Three myths about the LCD Soundsystem ticket mess

In case you have been sleeping under a rock LCD Soundsystem is playing their final show at Madison Square Garden on April 2nd.  Many people weren’t able to get tickets.  However, it might not be as shady as it all seems.

1. Scalpers took all of the tickets

While I’m sure scalpers got ahold of a lot of tickets, it might not be as many as you think.

At last check there were 875 tickets available on Stubhub.  I realize a lot were probably already sold on Stubhub, and there may be more put online after people receive their hard tickets in the mail.  However, this isn’t an extremely large number for a show of this size.  Also, according to James Murphy there were only 13,000 seats available for this show.   That means less that 7% of tickets are being sold on Stubhub.  Also, what percentage of these tickets are professional scalpers?   I would say no more than half.  The other half are your average fan who wouldn’t mind making an extra quick hundred bucks.

2. Ticketmaster conspired against the fans

It seemed like there were barely any tickets available on ticketmaster.  Theories abounded that something was going on similar to ticketmaster’s infamous Bruce Springsteen ticket scandal.  I doubt ticketmaster would risk that kind of bad press again, and there aren’t very many tickets on sale at their affiliate TicketsNow.  Also, lets not forget that many fans were able to get tickets online without a problem (not talking about GA tickets I will get into that in a minute).

During the Pitchfork presale I was able to get 4 tickets together in section 335, I let them go in hopes of searching again and getting GA tickets (dumb).  During the regular online sale I was able to get 2 tickets in section 10, but also let them go in hopes of getting GA tickets (also dumb).  I heard of many other people who were able to successfully buy tickets online.  

3. GA Tickets are selling for thousands of dollars

First of all let’s figure out how many tickets were available for GA seats.  Altogether there are about 800 GA tickets sold for an MSG show of this size.  The in-person Mercury Lounge presale supposedly sold around 300 GA tickets.  That leaves at most 500 tickets, not including any tickets set aside by the band or venue.  That’s less than the capacity of Bowery Ballroom.  Remember the Kanye show at Bowery?  I didn’t know anyone who was able to get those tickets, and they were $150 each.  I’m sure professional scalpers targeted these tickets and got some, but there really weren’t that many to begin with.

How much are these tickets going for now?  Every report I heard was about tickets selling for many thousands of dollars.  This is not true.

On the left is a screen shot of the GA tickets listed on Stubhub.  On the right is a screen shot of what they actually were selling for on Stubhub.

The average GA ticket sold for $482, and some people even got them for under $300.  Yes that is ridiculously expensive.  But no one is actually going to buy any for 11k.


Also, see those 50 tickets posted $3,500 in the picture above?  They are now listed for $350,000.  LCD tweeted about it this morning.  There is no chance that seller has 50 tickets.  Chances are they have no tickets.  Stubhub lets a seller post any amount of tickets at any price.  The seller probably figures if someone actually buys a ticket for a ridiculous price they will just come up with a cheaper one from somewhere else and give it to that buyer.  Stubhub also allows the sellers to say “sorry I actually don’t have that ticket” after someone buys it.  It happened to me once when I thought I had scored a ticket.  The only way to know that a seller definitely has the ticket they are selling, is if it says “instant download” next to the tickets they have posted.

So what could Ticketmaster/LCD have done better?  

 They couldn’t use the paperless ticket option that Arcade Fire used at MSG because it is now illegal.  Current New York State laws ban this in part because of the inability to buy a ticket for someone as a gift (to his credit Gov. Patterson tried to fight this).  They could have limited GA ticket purchases to 1 per person, but there was no easy answer with this kind of unexpected demand.  I know ticketmaster sucks in general, don’t get me wrong.

Thankfully LCD announced 4 more shows, and once those go on sale the MSG prices should drop.  I for one hope to score tickets.

Comments appreciated.



  1. enjoy-every-sand-wich reblogged this from joshmorrissey
  2. ecams said: i got tix to the kanye show. that’s all i’m saying. and yes, so happy they opened up the shows at terminal 5….
  3. joshmorrissey posted this