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Grumble, concert venue fees...

Old 05-31-21, 11:34 AM
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Juan Foote
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Grumble, concert venue fees...

I have been wanting to see Blackberry Smoke live for several years. They will be at the Amphitheater well on the other side of town in August. It is not accessible by MARTA without an included 20 min walk which I am no longer up to....

So, tickets for the concert started at $55 for the BEST seats. Super stoked. Go online to Live Nation/Ticketmaster to find that they ALLOW "certified resellers" IE scalpers to resell through their site(s) with a markup of almost $140. Front section is a no go, roger. We find some seats we liked in the section behind, $35 bucks a seat which is a freaking BARGAIN comparatively. I put them in the cart and go to check out and get a HUGE unwelcome surprise.
The 'fees' from the venue and ticket (seller) exceed the cost of the tickets. Further adding insult to injury is that this particular venue (much like Braves stadium) has insufficient parking. They offer a 'package' where you can add the on site parking for $50. Otherwise you have to park a good walk away, and as mentioned I am not really up to it any more.

So, the tickets themselves were going to be $70, but then the add on's and parking make it an additional $120+ ????!!!???

I wouldn't mind going. FAR better than many other established acts, but I simply cannot bring myself to pay nearly 2x the cost of the tickets for the **** fee(s).

Last edited by Juan Foote; 05-31-21 at 11:36 AM. Reason: can't add
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Old 05-31-21, 02:09 PM
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What happens if you go to the venue and purchase the tickets in person? Sure, it's on the other side of town... but if I read your rant about fees correctly... $120 buys a lot of gas... you can probably make that trip a couple of times.

And oh yeah... I agree... "legal scalpers." Sheesh.
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Old 05-31-21, 03:14 PM
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I've run into that here in Southern California at some of the smaller venues, too. I just stopped going to those places when I see all those added charges.
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Old 05-31-21, 07:34 PM
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Never heard of "Blackberry Smoke." But back in '78, The Who was one of the most famous rock bands in the world, and I paid ten bucks (the equivalent of $40 in today's dollars) to see them. Since then, the concert industry has seen some consolidation and the consequent exercise of much market power - and hence a niche band is selling tix for huge prices.
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Old 05-31-21, 10:29 PM
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Live Nation-Ticket Master and those service fees Paid anyways probably too much because concerts are fun. I don’t even want to think about what I have invested in concerts for 2021 and 2022. The resale option is just a legal scalping scheme. 7 concerts to see in the future
1. Guns n Roses in Indianapolis on July 18
2. Megadeth, Lamb of God on August 20 in Austin
3. Korn Sept 18 in Austin
4. KISS Sept 29 in Austin
5. Judas Priest Oct 12 San Antonio
2022
6. July 21 Mötley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison, Joan Jett in San Antonio
7. Rammstein in San Antonio in Sept.

Not going to add up the $ because I don’t wanna know. The % in fees is outrageous.
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Old 05-31-21, 11:06 PM
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Any way to get your bike with you for the trip to the box office?

How many people can squeeze into a Taxi or Uber to shuttle between the parking and concert? $60 fare spread 3 ways = $20 per passenger.
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Old 06-01-21, 12:28 AM
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Eh, between audience noise level, shoving crowds, parking hassles, fees, and bad venue acoustics... why bother.

