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Monday, April 12, 2010

A Postscript to Ticket Woes - CORRECTED

UPDATE: Correction in the 4th paragraph.

Last week, we went on a rant about our ticket purchasing experience.

A couple of followup points. First, that post was written in the heat of the moment when we were under the impression that the Washington Neil Young concert had sold out in less than 15 minutes. It turns out that due to a giant TicketMaster fuckup, tickets did not go onsale on schedule.

So we were pretty irked about schlepping down to the box office, hanging out for it to open, realizing that tickets weren't being sold at the venue, and then racing to connect online only to see no tickets available.

The tirade was *not* directed at Neil. We were mainly lashing out at the horrid, horrid TicketMaster/Live Nation Corporations oligopoly merger which will only make matters worse for ordinary people fans in favor of the wealthy elite.

So apologies on the tone thing.

Second, we'd like to address this whole weird intersection of art and commerce whenever Neil does something like go on tour, release an album, make a box set, etc.

Oddly, there are some that seem to have a very serious issue on the subject of putting a price on one's talent and product. Like they have insider knowledge of all the costs and factors that go into these decisions but yet never seem to state what those factors are? We can't really explain at all what Neil and Elliot strategize on the subject of profits and have no idea how that all works.

We've all read Shakey and the quotes by Neil on business. But there was one thing that L.A. Johnson said once (which we're trying to locate) where L.A. observed that in all the years he had spent working with Neil he never heard him once make a creative decision based on a profit factor.

So, this is a long way around towards dealing with something that kinda irked us the other day. It was this comment by Paul on the nature of Thrasher's Wheat:
"Seems like this site spends a lot of time hyping the great and legendary creative artist Neil Young with a commercialization-like emphasis."

We requested some elaboration but got none and so we're not going to really sweat it.

But we'll just say this.

We receive a surprising number of unsolicited ad placements over the years, all of which we reject based on a number of factors. Mainly, they're just annoying trash ads that we don't think any reader cares about.

Having said that, we want to share the most recent ad placement rejection we had. It was from a ticket broker who wanted to place an ad on TW for Neil Young seats. We get this all the time and reject them.

But this time -- out of curiosity -- we wanted to see where it went. In a followup on specifics, the broker claims to have front row center seats for all upcoming Neil Young concerts. As part of the agreement, we would receive a substantial fee for a 30 day ad, as well as, a percentage of each completed ticket sale. Based on the brokers "conservative estimate" of $500 per seat, a percentage commission, and an assumed click thru rate, we were talking about the potential to earn multiples times more in a month than we have in the years of running banner ads and Amazon commissions.

But we said no thanks.

Watch out for the greedy hand Paul.

Watch out.

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At 4/12/2010 09:19:00 AM, Anonymous paul (from Texas) said...

Kudos to you on your response to the ticket-offer-advertisement-scam.

At 4/12/2010 10:08:00 AM, Blogger Ruralgurl said...

It is getting worse for the average concert goer. I used run a record store ('90's-'00's) that served as a TM outlet. At home internet access was just starting, and it was still a nightmare. I'd access the system at the very second the event went live, and still only be able to get 6th row, or 20th, or beyond. The seats were just not there. Between what was being held back for sponsors (A LOT!), radio, record label, distribution, (count the last 2 twice if there's an opening act), management, venue season or box ticket holders, the ticket company itself & the artist, it could be a couple hundred plus tix in a 3000-10,000 seat house that never see the light of day. And that's just the up & up end of it, not even counting anything shady going on besides. Easy, fast internet made it worse, like adding a few thousand ticket outlets for every show. Very frustrating for all us average Janes & Joes. I certainly feel your pain.

At 4/12/2010 10:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the TM site still has not been updated as to when tickets for D.A.R. Constitution Hall actually go on sale.

At 4/12/2010 11:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not about Neil or the artists, this is about corrupt ticket sellers who have a monopoly on the ticket distribution markets and who really screw the average guy. You can make a compelling argument about why a performing artist is entitled to charge high prices for their art which is unique and limited ('ie' Neil won't live forever, ect...) but the profits and illegal activities of TM is totally egregious and really screws the fans in an amazing way ... and the ticket sellers ('ie' TM) don't add anything valuable to the process ... it doesn't take talent to sell tickets ... they have just figured out a way to gain a lock on the market and pay everyone powerful off to look the other way ... their real profits and 'stolen' profits are really appalling, really obnoxious ... they epitomize the Greedy Hand in its ugliest form ... and truly people's outrage at ticket prices should rightly be vented at the ticket selling mafia as opposed to any artist ...

Trasher it seemed to me that's what you were railing about and rightfully so.

I hope the feds bust these TM scammers ... its a shame that this kind of trickery goes on year after year and nobody shuts it down ..

And I hope in the future we'll see the fan pre-order again. My guess is it didn't happen because the greedy promoters wouldn't allow it ...

At 4/12/2010 03:36:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

What the hell is the deal with the D.C. show? Why is this show the only one that has had an "issue" with tickets? Like Thrasher, I took off last Friday morning to stand in line for tickets that never went on sale. Do I need to take off this Friday April 16th? Is the show cancelled? Earth to Ticketbastard!

