I started off doing phone operator stuff, then switched early on over into box office and stayed there. We started off using an in-house system and switched over to 100% Ticketmaster by the time I left.

Not trying to start a crusade against Ticketmaster or anything, that's been done before, just changing jobs and curious to see if anyone wants some stories.

EDIT: This has been fun guys, I'll still pop onto this alt every once in awhile to check for questions but for now I'm done. Glad I could answer some questions about how I sold my soul apparently! :)

Comments: 429 • Responses: 76  • Date: 

TalkingBackAgain1542 karma

What does Ticketmaster do with all the pain they harvest from the souls they rip off at the box office?

boxofficethrowaway1164 karma

So funny story- there's this machine we kept in the back, right, called the Hate Engine. We have these siphons right underneath the desk that suck up all the complaints to add to the Hate Engine, and the Engine converts that hate into more money, which is why they keep adding service fees. More fees = more money = more hate = more more money.

Seriously though, nobody paid me to be a fan of Ticketmaster's practices. This whole ticket monopoly situation is kind of fucked right now. Best lesson I learned at the job was to always buy from the venue directly when I can.

clearedmycookies328 karma

Best lesson I learned at the job was to always buy from the venue directly when I can.

One time I had decided to attend a comedy show st the last minute. Bought tickets at the venue, a couple of hours before the show started. Still had Ticketmaster fees.

boxofficethrowaway151 karma

Makes sense, not all venues work the same way. Can't really speak for the ones I didn't work at.

FluxMool64 karma

My mom goes to a ticketmaster kiosk at Walmart. Never checked it out for myself. There still fees through the kiosk?

boxofficethrowaway73 karma

I'd imagine so, yeah. When we sold for other venues we had to charge the full TM fee set.

DancingPhantoms14 karma

the solution to this is stop buying these tickets at these ridiciulous prices. STOP IT YOU CHARLATANS. let them lose money for a while. and then the prices will drop.

boxofficethrowaway30 karma

Can confirm am charlatan

bearcat426 karma

Also, check the websites of your local free Alt-Newsweeklies and magazines (the free ones that have local stories and culture, like The Village Voice) they almost all have deals with all of the local venues (it's how they survive) and you can get fee-free tickets!

boxofficethrowaway28 karma

He was checking out the Village Voice, seeing who was playing where

Pulled his head up out the paper, pushing out a single tear

Five words like a beacon of light in the mist

Ministry Live At The Ritz

gwinerreniwg276 karma

What "insider tips" do you have to get good tickets? Can I bribe a Ticketmaster employee for good seats?? :-)

boxofficethrowaway230 karma

It doesn't really work that way anymore, unfortunately, at least according to my experience. A lot of it's the usual "get in early and get lucky".

With casino tickets specifically, though, there is the VIP angle to consider. Good casinos reward their players really well, and for us in particular we had presales a day before public sales just for our players. Also, depending on circumstances we'd sometimes get tickets back from our VIP folks for sale if they just weren't doing the numbers they expected, which would lead to some last minute openings- usually in the primo seats too, just because the VIPs get the good stuff to keep them coming back.

fross145 karma

So instead of spending $1000 on a $100 jacked up by some scalper, I should spend $1000 at a casino and get the ticket comped?

boxofficethrowaway15 karma

If you're only going for the tickets then nah, it's a shitty deal, I get that. I'm just saying that casinos sometimes have benefits that vary from the normal venues. With our casino all you needed was a player's card attached to an email to get in on the offer. Your mileage may vary and all that.

bubblyhobo15113 karma

The best deal I ever got on a ticket was actually not long ago. A few months actually, for an event happening next week. Ticketmaster ran an "official exchange" program (stubhub essentially) for the event since all the wristbands are registered to names and a lot of people got screwed over by other sites since they were relying on the original purchaser to send them the ticket once they got it.

Anyways, someone fucked up... Hard. The seller accidentally fat fingered​ the price and typed 55.55$ instead of 555.50$ (facevalue was 800$). The seller was supposed to have a 24hr period that he could change the pricing, but I bought the ticket before that could happen. I was so shocked by my luck I even called Ticketmaster to make sure it wasn't fake and was told that I was good to go and all tickets are garunteed.

