Booking Ahead

By londonist_mark Last edited 155 months ago
Booking Ahead
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Not much in the way of new tours this week so we'll focus on the fine art of not getting ripped off when trying to get tickets for sold out shows. Touts are not our favourite breed of human being (if they can indeed be considered to be human) and the last minute online rip-off agencies are to fair trade what anthrax is to a healthy complexion. Ebay is a Russian Roulette game and they've not exactly endeared themsleves to those who try to work for a living.

In a world where philanthropy is now considered something to do with stamp collecting, all praise to Scarlet Mist.

The idea is simple. If you have a spare ticket you can list it on the site and if someone wants it they arrange to meet you. Or vice versa. The catch? You can charge no more than the cover price plus any official booking fee. In other words. And listen very carefully now.

You. Will. Not. Get. Ripped. Off.

Of course, there is always a danger and the site strenuously reminds its users of the fact, but the reality is that abusing the system is going to end your time there pretty damn quickly. In short this is a service for music lovers run by music lovers and we need people like this so much right now. A quick scan through the various help and info pages tells you all you need to know: essentially it acts as a dating service for gig goers matching buyers with sellers and then letting them do the rest and the team behind it have obvioulsy worked hard to ensure minimal abuses of the system

At the time of writing there were tickets available for London shows from Audioslave, Billy Corgan, Garbage, Nine Inch Nails, The Streets and The Prodigy amongst others. Tickets move fast and there is a constant flow of new shows.

So check them out, try them out and do so in the spirit of great music. Remember, you need never have to deal with the mutant mongoloid mercenaries menacing the corner of the Astoria ever again. And that would be good in how many hundreds of different ways?

Last Updated 10 June 2005


That's a bit harsh on the whole structure of capitalism, doncha think?

Suppose, for example, and I hate to bring them up again, but... you'd only found out about Monday's c***play show on Monday morning, and you'd got there a bit too late. Would the touts not have provided a useful service, or would you rather have missed the show?

Or Glastonbury, whose quest to prevent free trade is draconian, despite the well documented difficulties in their ticketing system last year.

And is not the whole booking fee system implemented by the ticketers themselves, a much more insidious con. Have you tried buying a ticket without a booking fee recently? Let's not paint the promoters as whiter than white.


Hey Ian,

I'm in no way excusing the hideous nature of booking fees, or indeed of any of the official lengths you have to go to to get a ticket (Glasto is always going to suffer under the hideous dichotomy of memories of a free festival vs so big we all want a slice - let's stay off that one for a while).

All I'm simply pointing out is that there is an alternative to getting ripped off by the free marketeers (touts, eBay profiteers etc). Which in itself is the perfect expression of the free market itself don't ya think?

Re the Monday show (I'm going to try and stop winding people up about that one now), and ignoring the wristband thing - designed to limit touting - if I didn't have a ticket I wouldn't have bothered. I'll occasionally consider a small hike on the cover price, but there's no way I'll go for the extreme mark ups you often get - that's just personal choice (unless the Ghost of Hendrix was doing a show with Mascis and Keef).

Robert John Kaper

I can recommend the Billy Corgan gig by the way, his Amsterdam show was very entertaining. Supporting band Gliss were also wickedly good.. maybe I'll go see them again at The Forum.

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