At 4/12/2010 03:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Thrash, I know that you are also waiting anxiously for the DAR tix to go on sale... I wonder what the fuckup was that led to this delay... It's the only show without tix sold already... Jim

At 4/12/2010 06:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This shit with the ticket brokers getting the tix and tickmaster charging rediculous fees will never stop until the fans boycott and dont go.
I for one have decided enough is enough and I will no longer buy Neil tix until there is a system in place to make sure the fans get the good tickets....and w/o paying $ 25 extra to ticketmaster.

At 4/12/2010 06:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the MIDDLE level of the Eagles tix my roomie got were $130 much of that do the Eagles get? For each ticket Neil sells, how much does HE get? How much does he need? I once asked my ex-roomate why apartments in his neighborhood were so expensive--he said "that's what the market allows..." that sounds like BS to me...imagine a TOTAL boycott of ANY Artist's tour...betcha can't...but maybe that's what it would take to get ticket prices down...where DOES the money go?


At 4/12/2010 08:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont even think I need to know how much he gets or where all the $ goes. What I do know is that there are other good artists charging
1/3 to 1/2 what Neil charges and theyre making a damn good living and doing well. That speaks volumes.
Also, this is a solo tour.

Also, all anyone needs to do is look at a ticket stub from before the time when prices went crazy.... see what you paid for Neil, then use an online currency calculator that adds for inflation and it will tell you what that $ from year ____ is worth today.Do it and you will see Neil is charging 3-4 tmes what he should.

I've heard all the stuff about artists not selling records as much today...... but a tour is not some entitlement program for Neil to compensate for lack of album sales.In his prime he sold alot of some of his albums and many , like tonights the night, sold shit ! Now we're paying ticket prices to compensate like every album is Harvest in sales. Get real.... if this was the 70's and Neil was putting out what he has for the past 20 years, he would not be selling those albums lke he did in the past. He's a great songwriter, but he is way past his prime folks !

I agree.BOYCOTT a tour and watch what happens.

I saw Stephen Stills charging $ 29 for one show.
Now I know he aint doing it unless he's still making worthwhile $. $ 29 !!!

At 4/12/2010 10:54:00 PM, Anonymous ShittyHorse said...

I do not know what goes on behind the scenes. I do not know what percentage Neil gets for every ticket sold. I'm pretty sure that it has more to do with Ticketmaster than Neil.
I am, like many of you, a huge Neil Young fan and after seeing Neil live a number of times I swore to myself that every time Neil toured, I'd be there if he was in my vicinity- New England, New York. My first Neil show was at Great Woods in Mass. 8/22/96 I was 16 and I paid $25.00 for a lawn seat. My second was 3 months later at the Meadows in Hartford- there was no lawn and I had a great seat in the second section- $38.00 (which was steep for me then) I remember waiting in line at 6am at a ticket outlet, that was part of the experience and with some friends, we had a great time- getting tickets! I saw Neil a year later on the Horde Tour for the same price. In 1999 when he went out solo (the last time) I went to the Oakdale- $45.00! A far cry from today- 11 years later at the same theater, I paid $112. for a shittier seat at that!
This will be show 16 for me and is the most I've ever paid to see Neil. It was almost the most miserable experience getting tickets I think I've ever had. I hope something can be done so fans stop getting screwed.
I can say that Neil (unlike most touring acts) is worth every penny but when you have no chance at getting a good seat for that price? I'm sorry but if you're in the back of the theater you shouldn't be paying over $100.
Just because Neil can get that amount for a ticket, does that make it right? It becomes a question of ethics and in corporate America today, ethics is out the window and its every man for himself.
I don't know...
Just left with some bad feelings and I hope Neil makes it worth it.

At 4/13/2010 04:58:00 AM, Anonymous Martin said...

Neil could try Billy Joel's strategy. The front row and second row tickets don't go on sale. Those tickets are distributed by the roadies to the people in the back.

At 4/13/2010 08:19:00 AM, Blogger Wayne said...

I hope Neil is generously sharing the dough with Bert Jansch!

At 4/13/2010 09:36:00 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Why am I getting the sinking feeling that the DAR Constitution Hall show is not going to happen?

At 4/13/2010 10:59:00 AM, Blogger designschicago said...

To compare a Stills ticket price to a Neil ticket price is utterly ludicrous.


Economics, simply put. Supply vs demand. Were you sleeping through Introduction to Economics 101, people?

Whether on blames TM, the artist, in my city added fees... it all comes down to economics.

At 4/13/2010 04:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For this kind of cash, he better make me believe. I'm busting my n**s to afford this. No cheat sheets either, pal. For $550 I better be able to walk out of that theater and testify.

At 4/13/2010 05:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to Neil preselling his tickets through Musictoday like the last tour? Should he come to NYC this tour, I'll gladly (well maybe not gladly) pay the $150 cost if I don't have to fight for tickets. Good seats would be a bonus but I'm scared I won't get seats at all!


At 4/13/2010 08:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you ready to testify?

