Karma or... what for Oakland show 2

USA and Canada (April 1 - June 4, 2009). Special concert for fans in NYC (February 19). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
malke
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:26 pm

Karma or... what for Oakland show 2

Postby malke » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:01 am

Please, tell me what the trick is. I tried for all three presales, and this morning, did everything right, was right on time, online and by phone at the same time, and I never ever got in. (Though I could get in to the VIP seats, which I simply can't afford.)

I can only stay online from 10-10:30 on Thursday for the new Oakland show's presale, since I have a class to teach. Any suggestions about how to succeed? I'm serious. Is it really just luck? I know so many of you managed to do it. Please help.

I can actually see the Paramount from my window. It would be simply heartbreaking to look at it from afar on Apr 14.

Thanks so much. I apologize for the continued hard-luck story.

Michelle
Fontana
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Re: Karma or... what for Oakland show 2

Postby Fontana » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:40 am

My Date With Ticketmaster

Posted on Monday March 2, 2009 at 05:30 PM 3 |

There’s been a lot of griping and cussing from fans lately about the difficulty of trying to buy tickets for a show through Ticketmaster. So in the interest of journalism (and because I’m a huge Leonard Cohen fan), I tried to do just that myself this morning.

And guess what? I’m pretty sure I had the same experience that’s been enraging people all over the country.

The show I wanted to take in is April 13 at The Paramount Theatre in Oakland, Calif., and tickets went on sale today at 10:00 a.m. PST.

You’ll notice I said wanted. I won’t be seeing Leonard at The Paramount Theatre. Unless, of course, I want to pay a lot more than face value for the tickets. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here’s a minute-by-minute account of how my attempt to buy tickets went down.

10:00 a.m.: I cruise over to Ticketmaster.com and type in Leonard Cohen. I click on the Oakland show, ready to score my prime seats. Looks like I jumped the gun though, because tickets aren’t available yet.

10:01 a.m.: I navigate back to the homepage, type in Leonard Cohen again and hit enter. Select the Oakland show again. Bingo! I ask for two seats at any price with the best available section and location option.

I type in the captcha and we’re in business. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Score! Two seats. Where? Balcony Row D, Seats 1 and 3, priced at $129.50 each (plus service charges of course, but that’s a discussion we’ll have some other time).

Wait a minute! You’re telling me that one minute after tickets went on sale, the best seats available are in Row D of the balcony? Uh huh.

I’ve learned from experience that sometimes if you hit the “search again link” you can come up with better seats. So right away, I try it. Big mistake.

10:03 a.m.: I hit the “search again” link. Waiting, waiting, waiting. What do you think I see next? You guessed it. “Sorry, no exact matches were found, but other tickets may still be available.” That’s Ticketmaster-speak for sold-out. Curses!

To ease my pain the nice people at Ticketmaster have helpfully provided a link for Ticket Exchange Marketplace, where I can buy tickets from someone who was lucky enough to get tickets, but in the space of three minutes, has decided they don’t want them anymore. How thoughtful.

I resist the temptation to see just what I’ll now have to fork over if I want to see Leonard in the Bay Area. After about 8 minutes, the pressure is too much and I cave. Sooo…

10:12 a.m.: I click the link for Ticket Exchange Marketplace, where I see there are now 65 people selling tickets for the Oakland show at a significant markup. The top price, for Orchestra seats, is around $800 for two tickets. Wow. That was fast.

Now I’m a devoted Leonard Cohen fan. I realize he doesn’t tour very often and this is probably the last time he’ll do a tour of this scale. I was even prepared to pay $251 for Orchestra seats. After all, we’re talking about a living legend.

There is no way, however, that I can justify forking out $400 a ticket. Especially not in this economy. I’m not saying I couldn’t afford it; I can - although it would mean sacrifices. (Eating is overrated anyway.)

What I’m saying is when I weigh the merits of blowing that kind of money for something like this, they don’t add up. (Plus if my parents ever found out, I’d never hear the end of it – some things never change.)

I love all types of music, which means I’ve seen plenty of shows over the years. Heck, I’ve even purchased the majority of my tickets through Ticketmaster. I’m sure I’m dating myself here, but I remember camping out in front of a record store to score choice seats when tickets went on sale. Ah, the good old days.

But things change, and when it became possible to buy tickets online, I adapted and started buying them that way.

Admittedly, a lot of the bands I make it a point to see aren’t the ones whose tickets sell out in a matter of minutes. That’s probably why I’ve never had this experience with Ticketmaster before.

