaster outlet within a store in the Mission.  Upon arrival, there were about nine people there and about a half an hour to go.  I figured we were screwed but decided to wait and be told formally.  In conversation, I learned that eight or nine people had scored four-day passes for Red Rocks there the previous day. Hmmm, I thought, we are going back to the old-school.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

While waiting in line, I realized that our technology has finally outdone itself.  With so many people trying to score tickets against insurmountable odds created by ticket bots, hacker software, and scalpers, online ticket sales for Phish shows are officially dead.  Sure, there will always be stories of the people who were lucky enough to get them- but that’s what it is, pure luck.  Sure, you can strategize until the cows come home, but with zero barriers to entry, when thousands of people all hit the button simultaneously, whoever gets pulled into the system is quite random.  Online ticketing is far too accessible- you can sit in your underwear with your bong and click the mouse, or try order tickets when you should be working.  Back in the day, you’d have to go to a Ticketmaster outlet- it took a lot more effort.  Online on-sales have become no better than another lottery at this point, so we are left to trade and scalp; it’s a bad scene.

As the guy at the outlet furiously ran credit cards and printed tickets, the two-day passes sold out, as expected, with the person before us.  We did manage to score two individual tickets, and now she’s in.  That’s my success story.  But it wasn’t supposed to be the main story- that was coming Sunday with Shoreline.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

I tried for Hartford and landed in another waiting room, then all that was available was lawn- all within about thirty seconds.  Really?!  I got into the system in the first thirty seconds and all that was left were lawn seats- something was going on here.  Unless you got right in at the moment the tickets went on sale, your chances at a pavilion seat were slim to none.  Sure we can all get stubbed down, but it’s all about having your own ticket in your own pocket.

Yet for Sunday I had scouted my plan.  I located a random Blockbuster an hour outside the city, and was heading there early- very early.  Waking up at 7:07, I hopped in my car by 7:30 and was in the desolate parking lot of Blockbuster at 8:30 am- alone!  I had done it, I had accomplished my goal- I was first at an outlet.  I smoked a joint solo just to celebrate my forthcoming pair of 100 level tickets, and sat on the curb with the Sunday Times- blowing up my solo lot scene.  I spoke with the manager, and he was on board with the mission, so I relaxed and enjoyed the morning sunshine for 3 1/2 hours.  About an hour into my personal sit-in, a second guy rolled up, and we shot the shit as we gloated about our situation.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

I checked in with the manager again, telling him about the high demand, the scalpers, and the incredibly time-sensitive nature of his forthcoming task.  He was down, he would do all he could to make sure we were hooked.  Beautiful- or so we thought.

Finally, it was five to twelve, and tickets were about to drop.  As I watched him navigate the computer, I realized how slow he was at each movement and began to fear that his lack of speed would be our doom- but I was first- I knew I would at least get my two.  12:00 hits!  He pulls up two pavilions but has no idea what button to press to try and acquire the tickets.  After about twenty seconds of searching he finally found the “add to cart” button, which I thought was strange for a corporate outlet.  A cart?  Anyhow, as he entered the order, his computer came back with an error message!?  What the fuck?!  I came here to avoid error messages!  And so he started the process from the beginning again, and I knew I was sunk.  By the time he pulled ANY ticket, it was 12:10 and it was a lawn, which we let a third guy have who came up at the eleventh hour.

Fishman (J.Kravitz)

Fishman (J.Kravitz)

I was momentarily livid.  It was so obvious that Live Nation sent their guy to install their computer at Blockbuster, dropped off an instruction manual and left.  The guy confessed to being “very new at this” having only sold twenty tickets ever, and no offense, but it showed- he was totally unprepared for the task at hand.  If I was behind the terminal, I’m confident we would have all walked out with pavilions, but alas, what could we do- he was the guy that worked there.  To make a long story short- first in line, 3 1/2 hour wait, no tickets.  Nice.