Fast forward to the next day. I receive a call from Ticketmaster and they asked me to give the ticket back. I honestly was a bit pissed at this point because I and already been told that I was good to go and they'd handle the situation. I asked the guy why they suddenly changed their minds and he explained everything I said in the first paragraph. My response was that it seemed like they owed that man a ticket but mine was already garunteed and I didn't see how this was my problem since in multiple places on their website it said it was garunteed and that all purchases were final. I know this because I read everything I could about it the previous night. After telling him this he said he'd talk to his manager and figure it out.

Gotta call 4 hours later saying I could keep the ticket and that they'd be giving that guy a ticket back as well... I felt like an asshole but fuck Ticketmaster even more

boxofficethrowaway60 karma

Hey man, you did nothing wrong there. More power to you.

misscalculates6 karma

Interesting! I also worked at a box office at a casino that used Ticketmaster, but we absolutely had control over some of the good seats to an extent. Couldn't be super obvious about it and wouldn't do it on super popular shows. But we held tickets for so many different things - media, community (tribe), artist, giveaways, VIP, business council, etc. with so many good seats on hold, if the community seats weren't selling well it was super easy to just swap out the community holds and get someone tickets in the first 5 rows. We also had the ability to go in and snag tickets before the presale/on sale although that was a huge no no and fire-worthy so people didn't do it very often. I'm also curious if your VIPs were crabs about it haha! I remember so many people feeling so entitled to tix in the first 10 rows, who were not anywhere near our highest level of play. Fun to read your answers though! Thanks for doing this!

boxofficethrowaway5 karma

Yeah no problem!

We had a bunch of those holds too, definitely. It wasn't at all uncommon to get a handful of holds back here or there, but just as often we would use up all the holds and sell out.

TravelJunkie1232 karma

How could you recognize professional ticket scalpers? Did they ever try to bribe you?

boxofficethrowaway3 karma

A lot of times we didn't really care- once the ticket's been sold we have no way to police what you do with it (and honestly probably shouldn't, there's very little fundamental difference between giving a ticket to a friend and selling it on the internet beyond the exchange of money).

Back when we were able to do outside sales for other venues we'd get a guy coming in every once in awhile around 10am PST, right when shows went on sale. Dude's name was Dave, he scalped and knew TM back to front (he showed me where to find the macro commands and whatnot). Nice guy, we knew what he was doing but as far as our "jurisdiction" went he was a guest buying tickets. We didn't really have the ability to deny him tickets or anything like that.

There's significantly less power to combat scalping at the cashier's end than people seem to think there is. We're not paid to guess what you're going to do with your tickets, we're here to sell you tickets.

ywingisthebestwing2 karma

Why don't you care about people abusing the system

boxofficethrowaway4 karma

Me specifically? It's not my job.

The venue? We didn't really have a way to easily police it without seriously diminishing the guest experience with some form of check at entry, which would slow down an already glacial process at times. Add to that that it's not a huge venue that gets sold out immediately and there's no real reason to focus on that over other improvements elsewhere.

strommlers164 karma

ive been doing that for almost 3 years! my theater is going dark for 3 months now and i am jobless try as i might.

which ticketmaster did you use? we had an old school version TMWin99

boxofficethrowaway128 karma

Yeah, we used the old-school DOS-ass TMWin99. When I was training people I always said it's like using a program written in Swahili or something- you can learn a phrase or two and learn your way around to do some basic stuff, but beyond that it's really tough to figure out unless you've been doing it forever. It's a lot of rote memorization and repetition, which takes new guys a while to figure out.

strommlers32 karma

when i was first training i wrote a python code that printed and responded to TM commands so i could practice. building it also was super fun and probably helped me learn it faster. wish i still had the code.

boxofficethrowaway24 karma

Yeah, coding's never been my strong suit. Glad you figured out a way to pick it up quickly though, that shit gets complex.

thepitchaxistheory8 karma

Used to work with Ticketmaster too, but at a venue. I actually sort of enjoyed TMWin99. Autypes ftw.

boxofficethrowaway2 karma

Only ever learned WCPRTDOS, honestly. I still keep in touch with everyone I worked with so if you know any good ones I'll send them their way to mess with.