At 4/14/2010 07:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comment about Stills' ticket prices was taken out of context, as I expected it would. the point being that other artists can charge reasonable prices and still make an excellent living.
There is no need for Neils high ticket prices, unless of course he is just a greedy bastard.
Note that none of the shows are sold out yet.There are still tickets available for every show.
And these are all small places.What does that say ??? It speaks volumes. If tickets were $ 40-75 , they'd all be sold out.People are finaly standing up to the high priced tickets.Many of these theaters hold 2000+ and considerign that ticket brokers hold about 1/3 of the tickets, that means the fans havent bought many tickets.So Neil fans have bought maybe 1000-1500 tickets per show.That ain't much. I can remember seeing CSNY in New Jersey in 1974.110,000 people.Sold out.Now he cant sell 2000 tickets ! Why ?

At 4/14/2010 10:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comment on Stephen Stills tickets for $29 caught my attention. The tickets in Toronto 2 years ago were higher than that, and so are the tickets for his show in Orlando tomorrow.
Stephen Stills, House of Blues Orlando.
$29.50 - General Admission Standing
$32.50 - Day Of Show General Admission Standing
$57.00 - Loge (limited seating)
$63.00 - Loge Day of Show (if available)
$67.00 - Loge II (limited)
$71.00 - Loge II Day of Show (if available)
You can’t really compare Stephen to Neil though, and I don’t think Neil’s prices are out of line. They are similar to or less than good opera, ballet, hockey tickets. The revenue in a liquor serving club offsets the performance fee. Small concert halls don’t usually have drinking in the seats (Thanks be…).

As to selling out this tour, I guess that’s why Neil rarely tours the southern US. If he had booked a Canadian or European tour, he would be sold out.

At 4/14/2010 10:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with the good seats being mostly taken by the ticket brokers is such an easy problem to solve.Yet, how often do fans go online when tickets go on sale and get Row A, B, or C ? Almost never and that is a disgrace and a bad reflection on the artist. It almost smells like they support what is going on. But if the first, say 10 rows center, had to be picked up at the box office with ID in the 24 hours before the show, the ticket brokers would have no interest in these tickets and the fans would get all of them.
God, it's so simple.So why isn't it taken care of that way ????????????????????????

At 4/14/2010 10:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A $500 million class action lawsuit has been launch against Ticketmaster/TicketsNow in Canada. Selling tickets above face value is illegal in Ontario and several other provinces.

From the Lawyer's page
6. If you purchased a ticket from Ticketmaster for an event in Canada or from TicketsNow for an event in Ontario, please keep all ticket stubs or other documents that evidence your transaction with the defendants. You may be able to participate in the actions.

News story here

Hope they win, and stop this chicanery.

At 4/14/2010 10:39:00 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Thrasher - Ticketbastard just updated their site for DAR - it SAYS that they are going on sale this Friday April 16th. I guess I'll be wasting another Friday morning trying to get tickets. Good luck.

At 4/14/2010 10:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine if only the ticket brokers bought tickets and noone bought them....... NEil shows up to noone in the house evenif all tickets are bought up by ticket brokers. Man, that would be funny.!

At 4/14/2010 11:20:00 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said... chance I'm boycotting a solo Neil Young show thirty miles from my house in a great hall that only seats 3,702. At the end of the day, we don't know how many more tours that there will be and I'm sure as hell not going to miss this one. Not a chance.

At 4/14/2010 07:05:00 PM, Anonymous ShittyHorse said...

I know the show in Mass. is sold out. I looked today. By show time all these tickets will be sold and there WILL be an ass in every seat.
I don't think I could ever boycott a Neil show- if I can afford it, I'm going.
Concerts, like just about every other industry, is suffering, watching the bottom line and milking as much as possible out of consumers. The problem is the more the price the less they sell. These shows are an exception.. I guarantee every show will be filled.
Why? because Neil is great.
Christ, if Madonna can get $300.00 a ticket, don't you think Neil should too? I'm not sure he can but Neil has more talent in his left nasal cavity then most of these "artists" can ever hope to have in the span of their whole existence. Lets just hope he doesn't ever ask that much for a show!
I'm conflicted on this whole ticket thing. I refuse to believe Neil is behind it- totally. Come on- which sounds better to you one mil or two? It is totally acceptable in America to make as much money as you can- its the American way but because Neil is a artist who came out of the sixties, who has taken stances against corporate sponsorship, and holds himself to a high level artistically and socially and we as fans hold him up to some saintly level that none of us would ever even want to be near on a good day. But then again, and perhaps it too is my feelings as a fan, but I don't think Neil is sitting there telling Elliot- "lets see if we can get $120 instead of $80." or "lets milk um dry!" I think Elliot, or whomever is told by ticketmaster we can get this much and Neil's people excepted because (and as much as we hate to believe it) it IS a business they are running and it makes better business sense to make more dough. I don't know though.
Too bad we cant get a little inside info- no matter what the truth is. Just to clear some questions up.
I still love ya Neil. I'll be there 5/23- with bells on and a nice mellow buzz for a mellow evening.