What to do now?  I have no idea.  With internet on sales as random as the lottery, outlets’ efficiency subject to staff competence, and a phone system in which we get hung up on, we are left with very little control over our own destiny to score Phish tickets.  It’s reached the point of absurdity, and I have yet to hear a legitimate solution.  This whole paperless ticket trend wouldn’t work for Phish, as you wouldn’t be able to trade or buy tickets for friends unless you were actually going in the door with them.  Though by subverting scalpers, everyone just might be able to get tickets again.

Ironically, part of the problem is the relatively low price of Phish’s tickets.  With a $50 face value, they are sold at a fraction of the cost of any major act like Bruce Springsteen, The Dead, or U2.  Knowing the profit margin available on Phish tickets, scalpers, like vultures, flock to them using ticket bots and mark them up 400-500%.  If that’s their business, how can you blame them?  The incredibly high demand for Phish tickets far outstrips the supply for any given show, driving the true market value of a Phish ticket far above $50.  With such a high demand, they are able to make ridiculous profits on Phish.  In trying to keep it cheap for the fans, the irony is that fans aren’t getting the tickets; it’s a total mess.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

So we are left to our networks of friends, trading boards, and scalpers- not always feasible options for everybody.  I am a firm believer that if you go to just about any show and try hard enough, you will always find one.  But it shouldn’t have to be like that; it shouldn’t be so damn hard for to get a ticket to see our favorite band.  But with the band members taken out of business decisions this time around, we are left with Coran Capshaw and corporation Phi$h running the show, and, honestly, they seem like they couldn’t care less.  Sure, they put anti-scalping messages on Phish’s ticket site- but do they actually do anything? Not so far.

ticketsnow-ticketmasterBruce has done something, Trent Reznor has said something, Eddie Vedder pioneered the anti-corporate ticket movement, and Metallica, AC/DC, and Tom Waits have tried paperless tickets requiring credit card and ID for entry.  Yet nothing but silence has come from camp Phish as TicketsNow continues to hawk all their summer shows at absurdly high prices.  It seems clear that Phi$h Inc. likes the hype and these sky-rocketing prices in the secondary market, as the demand to see Phish will only increase with every fan shut out.  In the end, with the millions rolling in, no one cares who is getting the tickets or how they are doing it, this much is plainly obvious.

This is 2009, folks- we can pull up our friend’s entire music libraries on our phones from across the country, we can zap messages to people around the globe instantaneously and locate anything with pinpoint accuracy via hand-held GPS devices, but somehow we can’t figure out an effective system to get tickets in the hands of real fans.  The real question remains, does anyone really want to?


To correlate some numbers to this debacle, check out “The Economics of Phish Tickets,” thanks to Posterus Nutbagus!  Here is an explanation of the spread sheet.



2889100254_8494a287a8Speaking of tickets, The Phish Thoughts Ticket Exchange has been updated for all the new shows!  We have opened up the board to the public- no longer will you need to email for an invite.  Please respect the board, as this is a community resource to get around the secondary ticket market.  Please respect the board and post carefully to make sure you are putting your info in the right place. Please read the instructions on the board before posting.  There is a permanent link to the board on the upper right of the home page.  If you make a successful deal through the board, please send an email with “Great Success!” as the subject line with the details of the deal in the text so we can track transactions.  If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions, please email!




I am re-posting this classic SBD for the sake of completing our ride through Red Rocks history.  We conclude with a straight up classic- certainly one of the best ever in Morrison.  Enjoy the blistering show from start to finish, as we dream of the end of July.

I: Wilson, Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself, Rift, Down With Disease, It’s Ice, Tela, Stash

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Run Like an Antelope, Fluffhead, Scent of a Mule, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil, Maze, Contact > Frankenstein

E: Suzy Greenberg

Last “Frankenstein”07-26-91.

Tags: ,

307 Responses to “TicketShit”

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  1. Henry Holland Says:

    One solution would be for the demand to go down. To have that happen

    a) the band would have to do 50-gig tours in both the summer and fall, get up to 100+ shows a year again

    That’s never going to happen again

    b) the band would have to suck, like, Coventry The Curtain (With) levels of suck

    I don’t think anybody wants *that* to happen

    I got a 2-day pass to The Gorge and I still can’t believe it, pure luck.