Save your money and just buy their latest best "record."
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Old 06-01-21, 02:50 AM
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Koyote, It must have been either 1976 or 1979 because The Who did not play any real concerts anywhere during 1977 or 1978. Their last real concert with Keith Moon, at the last show of the 1976 tour was on Oct 21st, 1976 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. They did no touring during 1977 and 1978 but they did get together on Dec 15th, 1977 at the Gaumont State Theatre, Kilburn in Northwest London for one show being filmed for the Kids Are Alright Project. They were horrible by the usual live standard of The Who and Pete comments on that in many later interviews as well as during the stage banter with the audience during the show. It wasn't a real Who concert, as they play a fairly short set, and it was really just more or less a unrehearsed set of the group getting together for the first time in more than a year for essentially a live rehearsal in front of a state of the art film crew to hopefully maybe capture something useful. They did play an early version of Who Are You, where the words aren't finished at that point and there is no backing tape doing the synth part of the song as we know it. Sadly I think that MCA did choose to release much of this on dvd in recent years.
On May 25, 1978, The Who gathered at Shepperton Studios to play another short set live for film.....Kids Are Alright Project, in front of an audience. This would be Keith Moon's very last on the drums for The Who. Baba O'Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again appear in the film. They played Won't Get Fooled Again twice, My Wife twice, and Baba, Substitute, I Can't Explain, Magic Bus, Summertime Blues, My Generation...
---AUGUST 1978: The Who release the album, WHO ARE YOU
-----SEPTEMBER 8, 1978 The Who's drummer KEITH MOON dies.
-------DEC 1978 drummer KENNEY JONES, formerly of The Small Faces --and-- The Faces is announced as becoming The Who's permanent drummer.

