Pearl Jam fans reportedly didn’t have a pleasant go of it in the onsale process for tickets to see the band on its summer stops in Seattle, Mizzoula Montana, Chicago and Boston. There was the predictable unpleasantness of the Verified Fan process for those who didn’t get into the band’s Ten Club presale. And reportedly, each ticket system handling the actual on sale process suffered from the usual symptoms of high levels of users crashing through the front door.
GrizTix, however, appears to have made the most critical mistakes. Operating the sale for the August 13 concert at Washington-Grizzly Stadium at the University of Montana – Ticketmaster operated the “home show” Seattle date, while Tickets.com was the operator for the Wrigley Field and Fenway Park concerts – GrizTix had a system error that actually forced several fans to purchase more tickets than they wanted to.
An error on the back end of the GrizTix website was to blame for the issue, according to The Missoulian, reporting on fans who tried to purchase two tickets, only to receive a message informing them they needed to purchase a minimum of four tickets.
It was an error in the back-end system of the GrizTix website, said Chuck Maes, the University of Montana’s associate athletic director. After a fan who only wanted two tickets called to complain, the staff unchecked a box that was forcing the four-ticket minimum, roughly within 10 minutes of the sale’s 10 a.m. start time. Most people in the presale weren’t affected and “95 percent of people want more,” Maes said.
The irony, of course, is that the ostensible purpose of making fans jump through the Verified Fan hoop in the first place is to limit the ability of those who would seek to purchase tickets for the express purpose of resale. So to laugh it off as insignificant that people had to buy more than they wanted (and, I would assume, can just resell them at a higher price than paid) is more than a little bit cynical. Particularly given the outcry by fans who didn’t get presale access, and/or got a code, only to find tickets sold through already.
It’s not inaccurate, however.
With both the presale and the regular sale done for Pearl Jam’s “Home Shows,” there are thousands of tickets for Pearl Jam dates available on the secondary market. In Missoula, tickets start at an asking price of $214 on Ticket Club, with an average asking price of $425 and a median just above $300.
How many of those tickets were purchased by folks who set out to “scalp” in the first place, and how many were bought by individuals who just had to buy two extra because of the glitch is impossible to suss out. But it’s certain that a few were put on the secondary market specifically by the glitch (while fans bemoan the secondary for their inability to get tickets without paying the additional price tacked on by the resale market).