  2. macaronihead Says:

    confirmed a trade thanks to the phish thoughts tix exchange board! Thanks for making this happen Mr. Miner. I do get to go to SPAC!!!

  3. walls1620 Says:

    Not necessarily a feasible idea. But, how bout instead of the step by ticketmaster where it asks you to “input the word/words/numbers as you see in the box” they ask you for the guitarists first name or some rediculously easy substitute that would weed out or slow down the scalpers who are ruining it for everyone else!!! Just a thought….

  4. Bandnana Says:

    Miner, I gave my regards when you posted it, but again that really really sucks. Also illustrates that there is no perfect system. Even back before all this madness, for people who couldn’t make it to a barren outlet, or computer, or phone, or even a credit card, lockout was a potential (on a much smaller scale). Thats why paperless tickets for phish scares the hell out of me. I was lucky enough to pull a couple shows on lottery for each leg, and a combination of money and trading with friends who went for tickets to shows they knew they would never try for, but I would. I now have a sick list of shows to combine with all 3 Hamptons for an amazing year. None of this would have been possible had it not been for the ability to trade tickets that you bought extra of for just such an occasion (or a friend did). Even if this was pre-hiatus I would not want to gamble my chances of catching all the shows I could just on the outlets, computer, or phone because of the paperless thing.

    I guess my point is, the brokers are here to stay, and ticketmaster basically started the industry so its not going anywhere. I see only 3 options in my stupid head. 1 The band only plays festivals of their own, this way all the tickets are theirs and they can’t sell out. Meaning the value of the ticket is the value of the ticket. 2 A group of fans with enough money, knowhow, and piss and vinegar to create a broker or (basically a new ticketmaster but with ethics to human life and emotion) comprised solely of fans who’s interest is to keep tickets affordable for real fans. Basically it would almost have to be a charity since in order to do this you really couldn’t make profit cuz that would rise prices theoretically. 3 We all just settle into the world as it is and realize that somehow the universe has given us one more reason to feel special and greatful at a show. Now it wasn’t just our efforts that will get us to a show, as was usually the case. Now almost every time we walk through those gates we have to think of all the rediculous ticket peddling assbags we had to beat out to get there. So congrats to all who gots, good luck to all who nots. Sorry for the narrative Miner and everyone. Oh by the way here’s the list I mentioned:

    Asheville (birthday show), Star Lake, Deer Creek, Alpine x2, Shoreline, Gorge x2, Toyota, Darien. So I am beyond stoked!

  5. youenjoy09 Says:

    HELLO ?!?!?!?
    PHISH ?!?!?!?!
    Can you hear us? Isn’t there anything at all that can be done regarding how Ticketbastard continues to handle the release of your tickets? Other artists have already spearheaded this movement….all you have to do is jump onboard! It is pretty clear at this point that there are some secret kick-downs occurring between Ticketbastard and TicketsNOW that is not in the interest of all that is fair….. and yet you do nothing. I must say, your lack of action on this issue is not only confusing, but disappointing and depressing as well. Please do something….. anything.

  6. PhishTaboot Says:

    No offense Miner, but you are way to vocal about disliking lawn tix. Though I agree with your preference, you could still potentially offend your devoted readers or at the very least suck the excitement out of someones lawn scores. Just a thought….seems like I see it a lot that’s all…huge fan btw!!!

  7. Joe England Says:

    I think that the only real solution is taking a couple of steps back in regards to tickets sales. If there were no on-line sales and you HAD to go to an outlet store is would change the scene. An another novel idea would be if it were all outlet stores that maybe the stores in that state where the show was gonna go down had more tickets then the out-state stores. It might not make a difference, but at least i would now that the asshole who was trying to sell me deer creek tickets for $250 had to stand in line like the rest of us.

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    I feel like the pro-business, anti regulation political environment of the last 10-15 years or so has contributed to this problem. Ticket scalping went from a fringe, quasi-legal thing to a thriving big business. What that means is that in a new political environment we can push the pendulum back the other way.