On MAY 2nd, 1979 return to playing concerts with Kenney Jones on drums at Rainbow Theatre, London (THE 1st real Who concert since TORONTO 10-21-76 )
Ten days later they go to Frejus France for shows on May 12 & 13th, and then on to PARIS for shows on May 16th & 17th.
Next was June 8 in Glasgow Scotland and June 9th in Edinburgh Scotland.
THEY DID NOT PLAY AGAIN UNTIL Sat August 18th, 1979 at Wembley Stadium in LONDON
Then not again until Sat Sept 1, 1979 at Olympic Stadium in Nuremburg Germany
Then they came to the US on Sept 10th for several days at the tiny Capital Theater in PASSAIC NEW JERSEY across the river from NYC.
They packed Mad Sq Garden on SEP 13th, Sept 14th, Sept 16th, Sept 17th, and Sept 18th
That was all UNTIL about mid November when they played a week of shows in England.
On Nov 30th, 1979, The Who play Detroit they kick off a US TOUR that will end the week before Christmas.
Pittsburgh is the next stop on Dec 2nd.
On Dec 3rd, 1979 at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati OHIO, 11 concert-goers died in a stampede when fans were scrambling enter the auditoriums' doors. The concert was festival seating (general admission) where you do not have pre-assigned seats, but first come, first get, and the folks with jobs and schedules that cannot arrive early enough to cling to and crush-wait against the auditorium doors for many hours before they are opened will be those with poorer seats and nosebleed-rafter seats.
Promoters often did festival seating because it greatly simplified printing tickets and ticket sales in general. There was not very much in the computer printed tickets back in the late 1970's although there was Ticketron and maybe one other system in a few major cities. You as a promoter had to have the TICKETS printed by a printing firm that did tickets, pretty much like you would for campaign signs for mayor, senate, or promotional concert posters, etc. By going festival seating, you also did not have to organize and allocate the tickets in order of seat location such as the major box office getting the primo seats and then the satellite box offices getting less primo seats, but also you had to still organize them in rank order of available quality at every box office. You would then release the few seats that could be added only once the stage was built and the space determined for them........sometimes those are great seats but often would not become available until the afternoon on the day of the concert. BASICALLY, General Admission ticket seating, saved the promoter both money in printing cost and it saved money and time from an administrative/operational manpower hours cost. There was both a significant Downside and a significant Upside to doing FESTIVAL SEATING(gen admission seating) as seen from both a fan's and a promoter's perspective. FESTIVAL SEATING in many cases in many cities even with very solid touring draws, you'd get fans slower to purchase tickets until closer to the actual concert date. Fans with jobs and responsibilities wanted to be certain that they could be there with there together with their dates and friends, very early enough to get the gang together in a good part of the seats. One advantage for the teen-aged fans with no real job or responsibilities was that they could get a ticket at the last minute that tickets were still available and yet still have a reasonable certainty of getting a great seat and view of the concert if they just line up at the arena's doors about five hours before the opening act is expected to start, which is about four hours before the open the doors and let concert goers into the arena.
You combine very cold weather and a group that is a super-popular concert draw, and then factor in the alcohol and drug intake of many of the fans during the several hours waiting for the arena doors to open, and then perhaps combine that with somebody/some group/or the headliner doing a late, but routine soundcheck and those few really ff'ed up get paranoid that the concert is getting under way, and you get the crowd crush. Folks that aren't at least close to sixty years old today must remember that there was no way to communicate with your friends and pals at that time.....phones didn't exist, except pay phone booths and hard wired home and office phones......there were no car phones then unless you were Ringo Starr or Mick Jagger in your Rolls-Royce or Limo, or the Governor of your state, or President Carter's limo. The only way you had to know anything is if maybe you were carrying a portable am/fm radio boombox but by the mid-Seventies, most concert venues prohibited concert goers from entering with am/fm cassette stereo boomboxes because concert goers could and often did make quality bootleg audience tapes of ELVIS, ROLLING STONES, DYLAN, LED ZEPPELIN, THE WHO, CSNY, NEIL YOUNG, ERIC CLAPTON, PINK FLOYD and McCARTNEY & Wings. Because Led Zeppelin did not have an official live album release well into 1976 (from '73 msg NY 7-27, 28, '73 song remains...) that LED ZEPPELIN bootleg concert tapes and bootleg albums were widely popular Nobody really cared at most any arena or stadium if you carried a stereo boombox or portable stereo cassette deck like the SONY TC-152SD and Sony ECM-99 stereo microphone into concerts before about 1975, but so many quality bootlegs were being sold that the artist's management began to police and physically prohibit fans from bringing stereo tape recorders and basic tape recorders into concerts. You could really make good recordings with decent electret condenser mics. Radio Shack began offering some that were only about $19 in late 1971 that were small and really good. Sony had them first in 1969 but they were initially expensive.
I recorded some concerts with the same equipment that we used to record our bands' shows and some of the results were as nearly as good as Biscuits and live as it happened broadcasts. CrO2 cassettes from TDK, SONY, Hitachi-MAXELL etc would deliver good results if the mics were well matched to the recorder, Obviously, we weren't able to use the fifty pound r2r Akai at 7 1/2 ips with carefully placed elevated mics as we did at some of our gigs , but just the same some of those higher level Seventies era SONY & PANASONIC boomboxes and ghetto blasters had recording VU meters, and manual recording level adjustment and quality mic inputs during the early days before many such features were eliminated. Those things would record as well as any portable stereo cassette deck or home deck without Dolby. Your limitation was that you could not put the mics in the air on poles as the Grateful Dead fans were doing. If you could, you'd generally get live FM broadcast quality. In fact many early Seventies live FM broadcasts were simply sometimes as few as two mics about twenty feet in the air above the heads of the crowd on about the 20th row center floor in a sweet spot to capture the best combination of PA and the stage amps etc that weren't run through the PA in those days .
A great audience tape like what your band would capture of your performance in a club, theater, arena, stadium or wherever is gonna be a heck of a lot better than a soundboard recording because UNLESS you go and live mic it for both mix and sound accuracy as well as mic'ing it for crowd noise response, you're gonna end up likely with crap because there is a lot you have to do to make it sound realistic. Folks sometimes mic'd near the foldback on stage monitors and then mic'd near the drums, and near the front of the stage, and then sometimes with a blend of processed board feed mix. There are lots of ways. Sometimes you get lucky. Remember though that if you don't attempt to capture your band's performances or your solo performances, you'll never end up with anything worthwhile because you never recorded. Sure, you'll have many attempts where gremlins and noise, bad levels, bad mic placement or whatever ruin the capture of a great performance.....and there will be other nights where the recording is technically great but maybe you had a cold or a little off or just really stunk. You should try to capture some of your performances. You don't need state of the art equipment, just decent enough to be high quality and enjoyable. Obviously digital and electret condenser mics will give you the best recording signal to noise quality and the highest quality and clarity for very little cost today.