At 4/15/2010 07:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be plenty of empty seats. The ticket brokers are gonna dump alot of tickets on this one.
Your living in a dream if you think Neil isn't 100% behind it.He knows exactly what he's charging and he knows exactly what's going on with the ticket brokers grabing the better seats. sure there's nothing wrong with making $$ if one does it ethicaly, but charging fans $ 175 or $ 245 and then the brokers get the best seats..... well, reality is the Neil has become a greedy bastard and just doesnt give a shit. Maybe he didn't start the trend of super high prices...... but the artists who did are the type we dont consider ethical... they are commercial pop stats who only care about the $$.That's what was suppose to be different about people like Neil. Neil was the true artist.Fair, reasonable, dedicated to the muse. Many other pop stars are just singing prostitues !!Now Neil is a singing prositute too ! Maybe Neil should do a tour with Madonna ! You can't justify as reasonable and ethical what Neil is doing today. This is a solo tour.No musicians to pay ! Imagine what's gonna happen if he tours next with Crazy Horse...$ 300-400 ticket ! All I know is I paid $ 30 in 1992 for his solo tour and that equals $ 46 today...and that was for tickets in the first 7 rows !
Neil is doing it for the $$$.Neil has full control and knows exactly what he's doing.Don't kid yourself.

At 4/15/2010 07:36:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher said...

@ 4/15/2010 07:18:00 AM

"All I know is I paid $ 30 in 1992 for his solo tour and that equals $ 46 today."

There you go with your false equivalencies again.

C'mon. What's that got to do with anything. How much did you pay for gas back then? Bread? Milk? Your PC?

At 4/15/2010 10:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point it , is that $ 30 in 1992 adjusted for inflation is $ 46 in 2010, so why the fuck are tickets
$ 174, $ 245 etc.what's so hard to see about that ? It shows you what greed has taken over.

At 4/15/2010 10:18:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher said...

@ Anonymous 4/15/2010 10:10:00 AM

"what's so hard to see about that ?"

I asked a question and didn't see a response.

And you know what? I don't like your tone. Or your attitude.

You come on here calling for boycotts & calling Neil greedy & all sorts of accusations.

Like you're on a crusdae of some sort.

Why don't you put the energy to good use rather than putting into these unhelpful, hateful comments?

How about offering some solutions? How about making a difference if you really try?

Walk the talk, man.

Otherwise, you're just pissin' in the wind, my friend.

At 4/15/2010 10:24:00 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Thrasher - please explain how he's making a false equivalency by adjusting a 1992 solo ticket price for inflation in 2010? I think it's a pretty good point. My first Pearl Jam show in 1994 was $19.50. This year they are $79. Is that correctly adjusted for inflation or has Pearl Jam also just raised their prices along with the entire industry?

At 4/15/2010 10:29:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher said...


OK, thanks for the question.

First, can someone else on this blog help out here?

I can't respond to every comment here. It's impossible. There's just too much going on.

Don't sit here idly and watch this stuff scroll by. Type something.

Anyway, I can't beleive I have to do this. But I'll just briefly say "It's not 1992. It's 2010" Last I checked the world changed.

Since when has everything tracked some statistcal inflation index rate?

I don't see the PJ & Neil connection either? False equivalency #2. Elaborate & enlighten us.

At 4/15/2010 10:33:00 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

I agree that the tone is shitty and accusing Neil of being greedy, etc. is over the top because none of us personally know a damn thing about the inner workings of a tour and the associated costs. But I was defending the comparison of previous ticket prices from years gone by to today's. I think his point (if he'd made it calmly) is that inflation alone cannot explain these high prices.

At 4/15/2010 10:35:00 AM, Blogger Wayne said...

I think the point is there's more to this than economics. Just because you can charge $150 or $245 doesn't mean you should. Isn't this the lesson Tiger Woods is learning?

At 4/15/2010 10:37:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher said...

Thanks Jonathan.


Inflation is not the sole mitigating factor here. Thus, a false equivalency.

Case closed.


At 4/15/2010 10:39:00 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

I respectufully disagree that any of these points are false equivalencies. We're talking ticket prices, aren't we? A false equivalency would be comparing this tour's ticket prices to car prices or mortgate rates.

At 4/15/2010 10:41:00 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Well when you put it that way, I agree with you more.

At 4/15/2010 10:47:00 AM, Anonymous setlistthief said...

Man, it would be great if I could project what next year's ticket prices are going to be simply by adjusting for inflation and *voila* I could simply balance my household entertainment budget for 2011. Come to think of it, I'd like to figure my house and car values, based on inflation, of course, so I can make a killing.

Yes, the market is so-o-o-o predictable.

Who knows how involved Neil is with setting ticket prices? But we do know there are promoters, venues, ticket vendors, and oodles of other interested financial parties driving ticket prices. And yes, inflation, too.

But not just inflation.

At 4/15/2010 11:50:00 AM, Blogger doc said...

So Thrash, any more word, with some sort of creedence, that this Twisted Rd is goin abroad?

Then the rest of us can REALLY get into the debate first hand !! lol

down under doc

At 4/15/2010 11:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Johnathon,

Thrasher, I think my point is very valid.Very. And adjusting for inflation is a very normal way to compare things.....

Sorry if I didnt answer your question.... adjusted for inflation from 1992, bread is about the same or as much as 10% higher than it should be adjusted for inflation...depending onthe brand..... and milk is DOWN 10% adjusted for inflation.... pc's are down....
gas, adjusted for inflation from 1992 should be $ 1.80 today.I pay $ 2.80 . Thats about 55% higher than it should be. Neil orchestra tickets are 500 % higher than they should be adjusted for inflation.
Oil prices are controlled mostly by foreign ( greedy) governemnts.
Neils prices are controlled by Neil and Elliot !
Sorry if you think my tone is bad.
I realy love Neils music but am very disapointed in the man...the person.I do feel he has become very greedy. Why does that one statement get you so upset ? That statement shouldnt bother anyone !

