I’m a big, fat Radiohead loser, part 1

How I sacrificed my dignity to score tickets to the summer’s hottest concert

Tickets for Radiohead’s Hollywood Bowl shows on August 24th and 25th went on sale ages ago. Thanks to Ticketmaster’s constant flow of email blasts, of which I’m a recipient, I knew the precise moment they would be made available.

And I did nothing, for a variety of reasons; like, I have a few days because they’re not going to sell out right away, and I just care about getting in because the Bowl is a satisfying experience no matter where you are sitting thanks to the huge video screens flanking the stage; or, yeah, I still have their last album, In Rainbows, in heavy rotation 10 months after its release so do I really need to see them play songs I’m overly familiar with; or even, I’ll do it after I wash my car… you get the procrastinatory picture by now.

So, of course, they sold out in a few minutes– or they may as well have as far as I was concerned.

Last week, the epiphany of what-have-I-done?-ness came out of nowhere, or, as I like to think of it, Flavorpill, which is my homepage these days. In a frenzy, I started with Craig’s List, which had a few ads from people with either extra tickets or looking to swap nights. The majority of the CL ads though were from ticket brokers, primarily Turbo Ticket. Did I want to spend $4000 for two pool circle seats? Does anyone?

I checked Ticketmaster’s re-sell sight. There were plenty available in all sections but at much higher prices than Turbo Ticket for similar locations. (If you hate Ticketmaster already, I suggest you skip this next part and I take no responsibility for any stress related injuries.)

But the beauty part of Ticketmaster’s re-sell sight is how lucrative it is for Ticketmaster. In the first place, they charge a service fee (er, in TM lingo that’s known as a “convenience” fee) plus a transaction fee to the original buyer. When the buyer wants to re-sell the tickets through TM’s service, they pay a commission to TM, plus the second buyer pays a service fee to TM.

Yes, Ticketmaster gets three service fees out of the same ticket(s.)

Based on price and principal (I actually do have a few; go figure.) I went with Turbo Ticket, paying $230 ($95 per ticket, plus service fee and shipping) for a pair of $39 seats in W3, which is so far up and back at the Bowl that if I lean back too far I’ll fall into the parking lot.

But that’s where I’ll happily be on August 25th, with the BF, and if you’re there too and you got your tickets in a more dignified manner, feel free to find me and let me know what a big, fat Radiohead loser I truly am. (And, dear reader, if it makes any difference when gauging my dignity, rest assured I got tickets for Sigur Ros’ performance at the Greek Theater in October the old fashioned way; I bought them at the box office.)

Next in part 2: The tickets arrive.

5 thoughts on “I’m a big, fat Radiohead loser, part 1”

  1. Aw, as a fellow Radiohead fan, I forgive you! :P I had to get my tickets (box seats) from StubHub. My hubs and I figured we wouldn’t get a real vacation this year, so we spent the dough on RH tickets. I think that makes me a bigger, fatter loser. :)

  2. Despite the ridiculous fees, I hear TM is losing money.
    when you buy tickets at the box office instead of their (or Ticketmaster’s etc.) website, is the service fee waived or do they charge the exact same price?

  3. I’m not sure what the policy is at the Hollywood Bowl box office, but at the Greek Theater BO I paid a $3 per ticket service charge, a mere fraction that Ticketmaster would have charged had I bought the tickets from them.

  4. I don’t know what the policy is on lease events like Radiohead (although I suspect it’s the same,) for the regular season shows (ie. L.A. Phil, KCRW nights, jazz, etc.) there is no service charge if you buy at the box office. If the face value is $25, you pay $25.

    PS, I’m one of those who should’ve avoided the paragraph about TicketBastard. Three service charges on one ticket? That should be a criminal act. “Convenience” fee? Convenient for who? Certainly not me.

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