    What this needs is more mainstream attention like the Springsteen thing. This isn’t just a music thing -> Mets and Yankees fans are having the same issues with their new ballparks too. The problem we face right now is the perception in the mainstream is that this is just reasonable capitalist business, and supply and demand means we should just deal with it.

  9. Baxter Says:

    thanx for your perspective Miner. I was pretty bummed that I got no tix for any shows as of yet, and feeling pretty pissed. However, I know that I will get tickets somehow, and I will be up front for 3 or 4 shows this summer. I am an old tour vet, I just have no connections now-a-days, but the fates will see me there. IT will happen, I just hope I don’t have to fork over $200 bucks per show on eBay 🙁

  10. Bob Log Says:

    What was the difference between the June tour and the August tour? For example, it took Deer Creek over 2 hours to sell out, giving me and my friends time to get tickets (though it was still took forever and was very stressful). For the August tour it’s taking 2 minutes for these places to sell out?

  11. Al Says:

    See my problem? It’s not only that I don’t get a ticket – there ain’t even a show to get one for!!! Please, Phish, come to Europe again. Always been excellent shows here. The American Folks surely want to see ya in tiny clubs again, where they can buy a ticket at the club’s box office right that evening……ha, ha, ha….! That’s what I did in Cologne 02/16/97.

  12. Matso Says:

    Miner, if the situation was so tough, why didn’t you go for the lawn tickets? Seems to me in these circumstances, it’s a case of beggars can’t be choosers.

    Are there any venues in the US which aren’t signed up with either LiveNation or Ticketbastard? Maybe Phish should just play places like Limestone (permanent residency, drop by whenever you feel like a show) or some other field somewhere and handle tickets themselves.

    I accept that a lot of people want to see the band, but I’d be surprised if it’s at the same levels as 97/99, when the scene was at its height. Even then you could always get a ticket legitimately if you were on the ball and a bit lucky.

    That’s the crazy thing – there is availability for all of these shows, right now. I could go to the entire summer tour if I wanted to. But it would cost me between $125 and $600 a show.

    I agree with c0wfunk completely: this is classic Bush-era deregulation which has led to the whole idea of ticket prices becoming a farce. The concept of TicketsNow is just completely disgraceful.

  13. Nate Hoover Says:

    Things are out of control and I do think that the Band can find a way to make things better…they purely are not trying.

    I did get my GW & SPAC tix…but I had to get to GW at 4 am only to find out I had to come back at 9 for a “lottery” which I got lucky enough to be 37th in line for and got pavilions. For SPAC the PTBM gods shined their love on me for the first time since 2000 (though I asked for Hartford too).

    Good luck all…I’ll hopefully see you this summer.

  14. jimmy Says:

    I agree with Henry Holland’s solution – to increase the supply of tickets. It doesn’t have to be with more shows – it could be with bigger venues. Football stadium-sized venues. If places like Alpine are selling out with 35K seats, then they should be able to mostly fill up 40K baseball stadiums and put a big dent in 65K football stadiums.

    If there are more tickets available than fans desperate to get them, then I see the ticketsnow problem declining significantly, if not disappearing.

    I must be missing something, why isn’t it as simple as playing bigger venues?

  15. nonoyolker Says:

    Great write up Miner. This is a situation where no one is spared. I have resorted to buying tix from ebay and have gotten absolutely killed, paying 2 1/2 x face for LAWN SEATS! Not sure what else tI can do.

  16. runawayjim Says:

    I’m a bit confused. You pulled up lawn tickets for some of the shows and just left it? I hate to say it, but you had tickets. You just chose against taking them (or maybe I’m reading this wrong). I love what you write, but if you really want to be at the show, why not take whatever seat you could get?

    The answer to the problem is paperless tickets. You show up with ID and credit card and that’s how you get in. Sure, it means no trades, it means no transfer of tickets if you can’t make the show, but it prevents scalpers (most of whom hate the music) from buying up all the tickets. If you want the tickets to get into the hands of the real fans, we need desperate measures. That includes non-transferable tickets.

