The ticketing policy Radiohead recently instituted for the band’s two sold-out New York shows drew the ire of several unnamed fans in videotaped interviews filmed by the consumer advocacy group Fan Freedom Project (FFP).
For the band’s September 28 and 29 shows at the Roseland Ballroom, Radiohead required fans to collect their tickets at the venue’s Will Call window by showing identification, which would verify that the purchaser was the same person picking them up.
In addition to also limiting ticket purchases to two per buyer, the moves were designed to thwart ticket resale, which the band stated on their official Web site. “Using a 2 ticket limit and will-call only access with ID, we have tried to ensure that more tickets go to the people who prefer to see the show than to cheat fellow fans with re-selling tickets at exorbitant prices.”
Several fans at the shows, however, were not happy about the hurdles they needed to jump through, including one woman who said she drove seven hours in traffic from Springfield, VA because she was told by Ticketmaster, which sold the tickets, that only she could collect them. (See the video below) She had bought the tickets for her nephew but could not transfer them, which is similar to the Ticketmaster’s restrictive paperless ticketing system that FFP opposes. That paperless ticketing system is banned in New York State, which may be part of the reason why Radiohead chose the will-call delivery method.
“What would I say to them? I’d say why are you making it so difficult for us,” one fan told FFP. “Half the people in line are talking about how much it sucks to wait and deal with the restrictions. It’s just ridiculous.”
FFP, which is calling for more transparency in the ticketing industry to help fans in light of the Radiohead situation, continues to drum up support through its Facebook page bill of rights.
“Sadly, well-meaning efforts by Radiohead to get tickets in the hands of fans by requiring that all tickets be picked up at will-call clearly increased problems at the door and made the experience worse, not better, for fans,” FFP said. “Fans deserve a fair, transparent ticketing system that helps them see the bands they love.”