venueguy16 karma

next??: reclas cff0923/x1/rd/s4-7

boxofficethrowaway20 karma

But I wanted the aisle. You have the aisle right?

venueguy8 karma

Sigh... (types in a string of code to release print flag and start all over!)

boxofficethrowaway8 karma

That's why you use the shopping cart in SELL and hold onto that shit until you're SURE they've made up their damn minds.

gwinerreniwg90 karma

Are there any advantages to showing up in person at the box office to get tickets vs. online?

boxofficethrowaway80 karma

It varies based on the venue, but I always recommended it. You're sure to get someone who actually works there and (unless they're brand new) knows the floor plan and what sort of things to look out for. For instance, in our venue I know about the extreme angles and where the seats stagger well and where they don't, and I'd seen shows from just about every angle to get a good idea of the views.

For our specific venue you paid less in service fees buying it in person ($2.50 per as of the time I left) which was really nice as well.

RelentlessGrind17 karma

If someone is rude to you, would you intentionally give them seats with a bad view? That's something I would do.

boxofficethrowaway35 karma

If anything, I'd find them the best seats I could. A lot of times the rude ones are really picky. There wasn't really a bad view in our venue, it wasn't big enough, so my goal became "make them go away as fast as possible".

AlonsoQ49 karma

Go in person + be a dick = best seats. Got it.

boxofficethrowaway31 karma

I mean I'm always gonna offer the best seats we have available. That'll just make me do my job to the bare minimum as fast as possible to get you out of my life immediately.

Strel0ka16 karma

oh, even if it's true, you really shouldn't say things like that on the internet. That just encourages even more people to be assholes acting entitled to something.

boxofficethrowaway16 karma

I said it in the other response to this, it doesn't really change what I offer (I'm always out to find people the best seats possible), just the level of customer service I provide. For assholes, it's pretty much just "polite and to the point" to get it over with faster.

SuperFLEB2 karma

paid less in service fees buying it in person ($2.50 per as of the time I left)

BO wasn't service-fee-free? I've always figured box office was always the baseline "inconvenient" option to justify "convenience fees" for all the rest. Where I am it is-- no fees on buying at the venue.

boxofficethrowaway2 karma

The $2.50 "facilities fee" was a very recent change. A month ago you'd have been right on the money. Dunno the thought process behind it.

miserablecumf2 karma

What about for a really popular show? My fear with going in person is that if you aren't at the front of the line at the box office when tickets go on sale that you'll end up with nothing. For a show that's likely to be a quick sell out is there any advantage to going to the box office or are you better off on the website?

boxofficethrowaway2 karma

You're usually better off on the website. It's generally the fastest, even if you pay more.

GabeBlack43 karma

Here in Tampa at Amalie arena it is definitely worth it to go to the box office. You save on all the convenience and print at home and whatever else BS fees.

AProstituteStrangler21 karma

However you fucked me on parking at a lightning game last year. Charged me $20 plus fees for a parking pass and they were taking $15 cash at the lot I had to goto. Thanks

x-manowar41 karma

I'm sure it was that guy personally pocketing your after tax dollars and laughing maniacally.

boxofficethrowaway26 karma

That was basically my job description for the casino, yeah. Also the toilet clogging in your room was my fault, I spent the service fee money on six gallons of chili the night before.

Cleverly_Clearly73 karma

Might as well get the obvious out of the way - what's your best and worst customer experience stories?

boxofficethrowaway213 karma

Best is kinda hard, just because I'm usually pretty happy when a customer is just a normal dude. One that comes to mind is this blind guy that called us every once in awhile to have us read the show schedule to him. He usually called when it was slow so I didn't really mind taking the time to talk, and he was extremely friendly and liked to share stories about shows he'd seen. Normally people who share stories get dull, but I loved talking to him.

Worst is a lot easier- this one guy came up a year or so before we remodeled, when the seat plan was a bunch of tables and booths. The booths seated 4, but there was one at the perfect spot that seated 8. It was the owner's booth, as in The Owner Of The Casino Sits Here So Do Not Fucking Sell This To Anyone.