    I lucked out. I got my Great Woods tickets through the pre-sale. I tried again for Red Rocks and Hartford in the second pre-sale. I got denied. I figured I wouldn’t try hard for Red Rocks in the general on sale (saving money and all), but I did a couple minutes after they went on sale and it was sold out. On Saturday, I was prepared for my Hartford tickets. I got on right at noon and got 2 pavilion seats, albeit in the absolute last row of the pavilion.

    For those of you who didn’t get tickets, if you want this to stop and you want tickets to be more available, DO NOT BUY FROM SCALPERS OR BROKERS (including StubHub and TicketsNow). If you pay more than face value for a ticket, you just keep these dirtbags in business. You don’t need to see a show that bad. People who pay more than face value for their tickets have no right to complain.

  17. AbePhroman Says:

    Yeah this is bullshit. I couldn’t pull a single Merriweather lawn?! WTF?

  18. tmwsiy Says:

    As usual, with all things Phish, you have pinpoint understanding & eloquence in parlaying the situation at hand. I really thing paperless ticketing is the best route to take in this disaster. That solution too, is fraught with drawbacks, yet it is better that the current way of doing things. In the meantime, real fans really need to continue to help each other out and give what they want to get back. I arranged some trades for old Pollock posters to get Hampton tickets and after all the dust settled, I had two extras. The temptation to sell the tickets and recoup the value of the posters sold, the flights, rental car and hotel, was tangible. Yet, I ended up gifting them away at face value. Will this help me get shows that I was shut out for this summer? Perhaps. Sometimes what goes around, comes around. The ticket board is a great idea- thanks.

  19. DannyB Says:

    I couldn’t agree more!!! The Ticket situation is out of control. I was shut out of Hampton, and the whole first leg of summer tour. Before the second leg of summer tour was announced, I broke down and bought two tickets to Jones Beach for $250 ($125 per ticket) on craigslist. I have never had to do that before, but I was nervous that it would be my only hope. Second leg of summer tour is announced…..I try for Red Rocks….nothing. Then I decide to explore the Blockbuster option, I read about people having success on phantasy tour, and figured why not. I couldn’t get the day off from work, so my girlfriend went and waited in line for 3 hours and got Darien Lakes and SPAC lawn. I consider myself to be very lucky, not only to have a grilfriend cool enough to wait in line to grab tickets, but also to have gotten 2 lawn tickets. I love seeing Phish close up, but I am not going to turn down tickets just because they are lawn seats. I always have fun on the lawn, and it is always a million times better than being stuck in the parking lot. Good luck to everyone out there!!!!!! And please sell or trade your tickets to friends, and do it for face value. I had to buy my Jones Beach tickets at a mark up from a phan, just because she “needed the money”. I understand the temptation when you are low on cash to try and make some quick loot, but with all the problems online, at blockbuster, scalpers, etc. We shouldn’t have to worry about the phans wanting to screw us as well.

  20. notkuroda Says:

    I think we need to see how a tour goes before we start calling for radical change in Phish’s ticketing systems. I am not completely comfortable with the paperless idea. I’m sure it would make the band commit to paying a lot more people to get that system running. But honestly, how many true phish fans are going to pay some scalper $200 for merriweather lawns? I’m really hoping that as the band tours, the recession moves on, and those who don’t really love phish find other ways to spend their money, that this situation works itself out. I don’t think the market has really established itself yet, and I think the band would be prudent to see how things are before making a bad problem worse. I truly believe that a lot of the people on this summer tour will abandon this scene after the summer. Not because Phish sucks, but because for many who attend Phish shows it’s about the party. And there’s a lot more economical parties to go to these days then there was in the 90’s.

  21. CS Says:

    As much as we want to hold Phish in high esteem and infallible, much of the blame has to placed with them. It’s not Ticketmaster’s fault for setting up a system where they can profit from secondary sales – the market exists and there’s nothing illegal about them doing it. (I’m not sure how LiveNation benefits from the secondary market). Plus, neither company has any reason to care about who actually gets the ticket. Their sole purpose is to sell out the concert, which they did.

