Sunday, 23 May 2010

Frantically seeking a Festival

I used to go to gigs a lot. And to festivals a lot, pretty much every summer for 4 - 5 years.

Since getting a bit older I haven't been to the "bigger" festivals such as Leeds (which I went to four years in a row) or T in the PArk (which I went to once but I hated it).

Last year I went to Wickerman which was nice and relaxing though maybe didn't have quite enough quality bands to keep my attention.

This year I had it sorted. One of my friends suggested Latitude. I checked out the line-up (Belle & Sebastian, Mumford and Sons to name a couple). It is big enough to attract big acts but small enough to not have the over-commercialism of Leeds nor would it attract Skins type kids getting drunk of cheap cider. A good group of mates from all over the country are going, it promises to be a great weekend.

It was perfect. I planned to buy a ticket on Tuesday when I got paid (I've not been paid for 5 weeks and I'm still waiting on a deposit cheque from my old scrotum of a ex-landlord), I arranged for time off work and my boss granted it, everything was falling into place nicely. Then, unexpectedly it sold out.....


So I now face a few options:

1/ Get a ticket off ebay. Not the best idea as tickets will always be at inflated prices and you rely a lot on the honesty of the seller. I could give someone £200+ but how do I know that they will actually send the ticket - if they even have one. Case in point- a couple of years ago my brother buys a ticket for T in the Park off ebay. However the ticket came through. Unfortunately when he got to the main gates of the site his ticket was scanned and he was informed the ticket he bought had been cancelled by the original buyer and the ticket had been replaced to that buyer with a new one. To rub salt into the wound the security guard could tell my brother the guy had used the reissued ticket just 10 minutes or so before my brother had tried to get in. Such stories are enough to make you wonder if the risk is worthwhile.

2/ Use a "fan to fan ticket exchange" service. These services, in my opinion, suck. They are basically glorified ticket touts. Yes they eliminate the risk involved with buying tickets off ebay but they do so at a hugely inflated price. For example: a ticket for Latitude cost £150ish. On Viagogo the cheapest ticket is £250, however they then add on VAT, P&P & Booking Fee which takes the ticket to £357. That's over double the cost of an original ticket- what the fuck is that about?!?! Similarly on seatwave tickets are going for £300 at least.

Now it is fair enough to say that I should've bought my ticket earlier but I genuinely couldn't afford it and never thought a festival the size of Latitude would sell out two months in advance. I think part of the problem is I started going to festivals at a time when it wasn't as popular. I remember the first year I went to T in the Park in 2002 I got my ticket the week before the festival started. Also we live in a time where places like ebay have made it easier for ticket touts to prevail. How many tickets do you see for sold out shows on ebay within minutes of the event selling out?

I have no problem with someone who genuinely can't go to an event selling their ticket on, even if they start selling it on ebay at face value which due to bids becomes higher than - fair enough, it's a seller's market. But when people buy tickets to events and festivals purely to sell them on at a profit then they should be outlawed. They are a scurge on the entertainment industry and often deny genuine fans the opportunity to go to events.

As it happens I have placed a bid on a ticket on ebay which currently resides at £216, my maximum bid is £250. If I am to win that I then need to ensure I do all I can to make sure I don't get ripped off (tickets wont be in hand yet so I'll need to get proof of purchase somehow).

It's all a bit of a headache but if the gods of summer fun are smiling on me then I will prevail.

And if I do finally get a ticket and find out nearer the time I can't go I now know of all potential avenues for resale!

Over n Oot.

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