The Bruce Springsteen show Wednesday night, September 16 at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, SC, the venue’s first to feature paperless ticketing, appears to have largely gone off without too much difficulty, but there were some problems according to brokers TicketNews spoke to about it.
None of those brokers tried to resell the paperless tickets the Springsteen tour used for many seats, which may have contributed to the show’s lagging ticket sales leading up to it. The show was not sold out a few hours before, but a local radio station promotion may have pushed it close or over the top by the time Springsteen took the stage.
In addition, the Greenville News reported that there was confusion among fans who came to the show not realizing that they would need two forms of ID (a credit card and photo ID) to gain entry, and a separate window was set up at the box office to handle paperless ticketing issues.
TicketNews also heard an unsubstantiated report of one of the area’s major banking institutions allegedly having to eat about a dozen tickets because IDs were required. The bank had supposedly purchased the tickets for clients but could not transfer the paperless tickets. Also, cash sales for paperless tickets from the box office are not permitted.
Bi-Lo Center officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Prior to the show, Marketing director Susan Quinn told TicketNews that the venue will begin utilizing paperless ticketing on a regular basis as a way to thwart counterfeiters and brokers from scamming or allegedly gouging fans.
“I know the lines of people trying to get in were huge, and some people didn’t get in on time,” said South Carolina broker Darrell Joyner.
Said another local broker, “The artists will eventually learn that this [paperless ticketing] won’t work.”
Paperless ticketing is a major initiative Ticketmaster is rolling out in an effort to control more of the ticketing landscape after ceding the secondary market to dozens of other companies. Company officials, and artists, have said it will help put more tickets in the hands of fans, but it also increases the number of hassles associated with ticket purchase and eliminates much of the opportunity to resell or transfer tickets.
(The image accompanying this story is from BruceSpringsteen.net)