So to summarize, adjusted for inflation :
Bread up 10% max.
Milk down 10%
PC's way down
Gas, up 55%
Neil orchestra seats; UP 500 %

Am I the only one who sees greed there ?
I can certainly love his music and see his greatness as a songwriter, singer and musician and STILL think he's a greedy bastard !

At 4/15/2010 11:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps thrasher......

I do offer a solution for high ticket prices, ticketmaster fees and the problem of ticket brokers getting the good seats :


At 4/15/2010 11:57:00 AM, Anonymous SONY said...

Rust Never Sleeps tour cost me $11.00 in 1978. Road Rocks Tour cost $55.50 in 2000. So 5x the initial price over 22 years = +22.7%/yr so 2010 shoud be 55.50 x 227% = $125. Right on schedule. My finance degree at work folks, finally. It's market forces at work.

At 4/15/2010 12:09:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...


As general rule, we don't debate Anons.

But thanks for coming back w/ inflation stats. As I said to Jonathan, inflation is not the sole determining factor in play here. Think about it before hurling around these straw man arguments.

Let's move on.

You call a Boycott doing something? Explain?

Also, how do you know brokers will dump tix?

Do have inside knowledge? Can you predict the future?

Or are you just a scalper trying to manipulate the market for your own selfish greedy gain?

Also, please adjust your tone.

C'mon, Anon. Tell us the truth.

At 4/15/2010 12:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sony, your math is way off.....

$ 11 @ 22.7% interest/yr. for 22 years= $ 990

$ 55 @ 22.7% interest/yr. over 10 years = $ 425

$ 11 in 1978 adjusted for inflation to 2000 = $ 29.
But you say Neil charged $ 55.

$ 55 in 2000 adjusted for inflation today is $ 68

$ 11 in 1978 adjusted for inflation today = $ 36.
See any Neil tickets for $ 36 ???
The ticketmaster fees are almost that now !

At 4/15/2010 12:20:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Ah, that's better..I feel better now Thrash!...alone and deleted!


Could you at least answer my first querie that you didn't delete?

thanks, doc

At 4/15/2010 12:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Boycotts do work if enough people get involved.If all Neil fans refused to buy tickets,3 positive things would happen :

1) ticket brokers would stop grabbing the best seats through their illegal means as it wouldnt pay.

2)Ticketmaster fees would go down.

3) Neil prices would go down.

As for tone: if my tone is realy that bad, will try to adjust , but I'd like to hear it from others.
Is my tone considered bad becasue I think Neil is greedy ?

Yes, there are other factors, such as fuel costs ( which are 50% above inflation), but that doesn't explain or excuse 500% over inflation price of Neils orchestra tickets.I certianly dont expect his ticket prices to be exactly inflation adjusted BUT there is no reason for it not to be in the ballpark ! Even 25% above inflation for the best seats in the house for a solo tour would mean tickets at $ 57.50 for the first 10 rows ~

No, I am not a ticker broker.Hate the bastards.They help ruin it for the real fans.I think it's a disgrace that fans who want to buy tickets cant get the best seats in the house fairly becasue the brokers get them first.Again, I do blame Neil if nothing is done about this.The solution is so easy.
You can even add $ 10 per ticket to pay for the system , but fans should have first access to the best seats in the house... and they don't and nothing is being done about it.

At 4/15/2010 12:43:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Getting so specific with inflation percentage increases, etc. seems to miss the bigger picture in my opinion. If it could be summed up in a concise way, I think concert ticket prices across the spectrum of all musical genres have increased substantially due to a COMBINATION of inflation and market forces that drive the price. If people were not going, the prices would come down. But fans continue to shell out, whether it's U2, Springsteen, whoever.

At 4/15/2010 12:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ticketonomics - informative article on the business side of concerts.

At 4/15/2010 12:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ticket price inflation complaints in UK

At 4/15/2010 01:49:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

At 4/15/2010 12:12:00 PM, Anonymous said... ?

We're talking Neilflation dude, not inflation. All markets don't change the same.

Let's try again, simply
In 22 years I paid 5 x the first price - ok?
On that basis, 10 years woud be, what 2.2x roughly

55.50 x 2.2 = $122.10

Close enough?

At 4/15/2010 02:26:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher said...

Ya know, this inflation comparison thing is waaaaaay off base.

Because the '90s prices were for GA tix or an average seat.

If you read that Billboard article (very good) it talks about how the spread of highest to lowest priced seats has exploded to 2-5X+ multiples.

So you guys are comparing an avg seat in the 90's to most expensive seat in 2010.

I really hate to prolong this but there's too many apples & oranges comparisons here which don't fly.

Stick to apples2apples (if you can find).

At 4/15/2010 02:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not true. I waited on line at night in 1992 and bought 6th or 7th row directly in front of stage for solo tour and paid $ 30 and no fees !Definately wasn't a GA seat !

At 4/15/2010 02:46:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

Only comparing my ticket stubs to show that I really don't care about the prices inasfar as Neil can charge it any way he wants to. I either go or stay. That's the simple math.

