How much is too much? It’s a topic we’ve touched on in the past, and back when Leonard Cohen came to the K-Rock Centre, pairs of tickets to his show were being sold on eBay for as much as $1,400. While I wasn’t specifically watching to see if Elton John tickets would surpass that record amount, I noticed that two tickets for Sir Elton’s performance were still up for grabs on eBay a few hours before the show. The asking price, including delivery to your door, was a cool $650, which is about three times the going rate at the box office. Kingston, let’s agree to do something about these scalpers and the K-Rock Centre’s ridiculous ticketing system.
First and foremost, we need to put serious pressure on those responsible for the ticketing system at the K-Rock Centre. Stories involving local taxpayers lining up for the initial release of tickets, only to find them sold out within minutes of becoming available are common and unacceptable. In light of this, there is no reason why the box office and online ticketing system have to open simultaneously. If you take the time to camp out all night long, or get in line before the box office opens, you should be given an opportunity to buy tickets, albeit a limited number. While some hardworking individuals may be unable to get in line at the KRC, purchasing tickets online should remain as an option. This can be properly managed by accommodating those who waited in line first, and then opening the online ticket portal a few hours later.
Now that we’ve taken care of the local folks who waited in line to see their favorite act, we need to deal with the scalper scumbags who buy blocks of tickets for resale via eBay, Craigslist and the like. The solution here is for us all to agree to stop going to these online auction and marketplace sites to purchase event tickets. If a scalper isn’t able to make a profit off of their initial investment, and they are left with an excessive number of unsold tickets, they’ll soon realize that Kingston isn’t open to their sort of business. Further, you can take it one step further by flagging posts and auctions where the selling price is over and above the legitimate, face value of the tickets. Bottom line, don’t pay more than the original face value for tickets to events in Kingston.
While Leonard Cohen, Elton John and other big name acts who come to the K-Rock Centre don’t necessarily need a dime from their ticket sales, that doesn’t mean that scalpers should be able to profit off of their hard work. This is especially true when you take the superstars out of the equation, and insert a name such as The Gertrudes, Kyra and Tully, or Dan Mangan. Regarding the latter, I became physically ill when I saw that someone was trying to scalp tickets on Craigslist to Dan Mangan’s performance at the Grad Club last April. After quickly reporting the issue, the post was removed, and hopefully the scalper’s account was permanently deleted.
If we seriously want to crack down on scalping, then we have to work together and spread the word that Kingston does not take kindly to scalpers. The reward for all Kingstonians will be a fair ticketing system at the K-Rock Centre and other local venues. Imagine concert tickets that are immune to inflated prices and immediate sell outs. Imagine an equal opportunity for us all to enjoy performances such as Elton’s at the KRC.