When vocalist Gwen Stefani and her reunited band No Doubt hit stages across the U.S. this summer, the best seats in the house will be filled with only the biggest fans. For the ska-punk band, that means primary ticket holders.
No Doubt is joining the ranks of bands trying to stop ticket scalping by controlling ticket sales for premium location seats via an in-house ticketing operation. Approximately 1,500 stage-vicinity seats — or 10 percent of each venue’s capacity — will be set aside for members of the No Doubt Tour Club.
As previously reported by TicketNews, fans must register to be eligible for the Tour Club’s ticket sales, which began over the weekend. Sales through the program are limited to four tickets per member, and a $15 membership fee will be added at the time of purchase.
Tickets purchased through the service are non-transferrable. The buyer’s name will be printed on the tickets and identification will be verified as buyers pick up their tickets on the day of the event. Upon pick-up at will call, buyers and their guests will be ushered directly into the venue to prevent parking lot scalping and ticket trade-offs.
Jim Guerinot, band manager for No Doubt, called the move “scalper-proof,” according to a report by the Los Angeles Times. Tour producer Live Nation gave its permission for the mini ticketing operation, but one venue in Cincinnati was reportedly cut from the tour itinerary refusing to accommodate the Tour Club’s service.
“As far as scalping goes, I don’t think you’ll ever be able to eliminate it,” bassist Tony Kanal told the LA Times, adding that the main point was to get tickets into the hands of fans. “These are the best seats in the house. They’re right next to the stage, so those are the people we feed off of. If those people are the true fans, that makes the shows so much more rewarding for us. It’s a win-win situation…except for the scalpers.”
A number of other recording artists have used similar programs for select seating locations on their tours. During the 2008 Lights in the Sky tour, Nine Inch Nails offered name-imprinted presale tickets to members of its fan club. Meanwhile, reunited jam band Phish took a different approach, threatening to cancel tickets scalped during its presale process.
Public onsales for No Doubt’s summer 2009 tour begin March 7. Select amphitheaters will offer general admission tickets for $10 and $25.