At 4/15/2010 02:46:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

Only comparing my ticket stubs to show that I really don't care about the prices inasfar as Neil can charge it any way he wants to. I either go or stay. That's the simple math.

At 4/15/2010 04:10:00 PM, Anonymous wmcgurn said...

Inflation has a lot to do with the increase in ticket prices but as some folks have pointed out not everything rises at the same rate (PC's and cellphones for example can do more for less than they could 10 years ago). As Neil's reputation (and age) increase so does the cost of going to see him.
A couple of other points: if you want to blame someone for high ticket prices it's because of all of us. Artists saw that scalpers were able to get many times more than the original price because some fans were willing to bid them up. The artists response was to try to capture some of that by setting prices higher. Unfortunately they didn't also work to make sure that it was only fans that got the tix, so tix still get scalped. The other party to blame is Neil himself- he's decided to play solo acoustic gigs in tiny venues. I guess he doesn't like to play at sheds or coliseums when he's playing acoustic and I can't blame him. But then the average price of a ticket has to be higher because of the fixed costs in touring or staffing a venue. My last two cents: anybody that downloads copyrighted music illegally for free has no right to complain about high ticket, tee-shirt or CD prices.

At 4/15/2010 04:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For anyone interested....... and don't ask me how this suddenly happens....... Wallingford, CT show. 12th row center tickets now on sale at ticketmaster ! Now go figure that out !

At 4/15/2010 04:42:00 PM, Anonymous wmcgurn said...

One other point I forgot to mention about not being able to get the seats up front. It's because of scalpers who have figured out ways of using automated methods to blitz the web sites when tickets go on sale. These methods were revealed after the Springsteen ticket debacle a while back. Unfortunately cornering the market this way is not illegal in most places and there are some technical challenges even if it were to be made illegal. Here's a story about that hasn't gotten as much notice as it deserves:

At 4/15/2010 06:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But it's such an easy problem to solve if the artist cares about the fans getting fair shot at the best seats.If the purchaser has to pick up the tickets at the box office before the show, the brokers will have no interest.

At 4/15/2010 08:12:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

The likely reason that there's 12th row available suddenly for the Wallingford show is that someone's credit card got rejected or something like that. It happens quite a bit and I've been able in years past before the internet to call Ticketbastard and get really good seats long after they went on sale, I had a Ticketbastard operator tell me once that the reason I was getting great seats was due to someone's card getting declined. For what it's worth.

At 4/15/2010 08:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, right now Ticketmaster is offering
Row H (8th row) Sec. 101, seats 1-2.Any real fans interested in good seats, grab them !!!

At 4/15/2010 10:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

here we are in the years..........

At 4/15/2010 10:55:00 PM, Anonymous ShittyHorse said...

I just finished a finance class for my MBA and I dont wanna talk about it.
I never figured I'd be payin' $8 for a pack of smokes- but I stupidly do. I never thought I'd pay to $4 for a gallon of gas before I was 75 but I did like two years ago!
Things go sucks because most paychecks have not...oddly.

I'd never boycott a Neil show, especially one that is less than 5 miles from my home. Neil should stop by for a cold one and a doobie before the show.

Neil, play Mideast Vacation at the Oakdale!
Regardless of the cost, I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THE SHOW.
Neil rocks!

At 4/15/2010 10:58:00 PM, Anonymous ShittyHorse said...


Mideast Vacation for ShittyHorse at the Oakdale!!!


At 4/16/2010 10:41:00 AM, Blogger TomCrac said...

Did not realize that the DC show went on sale yesterday...according to ticketmaster they went on sale this morning at 10. More or less was crushed out of getting a good (great) seat. Went on over to the Oakdale show...Just got 2 very nice seats (10th row...not too shabby). Just for a goof went to some of these ticket scalping sites to see what the DC show tkts were going for....up wards of 2k each for Orch AA, while Orch A's were a few hundred ea. If not mistaken by looking at the floor chart...double letter Orch's are the back of the theater...duh. Nonetheless, I am thrilled to bring a good friend with me to the Oakdale show!

At 4/16/2010 11:12:00 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

No the D.C. show just went on sale an hour ago (4/16 @ 10:00). After waiting all night at the Patriot Center @ George Mason University, I got seventh row center (Row G). But if they set up the stage for DAR as they did in 2007, then Row G will be the second row. How do I know this?

Because in 2007 my ticket for DAR was Orchestra Row F. When I walked into the auditorium that night, the very nice ushers escorted me to my seat - in the front row. As my heart soared and my jaw dropped, I asked the ushers how I was in the front row when my ticket was for Row F. They said that because of the stage setup, the first five rows were removed. Thus, Row F was the front row. I can only pray they'll do the same next month. Man am I stoked now.

At 4/16/2010 11:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sat at my computer and hit the find tickets button at the exact moment it changed to "find tickets" for the DAR show. After sitting through the "search" mode for 10 minutes, I finally got Row "Q" tix. Not fantastic, but pretty darn good - even better if the rows start at "F" - and nice to see that the best seats were some $50 cheaper than at other shows. I am blown away that I will once again be accorded the opportunity to see the man connect to his muse.