I remember seeing The Who several times and they were phenomenal each time.
Once, we had side-stage tickets about twelve rows up from Townshend, and I was not able to hear for about two days after that concert. People said I was shouting, and I felt like I might have been but I couldn't hear myself normally unless I did for a couple of days.
I saw a lot of great concerts back in the day.
I guess I am luckier than most to still have relatively decent hearing for my age but about two super loud concerts near the stage like that Who show, I began to carry a couple of cocktail napkins to wad up in my ears or foam hunting earplugs.........they would pad or drop about 20 db from the sound level without too much treble or loss of clarity. Sometimes you needed to roll off some high freq treble too at high volume as undoubtedly some bands and sound people were near deaf judging by how loud and piercing trebley the sound was.

I remember seeing Linda Ronstadt at Atlanta's Fox Theatre a couple of times. Her ticket prices (face value of the ticket) was among the highest of anybody touring at the time and you also had the added Fox Restoration Fee, but you know even at $15.25 (ticket price) it was an incredible bargain because Linda was great and worth every penny and three times the price. The Cockroaches, yeah , the tickets said Alex Cooley presents The Cockroaches at Fox Theatre, this was in June 1978 at the beginning of the tour after they opened in Lakeland Fla as something like the Great Southeast Wrestling Champions........The next show after Atlanta, in Passaic NJ they were The Rolling Stones..............The Stones came back to the Fox Theater on Oct 26, 1981 and it was the only small venue on the tour except for the unannouced Toads Place club gig a few days before the tour opener at JFK in Philly on Sept 25th.. Word was they were definitely gonna play the Fox again in 1981 in October but they tried to equalize fans chances of getting tickets by without any advance warning, announcing via rock radio 96Rock at about 2AM on either a Friday or Sat night that ROLLING STONES fox theatre tickets were now onsale. All the tickets sold out with 45 minutes. What they did accomplish was to get a quallity party-going crowd which was those that were out and about in their cars after leaving bars at 2 AM on a weekend. People were lined up in a ten deep line of crowd or mob without a ticket on the night of the concert OCT 26th, 1981 some offering as much as $1000 for a $15 ticket. It was a crazy scene.
Atlanta GA had so many great concerts back in the day. I was fortunate enough to witness many of them there.
When my brother was near finishing his BSEE at TECH, Lynryd Skynyrd was the house band at a local popular Italian-spaghetti restaurant & bar there, where Al Kooper found them. Music Midtown 2003 had probably among the best three day line-ups of any festival of the past 40 years anywhere on the planet...also probably the best organized and executed too..... Alex Cooley certainly had figured out how to do it right by that time. The stars must have aligned too for so many great acts to be on that three day bill, well two day because Fri night had horrible storms and Sheryl Crow and Bob Dylan didn't restart and finish until the wee-hours, and 200,000 + people had no where to go for shelter during the massive thunder storm and then MARTA couldn't handle all those seeking to use it all at once. Saturday & Sunday were great days with perfect weather.......saw Edgar Winter, Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills, & Nash, I wanted to see Govt Mule but DEF LEPPARD was playing at the same time on another stage, and the group of friends out-voted me so we went to see DEF LEPPARD because the wives knew their tunes and we all had seen them thirty years before in 1983.
We also saw Susan Tedeschi, Buddy Guy, Bob Weir & Ratdog and others. Edgar Winter who has the first act on Saturday at about noon was fantastic! Joe Cocker was fantastic and probably the best of the whole festival. Susan Tedeschi playing on a small stage, the Ford-Fox 5 stage, essentially a business' paved parking lot was one of the best performances of the entire festival. She was smokin' the strings on that Green telecaster and a cat named William Green was fantastic on the Hammond B-3. The performance was better than her Austin City June 17, 2003 live album which is really good. Buddy Guy played that same small stage on a different night. It took Buddy a while to get the crowd going and then once he did, he ran out of time, but he was good.
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Old 06-01-21, 07:19 AM
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I heard of a "wall of sound..." But "wall of words???" ^^^^^
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Old 06-01-21, 12:31 PM
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I'm not a concertgoer (and thus not a ticketbuyer) so I don't know, but it sounds like you're among the minority of americans that deserves to be able to park close, vs probably needs more 20min walks in their life. Is there any ADA-mandated parking relief for you?
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Old 06-01-21, 12:54 PM
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Guns n Roses added new venues and rescheduled their tour. Dropping about 3 cities but added several venues. Indianapolis got moved to Sept 8 a no go but they refunded my money. They added Hershey Pa on July 31 that is a go. So I went to the library where I can access real high speed internet. And got Gun n Roses tickets . Crazy long road trip or a quick airline flight? Probably make it a roadie with several stops along the way. FRIKIN rent a cars are outrageous so flying is meh. The GAP and C@O are in the vicinity could be a bike tour trip as well.
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Old 06-01-21, 02:08 PM
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Recreation.gov is a legal scalper. 😡
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Old 06-01-21, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Recreation.gov is a legal scalper. 😡
Is that the site for reserving campground spaces? Can you even get a space reserved if you go directly to that campground and try to make a reservation?
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Old 06-01-21, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I'm not a concertgoer (and thus not a ticketbuyer) so I don't know, but it sounds like you're among the minority of americans that deserves to be able to park close, vs probably needs more 20min walks in their life. Is there any ADA-mandated parking relief for you?
Unfortunately, here in GA you have to have a doctors note of disability. Same type of thing you need for getting (paid) disability. When I lost my foot they wrote me a temporary pass which I REALLY needed at that time. Unfortunately I have been unable to get another one, and laying your "wooden leg" on the counter while asking for one isn't acceptable.
I actually have been able to get around pretty good until the last couple of years. I keep having some nagging issues that have severely limited both my mobility as well as my comfort (specifically) in riding a bike. As many of us know when you fall out of shape AND hurt it becomes a situation that snowballs and only makes it harder. Walking any distance is a long memory unless I have a couple of days afterward to lay in bed. Sucks.


Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Never heard of "Blackberry Smoke." But back in '78, The Who was one of the most famous rock bands in the world, and I paid ten bucks (the equivalent of $40 in today's dollars) to see them. Since then, the concert industry has seen some consolidation and the consequent exercise of much market power - and hence a niche band is selling tix for huge prices.
I went to a bevy of great concerts under $20. I understand time and inflation, blah blah...but there are "principalities involved" (Smoky) when the fees exceed the cost of the ticket. It isn't a matter of afford to me it comes down to the principal.
Blackberry Smoke is IMO well above niche, possibly the single best Southern Rock band producing music today. As a side note, I rate Texas Hillbilly Coalition right up there with them. I know they are good live as I have viewed a couple of the concerts from DVD and such....but, I am not going to get ****ed by the venue just to satisfy the urge.
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Old 06-01-21, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Recreation.gov is a legal scalper. 😡

Yes, they pulled the KING of ****** moves this last year. They absolutely refuse to refund or credit reservation fees for dates that THEY blocked out. Super pissed about that, but whole other thread.
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Old 06-01-21, 03:23 PM
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National Park scalping I think I will scalp beer to desperate rednecks around here. 50% markup? Sounds like a business opportunity.
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Old 06-01-21, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
I went to a bevy of great concerts under $20. I understand time and inflation, blah blah...but there are "principalities involved" (Smoky) when the fees exceed the cost of the ticket. It isn't a matter of afford to me it comes down to the principal.
Blackberry Smoke is IMO well above niche, possibly the single best Southern Rock band producing music today. As a side note, I rate Texas Hillbilly Coalition right up there with them. I know they are good live as I have viewed a couple of the concerts from DVD and such....but, I am not going to get ****ed by the venue just to satisfy the urge.
Well, you got me to google them, and you are (of course) correct: they have had some big hits, especially on the country charts -- and apparently country music is a huge market nowadays. At my age, I suppose I should just acknowledge that I have no idea what is 'popular' in music.

I suspect some of the fees you are describing come from some economic power in the concert market -- the electronic ticket sellers, booking companies, etc. But I do hope that some of the money is going to the artists themselves, since streaming pays them smaller royalties than they used to earn from the sales of LPs and CDs.