This guy comes up one day dressed like he was late to his job as an extra for Tom Cruise's character in Tropic Thunder (only with hair) and asks for the owner's booth for a show. I told him no, I'm sorry, we can't sell that booth, and he drops a $100 bill on the countertop like he just unlocked the keys to the kingdom. I told him no again, then he started getting all kinds of huffy with me, trying to bargain and stuff. Eventually he goes "look, just get me your manager", so I turn around to my manager (who's standing right behind me talking to his boss and heard the whole thing) and ask if he can help. The guy tries the same shit again with my manager like five times and eventually, while I'm standing right there, points at me and goes "Come on, I'm trying to show him what it's like to have money."

Obviously not a guest that flung shit at me or threatened me or anything, but that one's really stuck with me. Casinos get a lot of entitled guests, it comes with the VIP rewards program, but that was fucking insulting.

Relaxbro3071 karma

"One that comes to mind is this blind guy that called us" -> ".. liked to share stories about shows he'd seen."

i feel terrible but was he always blind or..?

boxofficethrowaway40 karma

No idea. Weird language on my end, my bad. We've gotten blind people coming in before, they just take the cheap seats way in the back since the sound's good through the whole place.

ThorsGrundle7 karma

So what did your boss end up doing to show him what it's like to have money?

Did he take him out back and kneecap him like the good old days of the Casinos?

Did he take him to the high rollers room and let him see thousands of dollars being poured into a single tug on the Helllooooo machines?

Did he show him the vault then kick him out?

I'm burning with questions as to how this ended.

boxofficethrowaway13 karma

Nah, see, that's the old school. These days that kneecapping stuff is, yknow, a crime. Instead we just chucked pennies at him and called him names.

Really though we just kinda kept refusing until he got pissed and asked for the casino manager. Gladly gave him the number so that guy could tell him no too.

grimcanuck8 karma

My rule is always accept free money. Never be bribed. I would have pocketed his hundred and asked him if he would like a different seat.

boxofficethrowaway17 karma

I would absolutely have considered it were it not for the two bosses standing beside me and the cameras covering every square inch of floor space.

grimcanuck4 karma

Point taken. That must have been frustrating.

boxofficethrowaway6 karma

I was too busy being extremely pissed at that guy for being an incredible asshole, honestly.

iamjomos8 karma

Tropic Thunder is still one of the greatest movies of the past few decades

boxofficethrowaway8 karma

Black Dynamite tho

eff-o-vex7 karma

liked to share stories about shows he'd seen heard.

boxofficethrowaway10 karma

There we go.

fosiacat2 karma

blind guy

shows he’s seen

( ಡ ﹏ ಡ)

boxofficethrowaway3 karma

i cri everytim

boxofficethrowaway42 karma

Nother few stories I wanted to tell in the first place: two that happened to me, and one I heard secondhand from one of the ushers at the time.

A coworker and I were doing this show, and after the show starts it usually dies down a lot so we were standing there just shooting the shit, killing time until we could go home, right? Maybe halfway through the show this girl comes out and she is absolutely fucking hammered, like out of her mind drunk, leaning on the counter for support. She talks to us and it's obvious she's out of it so we're just kind of humoring her. At some point she stops mid-sentence, looks at the two of us and says "Yknow, I'd really like to just rape the shit out of you two."

We kinda stood their real awkwardly and passed it off as a joke until a much more sober friend came out (which sounded like "Oh god Jenny are you okay I'm so sorry you guys come on Jenny let's get you out of here") and we agreed in that moment that we'd take it as a compliment so that we wouldn't keep looking over our shoulders later.

Another one happened on my first day on the job, back when I was on phones. I was training so I was hooked into someone else's headset- not doing anything, just shadowing and listening in. The job was hotel operator, so all of the housekeeping, the wakeup calls, transfers, that was us. She gets this call and it's this guy with a voice like he gargled fucking gravel every day for years, and he says he wants candles delivered up to his room. He specifically states that "due to certain circumstances I can't leave the room right now". She puts him on hold to check with housekeeping and looks at me like "Did you fucking hear that too?" I asked her "He's... he's naked isn't he" and we kinda moved on from there. Housekeeping said that we couldn't allow open flames in a room because of fire code, so no candles. When we took the guy off hold, all of a sudden we hear this fuckin Marvin Gaye type RnB soul blasting in the phone speakers. She gets his attention and tells him no and you could just hear his voice deflate. I went home that day knowing I was an accomplice in cockblocking an old man.