At 4/16/2010 12:25:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Well, I've tried every approach to be part of this blog site Thrash.. and you constantly delete me...

I am very reluctant to try the Ar#@hole approach, as its not really in my persona.

Ya know, you can only be hit in the head so many times before you actually say.."that hurts"...well. its getting awfully close!

good night, I'm goin' to bed


At 4/16/2010 02:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the solution for high ticket prices, and I’m sure most of you are going to hate it.

I “never” thought I’d say this, but maybe it’s time for Neil Young to start accepting corporate sponsorship for his concert tours. If what it has come down to is ticket prices upwards of $260 and fans being priced out of going to hear his music live, then maybe it’s time to accept this concession. Who among you wouldn’t mind paying $40 to $75 a ticket, if the concert was sponsored by, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Levi’s, Apple Computers, etc…? (Thrasher, maybe this would be good for your next poll question….) Believe me; I hate the idea of this. I still proudly use my “Sponsored By Nobody” beer cooler I bought during the Bluenotes tour, but I think this situation has hit a critical mass.

Dylan started selling his songs to commercial interests a few years back, and he generally keeps his ticket prices between $40 - $60. I know there are plenty of other gluttonous bands like The Stones and U2 that take the corporate money and still gaff their fans for everything they can get, but maybe this is a way out. Dylan basically said (paraphrasing), “FU. They are my songs and I can do what I want with them, and selling them commercially does nothing to impact their integrity.” You can swallow that line of bull, if you want, but the bottom line is he found other revenue streams and his ticket prices are lower.

Neil’s only revenue stream is his fans’ wallets. We are the de-facto corporate sponsors and the expenses are mushrooming out of control. Being a Neil Young fan is becoming like an exclusive club for rich people. (The price points for Archives…! He should have given most of that stuff away on It’s NPR without the government subsidies. Screw it! Sells the songs to Madison Ave and Wall St. Go out and find some suitable sponsorship for your tours and bring tickets prices back down under a $100. (Under $75 would be better.)

I know how I would feel the first time I saw a sponsorship banner for “Starbucks” or “Verizon” at one of his shows, but it wouldn’t be any worse than I feel now when paying up to $260 a ticket. I would just need to learn to separate the money from the music, but at least this time, it wouldn’t be "all" my money.

- Nathan Brand

At 4/16/2010 03:41:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Well Nathan if that's your opinion I respect it, but I disagree 100%. As others have stated, Neil commands the high prices because of who he is and what he DELIVERS live. I was a different person after seeing him live from the front row in 2007. That may seem melodramatic, but I don't care.

Corporate sponsorships of tours really suck and with the Live Nation/Ticketbastard unholy alliance, Neil basically has a corporate sponsor already!!

At 4/16/2010 04:02:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

How about a simulcast?
Neil sets up in the barn with his closest friends, Peg, kids, advisors, bandmates, guests,etc. Plays for about 4 hours and simulcasts the show around the world live in concert halls like the old boxing fights? Charges $10-$15 for a ticket, requires sufficient audio equipment to accomodate the locations, big screen, multiple cameras and broadcasts to every minor and major city at one time. No traveling, all satelite feed. He could do it once a week

I know. It's too good to work. DO IT NEIL

At 4/16/2010 04:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 4/16/2010 04:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ticket prices are insane and we have debated that back and forth and while I personaly feel there is no excuse for it and that it makes Neil look bad , WHAT I THINK IS WORSE is that if the fans do want to spend the big bucks,at least they need to have a fair chance of getting Row A, Row B , Row C etc..... and they don't.
And why doesnt Neil do something to at least make sure his real hardcore paying fans have a fair shot ???? This is what disturbs me most. If someone wants to shell out $ 175 or $ 245 , they are supposed to have equal chance of getting first rows. Look at Wallingford, CT..... almost everyone who tried to get tix at 10am on the day of sale, was offered nothing better than 18-22 row...... when row 1-21 cost the same....and those rows were later available thru ticket brokers for huge $.....but they weren't available to the average fan.Thats the big problem Neil needs to fix if I am ever to go to a Neil concert again. Until then, count me out.

At 4/16/2010 04:25:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

I just explained that I got front row at DAR in 2007 because I went to a box office and waited and waited and waited. When you camp out like the good old days, you are usually rewarded with awesome seats.

I refuse to use the internet with Ticketbastard's over-the-top annoying website and the hoops you must jump through to even see what seats are available.

Going to a box office and having a live human being assisting the purchase (like I did this morning) is still a much much better method of getting up close. Like I said earlier, if the stage is set up as it was in 2007, then I'll be in the second row. I'm exhausted from being up all night and waiting around, but so what? I have my orchestra ticket and I don't have to patronize ticket brokers.

At 4/16/2010 05:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I totaly agree thats the way to go BUT unfortunately
some venues dont sell tickets and some that do dont even have good seats like the old days.At my nearest venue where Neil played durring the late 2007 small hall tour,a friend waited overnight for tickets at the box office and flipped out when all they could offer him was first row in the balcony when he waited overnight for up close orchestra seats.They had nothing in the first 26 rows !!!! That realy sucked. I agree the box office should have the first 5-10 rows center and folks who want to wait should get them... but in most places, it aint happening .

At 4/16/2010 07:17:00 PM, Blogger TomCrac said...

