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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 22, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Blogs

LCD Soundsystem Fans Lash Out At StubHub, Scalpers

There is no fury that matches a hipster scorned. Last week I wrote about dance party titans LCD Soundsystem’s last show ever at Madison Square Garden. This week, the tickets went on sale and, much to the consternation of actual fans (including myself), almost nobody who deserved tickets got them.

Early in the week the band announced that there would be a small presale run through Pitchfork, a music news website that you can usually find open in a browser tab on my Mac at any time of day. With Ticketmaster presales, you need a certain password in order to buy tickets. By 9pm Tuesday night, the password of “lastever” was circulated through just about every social media site known to man.

Naturally, the tickets went on sale at 10am the next day when one of my classes starts. So, my friend Nicole and I toted our Macs to class (which we usually don’t do) and opened the browsers at 9:55am while everyone else in Journalism History got a front row seat to the action. My heartbeat quickened as I watched the clock in the corner of my screen. Finally: 10.

Our fingers flew around the board as we squinted at the Captcha letters. We tried for about 10 minutes as people continued to file into class, but it didn’t take long before we realized we were defeated. On to Friday’s general sale.

Between Wednesday and today, a good amount of research was allocated to this cause. This includes hovering over Twitter and Facebook feeds, Google News searches and frequent visits to LCD’s website. Twitter was probably the most entertaining as lead singer James Murphy was embarking on an all-out Twitter tirade by calling out scalpers and secondary ticket dealers such as StubHub. Here is a selection of my favorites:

“Hey @StubHub…I pretty much guarantee ‘fans’ aren’t pricing these tickets. You’re barely legal and you know it.”

And the best: “I’m going to go eat dinner and try not to punch a stranger in the face. Thanks, everybody. #feelinglikekanye”

Fast forward to today. At least the tickets didn’t go on sale until 11am so we didn’t have to try and order them during class again. Right after class, Nicole and I raced down to some computers in Park to secure ourselves a speedy Internet connection. Not only that, but we also both had our laptops up so we were dealing with four computers. Bringing out the big guns.

I sent a text to my friend Kelly at St. John’s who was also trying to get tickets: “You ready?”

Response: “For battle? Yeah”

A text from my friend Stefan who I was attempting to buy a ticket for: “Good luck comrade.”

This was what it was like. We were going to war with Ticketmaster.

The clock struck 11 and we were off. Refresh. 3 tickets. Search. Enter Captcha. No tickets. Repeat.

This went on for about 20 minutes. Eventually we decided that every advantage we had with the multiple computers was gone by now and we relocated upstairs. While sitting in the foyer I aimlessly tried to find tickets while I checked Twitter and Facebook feeds. All of the people I knew who were trying to get tickets had no luck and apparently no one else did either. The best part of the day was the hilarious Tweets that linked LCD fans with the situation in Egypt. Favorites:

“Today we are all Egyptians. And LCD Soundsystem fans.”

“Mubarak, foiled by spoof LCD Soundsystem ticket site, accidentally resigns via captcha code ‘I quit’”

Even comedian Aziz Ansari weighed in:

“Is it true Mubarak stepped down just for a sec to try to go on Ticketmaster to get tickets to see @lcdsoundsystem at MSG?”

“Trick #33 for @lcdsoundsystem tix: Get tickets for Trey Songz at MSG tonight, stay hidden until April 2nd.”

Luckily there was at least some comedic relief to be had. However, people were still less than thrilled that they were shut out of Ticketmaster’s sale. Some buyers reported not being able to reach the ticket selection page until seven minutes after they went on sale. Rumors of Ticketmaster hacks began to permeate the feeds. By the early afternoon, tickets ranged from $200 to an outrageous $40,000 (yes, four zeros) on StubHub. Not only that, but also one seller had 50 tickets available. How could one seller obtain that many tickets when the purchase limit was eight? Yes, they could be a broker and have a bunch of people trying to get tickets, but how did they all get that many?

Shortly after the Twitter outrage began, James Murphy joined in and asked if any fans had received tickets. The grand majority replied in the negative. Actually, one enterprising Twitter denizen created a survey and discovered that approximately 90% of people did not get tickets. The remainder said they were able to get tickets and cited the American Express preferred seats promotion as their source.

Around 5:30pm, James sent a message through Twitter and Facebook urging fans not to buy from StubHub or any other secondary markets for at least 48 hours. In the message, he also stated that the band is “working on it.” This post will continue to be updated as the saga progresses.

8:31 PM THIS JUST IN: James Murphy announces through Twitter the addition of FOUR SHOWS at NYC’s Terminal 5 on March 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st.

Follow the action on my Twitter: @jaredjdionne