This one I heard from someone else, so I have no idea how true it is. This guy was one of the lead ushers for the theatre at the time, and he was standing out on the entrance steps with a couple of the VPs when one of the other ushers comes out, this Mexican guy that spoke English with kind of an accent. That's important because of what he said.



"Someone chit in the choroom."

It took him a second to figure out what that meant, but when he did he ran right in, and he said you could smell the turd the moment you stepped in. With this theatre, you came in at about the halfway point, so they had to go in and then back up to find this horse-sized turd just chilling on one of the chairs. They had to push back the show about an hour while a couple poor PAH (public area housekeeping) folks had to come clean the absolute christ out of the area.

iwas99x41 karma

Why did they switch to Ticketmaster?

Did Ticketmaster convince them to through a sales pitch or did they just go out and select the most famous and biggest broker without looking at all the competitors of Ticketmaster?

Why did they no longer sell in house? What reason did they give?

boxofficethrowaway49 karma

We still sold in house, we just used an in-house ticketing system that worked in tandem with the room reservation system before (I think it was called Showgate) and switched to all Ticketmaster in tandem with a major remodel about two years back. The difference in show quality was noticeable- we were getting good shows before, but we jumped from D-listers on average to B-listers. No Taylor Swift or Metallica or whatever, but still a lot bigger draws that pulled in a lot more sales. I'm willing to bet a lot of them got on board because their agents or record labels or whatever work exclusively through Ticketmaster. Like it or not, they opened doors.

ThatAnimationCritic26 karma

Did you primarily do business in sports or theater sales where you were located? Always wondered what these jobs entailed, to be honest.

boxofficethrowaway42 karma

Our venue did music and comedians mostly. Before we renovated a few years back we'd have amateur MMA live, which was interesting, but also tricky to handle since the theater wasn't designed for that sort of setup (since all the seats are on one side and whatnot).

The stage was actually enormous, which gives a lot of room for some of the real showmen that have come through (Alice Cooper, Empire of the Sun, and KISS come to mind) to work with cool set designs.

ThatAnimationCritic10 karma

That's pretty cool...sounds like a neat venue for specialty events. Amateur MMA? That must have taken some logistics to get right as you alluded to...wonder how the turnout was.

boxofficethrowaway12 karma

The turnout was alright for awhile, although they stopped working with us after the renovation. Dunno if they found a better place or what, but I don't mind. Those shows went on for hours and someone had to stick around till the last fight started so I was usually getting out after midnight.

cognitiv31 karma

doesnt the GSR stage hold some kind of record for being big? I saw the postal service there, and chvrches, good times.

boxofficethrowaway5 karma

I thiiiiiiink it's the world's largest stage? Maybe the largest in the country? I tried to look it up once and didn't find anything so I don't know if there's any foundation to the claim. It is a huge stage, though.

You should have seen Empire of the Sun back in April, man. It was great, though I felt I was way too sober to get the most out of it.

BrokenAscendent16 karma

How do companies feel about scalpers?

boxofficethrowaway27 karma

I really don't know anything from the legal side of things, but from a sales side we can't really do much about it beyond saying "hey don't scalp around us". Once you bought a ticket from us, we were hands-off: what you do with it after that is up to you. When people asked me I would always always always recommend against buying from them since I only ever saw it when it went south and someone got scammed, but that's as much influence as we had on it. We're not just gonna not sell to someone, no matter what we think they might do with the tickets.

kunstlich10 karma

There are multiple methods to make scalping a pain in the ass, such as photo ID on tickets or credit card checking at venues - is it as simple as "this costs more money so we don't bother doing it"?

tmlrule30 karma

Those methods are effective at making scalping a pain, but they also make it a pain for regular customers too. People who don't have a credit card and normally use their parents, or people who want to buy tickets as a gift. Or even just people who buy tickets and find out they can't make it and sell tickets at face value or give them to friends, etc.

boxofficethrowaway15 karma

This last bit especially. Lots of people buy tickets as gifts for others or hand them off to someone else. Not only that, it would slow entry down dramatically, which causes problems for my specific venue.

