Concerts Mimic Life: It’s All About Who You Know

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Although I have a hard time imagining politicians and judges at an Ozzy concert, there are those that surely are interested in some other classic acts.

Take Bruce Springsteen for example. There’s little doubt about the popularity of the Jersey boy who made good — so good in fact, that he has earned the nickname “The Boss.” And when it comes to getting access to the best seats at a Springsteen concert, there are apparently, a number of other bosses who happen to know the right people.

image That’s not to say that this is unique to Springsteen shows, because that is almost certainly not the case. Heck, “The Boss” himself, as well as other artists, probably have little to do with behind-the-scenes deals where premium tickets are reserved for the well-connected.

When Bruce Springsteen took the stage at Giants Stadium, more than 1,000 of the better seats in the house had been reserved, and tickets for these seats were never offered for sale to the general public.

In the industry, these premium tickets are known as “house tickets” and the practice of reserving them is apparently very common.

At at least one of three shows Springsteen put on at Giants Stadium, some of these special tickets wound up in the hands of a judge, a couple of politicians, a former U.S. Attorney as well eight of them that when to an employee at a Broadway theater who put them up on an internet resale site for five or six times their original value.

The spotlight that is shining somewhat uncomfortably on this practice can be blamed on U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, who tried to secure 40 of these “house tickets” to offer as rewards for attendance at a $1,500 fund raiser. The effort to secure those tickets was abandoned when the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority decided to take a peek behind the curtain to see who the tickets were being secured for.

Along with politicians, judges, and a county sheriff, other house tickets went to various sponsors, sports teams and radio stations. And of course, 150 of them went to New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority commissioners, whose agency now says it is re-evaluating the house tickets policy. Pretty much what one would expect to hear from an outfit like that when they get their hand caught in the cookie jar.

I suppose one can understand some prime spots being reserved for promotional purposes, like radio station giveaways and the like. And I know that if I was a rock star, I’d probably make sure that some of the best seats were reserved for family members and friends who wanted to attend a show once in a while.

The whole “house tickets” things does not sit well with some fans who say that it ruins the show for them when all the best tickets are snapped up by concert goers who know the right people.

As a born cynic, this is not the kind of thing that surprises me much. Entertainment is big business and whether it’s television, movies, sports or rock and roll, there are always those who have access to the right people and the influence to get what they want. That’s just the way the world works.

1 Comment

  1. William Geyer August 1, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Wow, what a surprise. Average fans can NEVER get good seats to concerts. Here in Los Angeles everyone knows that Ticketmaster sells all of the good seats to “ticket brokers” who then resell them for 10 to 20 times the face value. Springsteen is no working class hero. He’s just a greedy artist who screws the very people who made him into the icon he thinks he is.

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