    In ticket sales, the band is the only party who has an interest in making sure only actual fans get the tickets as the band makes no money off of the secondary market. Phish, however, chose to separate themselves from the business decisions. Although their reasons for focusing exclusively on the music are rational and make sense, they have consequences. One of which is the failure to come up with a system that deters scalping.

    What also is frustrating is the lack of transparency in the system they do control. Although they have no obligation to reveal these details, it would still help in understanding the demand. How many tickets did they get for “mail order” (pre-sale online)? How many requests did they get? Did they stop any scalpers during that process?

    The ball is in Phish’s hands. I am sure I will be flamed here for placing the blame on them as opposed to evil Ticketmaster, but the reality is only they have any interest in seeing something done about the problem. Only Phish can insist on alternative venues. Only Phish can insist on a Nine Inch Nails type ticketing system. Clearly Phish has bargaining power – they sold out every single show this summer in minutes. Let’s ask them to use it.

    Part of the reason I found Phish 1.0 so fun was their uniqueness and their crazy ideas – from a Big Ball Jam to a chess game with the fans. Nobody had done anything like the Clifford Ball before but they pulled it off. Why can’t we ask for the same from Phish 3.0?

  22. Exree Hipp Says:

    Is the argument that there should be more tickets, or that they should be more realistically priced to decrease demand for them? You live in a situation where the demand far outstrips the supply, and the only way to address that is to either make real-world lines mandatory (ie only sell paper tickets through outlets) or jack up the face value price of the ticket.

    Since Phish has decided to sell tickets online, the first option is out the window. In an effort not to leave any money on the table, they have gone in with TicketMaster and LiveNation to allow some of their tickets to be scalped through a broker site that exists under a corporate banner (so they can see revenue onthe higher priced tickets) instead of letting the secondary market exist without their taking part in it.

    The alternative is to charge what the tickets actually ought to cost, based on their demand, which I think is easily into Billy Joel/Elton John territory. Would you rather have that? Personally I would rather see the shows for less and deal with the mania required to get into those I don’t score tickets for through the primary release.

    Being unhappy that there are a lot of people trying to get tickets all at once does not make it a scam. If you have 15,000 tickets available, and it is possible to buy 4 at a time, AND you’re selling a large chunk of tickets through the official Phish presale, then you’re talking less than 3,000 individual orders on the day they go onsale. If Phish can play to more than 70,000 people on any given day, it is not difficult for me to imagine 3,000 requests happening immediately.

  23. Mike Says:

    I don’t think there’s a way around the ticketmaster/livenation bullshit, but the lottery has to go. Its too easy. My solution is to revert back to mail order.

    For those who don’t remember, “Phish-Tickets-By-Mail” was a tedious process requiring fans to purchase money orders and actually mail them along with their ticket requests. Fans had to pony up the cash up front and wait several weeks for the FedEX packages to arrive. It seems a little prehistoric these days, but would solve many of the current issues. Mail order would accomplish at least 3 things:
    1) The process is much more difficult (in fact it was quite labor intensive) weeding out the casual scalpers.
    2) Cash is required up front meaning people couldn’t rack up their credit cards with 100 lottery requests.
    3) Fans would be forced to choose what shows they wanted to see rather than attempting online requests for every show in hopes to trade for others.

    No, this would not completely eliminate the problem, but I can testify that I submitted mail requests for probably 30+ shows in the mid to late 90s and was never denied. Yeah, I’d typically get lawn seats for the hotter venues like Deer Creek, but I always got tickets. I’ll grant you the demand wasn’t as high back then, but Phish was pretty damn popular in their hey-day and would still sell out every venue they played.

    I spoke to a few folks who actually scored Hampton tickets through the lottery and some put in up to 60 requests, even though you supposedly arent allowed to. In doing the math, a person who submits a single request, as the rules state has a better chance of being struck by lightning.

    There’s no way to control greed, but this would at least give fans a fighting chance of getting tickets for face value.

  24. Mutha_Ohks Says:

    I say try some paperless GA shows. If your buddy really wants to go- he/she can get their own ticket, and GA means you can still hang out toether in the show.

  25. Mutha_Ohks Says:

    ^ plus I’d rather go alone, than not at all.

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