Chreed969 karma

Have you ever done the water driving range at the GSR?

boxofficethrowaway5 karma

I haven't, golf was never really my thing. Went to the arcade as a kid and tried a bunch of the restaurants during my time there, though.

HordaksFather9 karma

Was the turnover at the box office as bad as it was everywhere else at the GSR? Also, how did you feel about the horrible management?

boxofficethrowaway9 karma

Turnover at the box office isn't as bad as something like the front desk, which was nonstop and dealt with complaints and was high-visibility. As far as management, I liked my direct superiors a lot, but more than a couple steps up the chain I didn't really hear from anyone. That could be a whole lot worse, but it wasn't great either.

iwas99x9 karma

What was the average "convenience fee" for tickets there?

boxofficethrowaway15 karma

In person it was free, $3 extra per over the phone. Recently they added a $2.50 fee on top of that to everything, no clue why. Still dirt cheap in person.

LMGgp6 karma


boxofficethrowaway10 karma


iwas99x5 karma

What is/was your college major?

boxofficethrowaway9 karma

Graphic design. Left this job for one in my field.

CrikeyKangaroo5 karma

Before tickets go on sale to the public, what percentage of tickets are already sold off?

boxofficethrowaway6 karma

It varies wildly depending on the show, location, venue, all sorts of stuff like that. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that super popular acts sell out instantly.

From the angle of this specific venue, the casino and presales are what take the lion's share. Casino gets a couple hundred tickets at various price levels to offer their players based on their play rate (and I've seen players with an average daily wager rate from the single digits to the thousands), sometimes five or six hundred if it's a big show. Beyond that, our presales were pretty open so a lot of times the a good chunk of the front half would go before the on sale. At a guess, that means about thirty percent of a theater seating about 2500-2700.

iwas99x4 karma

What was the busiest day of the week at work?

What was the slowest hour of the week?

What was the busiest hour of the day at work?

What was the slowest hour of the day?

boxofficethrowaway5 karma

It varied a lot- show days were almost universally busy, whereas any day that wasn't within a few days of a show was slow as hell.

I had days where I didn't speak to another person all day long, and then I had show nights where I sold nonstop for hours straight and on-sales where we didn't stop selling until we closed.

jetsonian4 karma

So how did GSR feel after Amy Schumer spent the first 15 minutes of her act talking shit about the venue?

For background: she was originally booked for their Grand Theater, which is one of the best venues in town. Then they decided to do renovations on the theater and they moved her to a convention room with ziptied dining chairs and a temporary stage.

boxofficethrowaway4 karma

I can't speak for anyone but myself of course but man, I think she can go fuck herself. Heard from one of my bosses at the time that she was being an asshole to the people working at wardrobe and all that too.

I'm sure she's probably nice to some people but that was a pretty dickish thing to say.

iwas99x4 karma

How often are you on Reddit and what are your favorite subreddits?

boxofficethrowaway10 karma

Allllll the time, dude. This is a throwaway so I don't wanna be specific, but a lot of gaming subs.

iwas99x3 karma

What hours of the day did you work?

How many hours did you work per week?

boxofficethrowaway8 karma

Swing/night shift for three years, then morning for the last year. Given that my new job is normal business hours, I'm glad I had time to adapt.

I was part time, but for awhile we were really understaffed, so I did more hours including a lot of overtime pretty frequently.

iwas99x3 karma

How much does Ticketmaster give to politicians so that they don't get regulations and laws written against their anti-competion and anti-consumer friendly rules and prices?

boxofficethrowaway20 karma

Seventeen bucks and a free coupon for the local McDonalds.