Bitch and Moan...Bitch and Moan....Bitch and Moan all you want Anomynous....Tickets are too expensive...waaaaah...they should be no more than &75.00 waaaaaah....I'm going to ignore the fact that some guy posted that he was FRONT ROW CENTER last year for &70.00 FACE...waaaaaah....I'm going to ignore the post where some guy says he got 10th row in Oakdale from ticketbastard (almost face)days after they went on sale and were "sold out"...waaaah...because I am hell bent on my negative ranting know you will choose to ignore these examples, just further proving my point(s). Could you please go to the Ferrari message board and complain that their cars are to expensive for their true fans...I know this will fall on your deaf ears....but STFU already have a nice day. If I see you at a Neil show, maybe I'll buy you a beer (as long as it's 1912 pricing). On another note...Is there a place in particular around the Oakdale theater that people will meet up at?..Never been there...Can't wait!

At 4/16/2010 08:24:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Well anonymous, if that happened to your friend in 2007, then he or she had a right to be extremely pissed off. I was more than extremely pissed off last week when the D.C. show tickets never even went on sale after I waited for 8+ hours - as Thrasher can relate to in terms of the D.C. debacle.

Let's try to boil it down to the facts - Neil Young is a living legend and a musical treasure whose music transends generations, styles, and whatever is popular at the moment. Not to mention the fact that he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for several groups/bodies of work. If you can't realize why he's worth the $ then you are beyond hope and you probably should stay home and pout.

Yes I see what you're saying about the fairness of tickets in various markets when true fans wait in line only to be disappointed. But dude, have you been enlightened to the fact that life is not fair? In fact, from my experience, life is the exact opposite of fair.

If you are really a Neil Young fan, in my opinion you should simply be GRATEFUL for the fact that he's still here and he's still giving us a chance to see and hear him, damn it.

Go watch Eddie Vedder's induction speech from 1995 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He gets what most of us who visit Thrasher's site also understand.


At 4/17/2010 11:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Oakdale is an excellent place to see a show- there also isn't much around it. Across the street is an Italian Restaurant, 'Serafinos' (which has great food- and resonable) and further down the road- center of Wallyworld- there are a few bars.
The Oakdale has excellent acoustics, and not a bad seat in the house.
Can't wait for the show.

I love the fact that on a fourteen date tour- one of the stops is Wallingford CT- Nowheresville daddy-o!

At 4/17/2010 12:39:00 PM, Anonymous Nan said...

TM clearly has some corporate "deal" going on and to make my point how they affect the market, the show in Worcester, MA was sold ONLY through the theatre (online and box office). I got there at a reasonably early hour, was first in line and when they opened the box office at 9:45am (to give us line-sitters a break) I scored five 2nd row seats. I was told the 2 PIT rows and row A were not available, being held for wheelchairs and the promoter. (I'll give them that. HC folks deserve a break and a dozen or so promoter seats doesn't offend me.)

Online, virtually everyone I know who could afford it got seats in the first 7 rows. Just like it used to be - early bird got the worm.

Yesterday the Hanover released some more tickets down front - probably "high donor" or promoter seats. I grabbed a pair in the 4th row for some friends. 2 hours later they released a bunch at the other end of the 2nd row. I called the box office and they CHEERFULLY swapped my 4th row seats for 2nd row. Imagine that. There are still some decent seats available if anyone is interested, but they are the $$$ seats in the front center section.

TM/LN is the scourge of the concert going fan (but you all know that). Remove them from the equation and you have a reasonable and pleasant ticket-buying experience. I thanked the Hanover box office profusely for their superior customer service. The lady I spoke to laughed and said "yeah, we're nice here!"
Ain't THAT a breath of fresh air!

At 4/18/2010 12:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to see you stuck responding to the endless stream of complains ... I've come to the firm conclusion that answering these complaints and Neil insults doesn't accomplish much because as you can see their arguments are emotional and not logical ... sure I'd rather pay less than more and save the money for something else ... but what's that got to do with anything? The sense of entitlement is amazing ... how many of these complainers would charge less if they were Neil? None I bet. We need a 4% site and let them complain all day long... and the rest of us can celebrate the fact that Neil's goin back on the road. I admire you for putting up with these ingrates...


At 4/21/2010 05:16:00 PM, Anonymous Thor said...

to the Anonymous Dude...

WTF is your rationale for a BOYCOTT???? seriously are you not thinking with both kidney's?

Neil Young is playing venues on this tour, most of which are under 4 or 5 thousand seats. There is no way a boycott will work in this instance. to many "Sing along" jerks will buy the tickets at whatever price they are, just to impress their friends. These are the same fools that go to these shows and keep screaming "Cinnamon girl!!!!, Heart of Gold!!!"

along those same lines, my hope for this tour is that it's 50% brand new, unheard material, and 50% rare cuts that Neil picks. I will walk out of the theater with a huge smile on my face when people are pissed that he didn't play "Heart of Gold" or "Harvest Moon"

I, for one, will be at the Shea's show in Buffalo, with my $150 ticket in hand... and you better not be around me yelling out requests or singing along with the songs... i will come and punch you in the nose for sure.

and to Thrasher- Site update looks pretty cool.. the speed is up there. keep rockin'!!!



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