I wish I lived in a larger metro area, as my brother-in-law is a concert booker and can get me into almost any live music event at no charge -- and can generally do the same for as many people as I want to take along. When I lived in Colorado, I went to a lot of shows.
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Old 06-01-21, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
Koyote, It must have been either 1976 or 1979 because The Who did not play any real concerts anywhere during 1977 or 1978.
Must've been '79, then. Kenny Jones on drums. That was a long time ago - I feel pretty good to have nailed it within one year.
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Old 06-01-21, 04:42 PM
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Saw The Who in 82 in a domed stadium general admission. You could get as close as you could fight your way up to. My head rang for days.
Saw Judas Priest and Scorpions with at least three other bands I think Heart was the headliner. I’m sure the prices were reasonable.
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Old 06-01-21, 05:18 PM
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I have ticket stubs from the early 70s that only cost $3.50. But the money back then was in record sales and the record companies subsidized the tours so they could sell more records. Time and technology have changed the distribution model and there is now much less money to made selling recorded music. The tours are now the major source of revenue. Used to cost more to buy an album than a concert ticket. Now you get the music for free but you're going to pay for that ticket.

Modern marketing also demands caution from the consumer. Most shows now have higher priced tickets at various VIP levels. Promoters will restrict the number of regular priced tickets to create demand for the higher priced tickets. In the last week or two, they'll drop all the unsold VIP tickets at regular price. They always create the appearance that the show is almost sold out. That is seldom actually the case.
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Old 06-02-21, 02:42 AM
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I prefer outside venues for music events like our very large capacity Hollywood Bowl amphitheater an excellent venue with the best seats in the $60-80 range directly from them. Florence & The Machine, St Vincent and Beck and Eric Clapton with Steve Winwood are the best of the concerts I’ve been to there. I’ve seen a few concerts at the Red Rocks amphitheater which is lesser capacity than the Bowl and my favorite larger capacity outdoor venue. Dave Matthews, Alison Krauss and Tori Amos were my favorites. I’ve been to a few festivals, Coachella a few times and Burning Man twice during college. From Secondary school to Senior Secondary each summer i went to the PinkPop festival in the Netherlands

my favorite one



We have quite a few small venues here. My favorite is Hotel Cafe with its 200 person capacity. Sara Bareilles (whenever she plays anywhere in S Ca.) Lana Del Rey, Lizzy’s been a friend since my college days, The Lumineers, Alanis Morissette and Lucinda Williams are my favorites i’ve gotten to see there. Ticket’s from there website, dinner there and parking or Uber is usually around $100….for a great evening with friends. To see an act who i really like and want to see is worth whatever i have to pay. Since i buy the first hours available and usually from the venue (Hotel Cafe emails me before they go on sale through them) i avoid the kind of fees written about here.
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Old 06-02-21, 11:33 PM
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Hondo Gravel
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Austin Germania Amphitheater is an outside venue which will be cool. Hershey Park Stadium is part of the Hershey Amusement Park that is very cool and is an outdoor venue. Anybody been to Hershey Pa? I need some advice on what to do there besides the amusement park. I lived in Pennsylvania when I was very young.
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Old 06-03-21, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Austin Germania Amphitheater is an outside venue which will be cool. Hershey Park Stadium is part of the Hershey Amusement Park that is very cool and is an outdoor venue. Anybody been to Hershey Pa? I need some advice on what to do there besides the amusement park. I lived in Pennsylvania when I was very young.
Isn't there a chocolate factory nearby that you can visit too?
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Old 06-03-21, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I'm not a concertgoer (and thus not a ticketbuyer) so I don't know, but it sounds like you're among the minority of americans that deserves to be able to park close, vs probably needs more 20min walks in their life. Is there any ADA-mandated parking relief for you?
Unfortunately, handicapped parking/seating at most places is limited and when it's full... it's full.
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Old 06-03-21, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kat12 View Post
Unfortunately, handicapped parking/seating at most places is limited and when it's full... it's full.
Sad. Most people don't understand that the reason there's 'always' empty handicapped parking spaces is the whole point, if they ever run out the system failed.
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