Honestly I have no clue. We used Ticketmaster for our sales, we weren't actually Ticketmaster.

dickbroom3 karma

Hey there fellow Reno area guy. What happened to the prop airplane from Hello Hollywood, Hello?

boxofficethrowaway3 karma

It's still there, dude. Saw it a few days ago when we ate backstage for my little going away party.

dickbroom3 karma

Haha have any other acts used the plane in your tenure there?

boxofficethrowaway4 karma

I think David Copperfield vanished it once, but that was before my time. These days it just sits backstage with some other old sets and stuff.

renorenorenoreno3 karma

When does the buffet have crab legs? I forget.

boxofficethrowaway4 karma

Fridays iirc

econobro3 karma

Hey man, thanks for doing this. I'm a little late to the party but hoping you see this.. have a couple of questions.

1) What's to prevent people from using Ticketmaster as a "showroom" of sorts then converting to the venue's website and purchasing from there to avoid the Ticketmaster fees? Does Ticketmaster own the inventory or do they have exclusivity via the contract, etc. Could you shed some light here?

2) What's Ticketmasters opinion of the secondary market (stubhub, seatgeek, etc.)?

2a) Does Ticketmaster price to discourage resale? Or are they in collusion with the secondary market to maximize value to each channel?

3) Do you have an opinion of Nathan Hubbard? Think he probably predates you but he seems to understand the pain consumers go through when acquiring tickets (although he didn't really do too much about it).

4) Final request - give me your insider's-opinion on how we fix this market for the consumer.

boxofficethrowaway3 karma

Hey! I can't really comment on too much of this since I worked for a venue, not for Ticketmaster themselves, but I'll answer what I can.

1) Back when we were using our own in-house system we recommended doing this. Their online map looked better than ours in some cases so we'd tell them to look at the map on Ticketmaster and then come to our site and buy them cheaper. Since we went to 100% Ticketmaster sales there's no difference except fees. As far as I was aware we still owned the inventory the whole time, they just worked as a third party for us early on and later became our distribution mechanism. Our contracts and promotions were (again as far as I was aware) between us and the talent, unless they had an outside promoter like JMAX or Another Planet or something.

2) No clue. My own personal opinion is that the whole system is pretty fucked, but I wouldn't know the first thing to do to fix it.

2a) No clue, I never really got insight into why prices were set to what they were.

3) Never heard of him before now, to be honest.

4) See 2, I'd much rather leave that issue to people with more passion and expertise in the subject than myself.

iwas99x2 karma

How often do you get to Lake Tahoe and the Ski Slopes nearby?

boxofficethrowaway2 karma

Not at all, honestly. I'm not a very outdoorsy person. Tons of people come through the casinos for that stuff, though.

chinmakes52 karma

So I read that the whole idea of Ticketmaster is to throw extra fees on and take the pressure off of the artist or venue. For example. Better for your favorite singer to charge $50 a ticket with Ticketmaster throwing on $20 in fees as compared to $65 for the ticket and $5 for the fees. Their whole model is to take the ire of the fans off of the artist/venue. That is why they don't have competition. Have you heard this, do you know if it is true?

boxofficethrowaway2 karma

I have heard that, yeah, but it wasn't really true for our venue (max fee total outside of online was $5.50) so I don't really know how accurate it is, sorry.

EHnter2 karma

What's it like to work for literal Satan?

boxofficethrowaway2 karma

A couple weeks ago I went over to the water cooler and my boss was there.

"Hey Satan," I said.

"Hey Throwaway," he said.

"Hey, so I got this job in my field out of college..."

"Oh wow, congratulations. I knew you'd been looking around."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm really excited. I guess this means I'm putting in my two weeks' notice."

"Could you put that down in writing for me? HR needs it official before they'll open up the spot for me to start hiring."

"Sure, no problem."

"We're gonna miss you around here."

"Don't I know it, Satan."

"All the same, I'm really happy for you."

"Thanks, I really appreciate the support. It was a pleasure working here."

"You know this means I've gotta spend twice as much time flaying the skin from your bones before burning you alive, then reversing the process by reconstituting you from living ooze and ensuring you feel every instant of the incredible pain since you're leaving, right?"

"Yeah, that's pretty fair. In the meantime, I'll make sure the manual is up to snuff before I go."

"Sounds like a plan. Let me know if you need someone to call me for a reference."

"Will do. Seeya later."

