If you bought tickets in May for a concert in August, can you be blamed if you show up at the venue three months later and expected there to be a show? Several fans found out the hard way the unintended consequences of the so-called “slow ticketing” movement, as they rolled up for a Shawn Mendes performance in Pittsburgh on August 6th, only to realize they were a full 365 days too early.

“So we got tickets for the Shawn Mendes concert on August 6,” Bob Rice tweeted along with a photo from the outside of the vacant venue. “However, getting here we realized it was for 2019. And we weren’t the only ones! We will be back next year!”

Mendes utilized Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program to put his upcoming tour on sale, which creates a perceived scarcity in the market by gating off fans (and harvesting their data) in the initial presale/onsale, allowing ticket prices to be maximized for the will-buy superfans, then leaving more than enough time to sell off the remaining inventory before the performance.

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Taylor Swift famously used the system to monetize her current tour, allowing users to buy their way to the front of the line by “boosting” their status – only to see large numbers of tickets given away in the lead-up to performances, angering some fans. Mendes similarly monetized his ticket onsale, allowing fans to both “verify” and purchase day-one access for the tickets.

Thankfully for him, the fans who didn’t think that they’d be buying tickets 15 months in advance seemed more mildly irritated than upset – save perhaps the one who drove six hours for a show that wasn’t happening.

With any luck, they’ll all still be available in August of next year. They clearly have plenty of time to keep their calendar clear on the date.

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