Of course, I also haven’t gone to that many shows since Ticketmaster went into the business of secondary ticketing. I’m sure there are plenty of people inside the industry who would argue that there’s no connection between this and not being able to get tickets. I’m just not one of them.

(Update: As of 2:30 p.m. PST, Orchestra seats at The Oakland Theatre were topping out at $1254.02 on Ticket Exchange. Guess I should have jumped on them when they were only $400 each.)

http://www.pollstar.com/blogs/news/arch ... 51786.aspx
Baldwyn
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Re: Karma or... what for Oakland show 2

Postby Baldwyn » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:45 am

malke wrote:Please, tell me what the trick is. I tried for all three presales, and this morning, did everything right, was right on time, online and by phone at the same time, and I never ever got in. (Though I could get in to the VIP seats, which I simply can't afford.)

I can only stay online from 10-10:30 on Thursday for the new Oakland show's presale, since I have a class to teach. Any suggestions about how to succeed? I'm serious. Is it really just luck? I know so many of you managed to do it. Please help.

I can actually see the Paramount from my window. It would be simply heartbreaking to look at it from afar on Apr 14.

Thanks so much. I apologize for the continued hard-luck story.

Michelle
So at 9:59, I went to the event website, and I started hitting refresh, until it showed tickets were for sale. I selected the number I wanted, and hit submit, and was rejected because I had to type in the password. So I typed in the password, hit submit, did the words, and got tickets. I'd recommend having the password in your copy/paste buffer ready to go, so you can drop it in when the box appears. The above blog shows him navigating back out, but that's no good. Just hit refresh on the event website! That's all I can say.

Best of luck on Thursday!
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mwaldman
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Re: Karma or... what for Oakland show 2

Postby mwaldman » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:06 am

Michelle -

Baldwyn has given very good advice. I got good seats in Toronto and great seats in New York by logging into the event screen at 9:59 (use the direct link that Jarkko has so graciously provided) and refreshing until tickets were on sale. One word of caution - if you refresh the screen rapidly more than 8 times, Ticketmaster will lock you out and you'll have to back out and start over. I try to wait until about 10 - 15 seconds before 10:00 before beginning to refresh the screen. Also, if you don't already have an account with Ticketmaster, be sure to log into the Ticketmaster site to set up your account (name, address, credit card information, etc.) well before the time tickets actually go on sale. It's never too early to set up your account - today would be a good time!

Good luck on Thursday.

Mike
"If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
~ G.K. Chesterton
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mirka
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Location: Northern California, previously: Warsaw, Poland

Re: Karma or... what for Oakland show 2

Postby mirka » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:56 am

Michelle, I just called the Paramount, their recorded message says that tickets go on sale at the box office as well.
Since you are so close, maybe you could try in person ? the official sale for the second show starts a day later then fans pre-sale.
HOW TO ORDER TICKETS:
# In Person: NO SERVICE CHARGE! Purchase tickets to Paramount Theatre events in person at the Box Office, located on the 21st Street side of the Paramount Theatre. Save yourself service charge fees and enjoy the benefit of selecting your favorite seats with the assistance of our knowledgeable staff.
http://www.paramounttheatre.com/tickets.html


ps.
I take it back: I spoke to somebody at the Paramount box office, they think it's not realistic to try to come in person, as it takes them 5 minutes to handle 1 customer, and 5 minutes is exactly the time tickets will be sold on-line. Apparently they have access to the same pool of tickets as everybody else buying on-line.
Mirka
--
/Warsaw March 22 1985 / Halifax May 16 /Charlottetown May 18 / Dublin June 15 / Vienna Sept 24 2008/
Oakland April 13, 14, 15, San Jose Nov 13 2009/
Las Vegas Dec 11 2010/ Oakland March 2 2013/
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KaimiK
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Re: Karma or... what for Oakland show 2

Postby KaimiK » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:18 am

Though I've never had any luck with Ticketmaster before, I was determined to get good seats for this once-in-a-lifetime show (Seattle for me). I did some internet research on how to best use TM and here's what I was able to glean, and the process I used to get row 6 orchestra...

1. Go to Ticketmaster well before the show. Set up an account, register your credit card information and pick a user ID/password you won't forget. (Also
have your credit card next to your computer, because you'll usually need to enter the extra security code on the card.)

2. Do a google search on "free atomic clock" and download it to your computer. Run the program and use the "synch" option to synchronize your computer's clock and the atomic clock. Synch again 10 minutes before tix go on sale.