Yeah, Satan's pretty chill. Would recommend unless you have problems with the whole eternal hellfire thing.

wdr11 karma

Small world. When I worked at TM my team was building a web based replaced for the old windows & command line interface they used at box offices & outlets.

We rolled it out for the Beijing Olympics, but I left for Google after that. Did it ever get deployed globally?

boxofficethrowaway1 karma

Don't think so, I was using TMWin99 the whole time. I know the management system Ticketmaster One or something was online, but I was never a manager so I only saw it once or twice.

Apophis7751 karma

Did you get your soul back when you left?

boxofficethrowaway3 karma

Traded it in for $7.50 in-store credit at GameStop.

OneCleverlyNamedUser1 karma

Why don't venues price their tickets properly to avoid massive shortages that allows scalpers to make a killing? Why not just charge what the scalper would charge and actually pocket that cash yourself?

boxofficethrowaway1 karma

If the venue charged what the scalpers charged and they still bought it up, what's stopping them from selling it at even more of a markup?

OneCleverlyNamedUser1 karma

Do you think there is an unlimited demand at any price? The scalper sells it at the highest price the market would bear. Why doesn't the venue?

boxofficethrowaway1 karma

Just from my experience I see tons of people that won't buy tickets past a certain price. Shows have gone without selling out despite high demand when the prices were set too high, so I could definitely see it hurting business depending on the specific show. Shows that weren't much of a draw in the first place might not get sales at all. It's kind of a tenuous balance, but I never had a hand in pricing the shows so I wouldn't know more than that.

iwas99x1 karma

How old are you and are you a lady or man?

boxofficethrowaway2 karma

Mid 20s dude, just out of college.

notfin1 karma

Did you get free tickets or a discount?

boxofficethrowaway4 karma

No discount, but I knew all the ushers and security guys and could just go to whatever show I wanted more or less for free so long as it wasn't crazy busy. Sometimes I'd just walk in and sit way in the back and sometimes I'd ask my boss for tickets, which is how I got to see Joe Satriani with my dad in the second row.

kindasuperhans1 karma

What would you have loved to have to make your job easier and/or customers' lives easier?

boxofficethrowaway3 karma

A looser refund policy. Ours was "no refunds unless the show cancels" so there were many times where something happened and people couldn't go and we couldn't do anything about it, which sucks for everyone involved.

kindasuperhans2 karma

Ticketmaster has a resale outlet of their own on their site though don't they? The thinking is probably that people can sell their tickets back through Ticketmaster (with more service fees of course because Ticketmaster) and get their money back without the venue/artist/promoter losing their sale

boxofficethrowaway1 karma

Yeah, they do. It's a solution, but it's not a perfect one, especially when you have to cancel right before the show.

RecePiece1 karma

Do brokers get the advantage of presale (and the better seats) and then jack up the prices for us regular folk? No matter how early I buy, for bigger shows, I can never really get that close. Then I look on broker sites that seem to have awesome seats, with a 400% mark up.

boxofficethrowaway2 karma

It depends on the size of the venue. We attracted some good talent, but none of the absolutely enormous acts that fill entire stadiums, so we never really had that problem. Kind of fortunate in that regard, really, since casino already gets a chunk of the good stuff, so with no scalpers buying stuff up fast there was still plenty for everyone else.

Severnaya110 karma

Why should I care?

boxofficethrowaway1 karma

Because I'm offering free blowjobs and pillow talk to the millionth commenter.

DoppelFrog-2 karma

How do you sleep at night?

boxofficethrowaway13 karma

Sideways, under sheets made of that T-shirt material that's really soft but not too hot. I've got a body pillow with just some solid color cover on it, those things are super comfortable. Like holy shit, insanely comfortable.

evenios-6 karma


boxofficethrowaway6 karma


BipolarGod-23 karma

How much over minimum wage did they pay you to buy your morals and conscience?
What is the going price to be a professional piece of shit?

boxofficethrowaway22 karma

$10 an hour, but it's okay because I got sexual gratification from being an unwilling cog in a machine far greater than any individual change I could make in order to pay my way through college.

Venue was a nice place to work, customers were good, liked all the people I worked with. Doesn't mean I like Ticketmaster. It's better than the available alternatives, but that's because they're all worse.