3. If you have a slow connecting computer, find a faster one - a friend's, at the local library, etc. We live in a rural area and only have an internet card, so I took our wi-fi enabled laptop to our library which has a much faster connection.

4. Do a dry run of the following steps a couple of times. Find another show and practice the first steps - you don't automatically have to buy the tickets that come up. You just release them and can search again.

5. 10 minutes before the sale starts...
a. open your browser
b. go to Ticketmaster
c. search and go to the specific event you're looking for - make sure it's the page that has the options to buy tickets - not just an info page on the artist
(OR use Jarkko's links which take your right to the page you need.)
d. scroll your page down so that the box to select tickets and the "find tickets" link that you must click on are both visible at the same time (this saves
scrolling time)

6. At this point, I like to have my atomic clock open so I can watch the seconds. At exactly 10:00am and 05 seconds, I hit the refresh button. (TM seems to
run 10-15 seconds behind my clock.) If the ticket buying options aren't there yet, hit refresh again (but not too many times in a row!)

7. Quickly select your desired number of tickets, I left the "best available" option as is and click "find tickets"

8. Get ready to type your secret words, hit enter (faster than the mouse for me), then wait and hope!

Following this, my first ticket option was just off center orchestra, row 11. I bought that ticket. I repeated my search continuously after that and in a few minutes, a seat in row 6 popped up. I bought that one too! Though it's officially against TM's policy, they will allow you to cancel your ticket within 24 hours of the purchase. You'll need to talk to customer service and they have to get a special authorization, but they'll just charge you their handling fee of $5 or so, and refund the rest to your credit card.

As for the phone system, forget it! I tried that at the same time, and their system dropped my calls two separate times.

I'm sure most of you know all of this already, but for those of us fairly new to TM, I hope this can be of some help. The scalpers have a far more sophisticated approach, I'm sure. But, this is the best I've been able to do. And I am sooo over the moon at being able to see LC and truly grateful. Now if I can only run into him in the elevator like some other lucky people! :D

I wish everyone the best of luck!
Last edited by KaimiK on Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
You let me sing, you lifted me up, you gave my soul a beam to travel on. You folded your distance back into my heart.
malke
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:26 pm

Re: Karma or... what for Oakland show 2

Postby malke » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:39 am

Thanks for all the very specific advice!

It's so scary and cut-throat, isn't it? I'll try to set everything up in advance and get to work before 10, barring traffic on my 60 minute commute, and that my baby's sitter doesn't come late. It seems like this whole thing is a full-time job. The process is giving me such anxiety.

Fontana's saga was so much like my own--maybe even worse because s/he almost got those seats. And I can't justify the price of the VIP seats with my circumstnaces, let alone the insanely, disgustingly greedy prices of the scalper'. It's sad, in a way.

Thanks again.
Michelle
malke
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:26 pm

Oh, and Mirka

Postby malke » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:01 am

thanks for the research re Paramount. Five minutes per customer! Guess you'd lose your seats even as you were paying for them. And of course you'd have to get there today, anyway, to be that first in line.

Malke
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KaimiK
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Location: Washington

Re: Karma or... what for Oakland show 2

Postby KaimiK » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:35 am

malke wrote:Thanks for all the very specific advice!

It's so scary and cut-throat, isn't it? I'll try to set everything up in advance and get to work before 10, barring traffic on my 60 minute commute, and that my baby's sitter doesn't come late. It seems like this whole thing is a full-time job. The process is giving me such anxiety.

Fontana's saga was so much like my own--maybe even worse because s/he almost got those seats. And I can't justify the price of the VIP seats with my circumstnaces, let alone the insanely, disgustingly greedy prices of the scalper'. It's sad, in a way.

Thanks again.
Michelle
I couldn't agree more, I felt like my life was consumed with ticket buying fever for a week! And it is incredibly nervewracking, my hands were shaking - there's just so much pressure to get it right the first time since there's rarely a second chance! And yes, the scalpers just make me ill. I had that second ticket, and I suppose I could have scalped it like so many others, but the whole idea of taking advantage of another person is totally against my nature. Of course, by putting it back in the TM pool, it probably was picked up by a scalper anyway. Sad, but I couldn't risk holding onto it and not being able to find a buyer here. It's sad that it's okay for so many people to hose others - probably one of the many reasons our world is so screwed up, but that's another thread altogether!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!
You let me sing, you lifted me up, you gave my soul a beam to travel on. You folded your distance back into my heart.

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