Bob Dylan’s Ticketless Concert Is A Disaster

Bob Dylan’s Ticketless Concert Is A Disaster

On August 25, 2010, Bob Dylan held a concert at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. For this show tickets were not sold in-advance. To get in you had to wait in-line and pay an admission fee at the door.

In other words, Bob Dylan turned the experience of seeing a legend perform live in concert to that of going to your local zoo.

The so called “ticketless concert” was an attempt to… wait for itwait for it… hinder the secondary ticket market.

“Oh. Mr. Robert Zimmerman please save us from the big bad secondary ticket market. I’m a hapless consumer. Wwwaahhh”

The only people who don’t like the secondary ticket market are Ticketmaster and the few fans to naive to realize that the greediest entity in the concert industry is the performer.

“We were happy with the way it turned out overall,” said Joan Rosenberg, director of marketing for The Warfield. “We think it was a worthy endeavor.”

Worthy endeavor? It was a complete waste of time—an absolute failure

The 2,250 theater didn’t sell out. Dylan isn’t the biggest draw in the world, but if you can’t draw 2300 Dylan fans in the hippie haven of San Francisco you shouldn’t be in the concert business.

Attendance figures weren’t released (that’s always a bad sign), but The San Francisco Chronicle said the theater was “visibly undersold.”

The people who did show up had the wonderful pleasure of waiting in line for hours. In fact, the line started forming at 5:30am.

Now, the concert organizers did do some favors for the poor saps in the queue. They hired street performers, sold bottle water, and set-up portable toilets.

All three of those things are the main reasons why Land of Punt buys tickets in advance or through a reputable ticket broker. Street performers, buying bottle water, and using a portable toilet are at the top of LOP’s list of things to avoid!

Tickets were $60. You had to pay cash. And even though you were given a commemorative ticket you couldn’t leave and come back. So all those Dylan fans that had to meet their dealer in the middle of the set they were out of luck.

The local ABC affiliate interviewed David Lefkowitz, vice president of the concert promotions company Goldenvoice. He actually said the following:

“Part of the reasoning behind this is to avoid ticketing fees and the kind of up-charges that consumers have to face. Obviously, you lose the convenience of sitting at home buying on your computer, but at the same time, it’s kind of a first come first serve thing,”

Dude, customers want more convenience not less convenience! That’s why we have computers and credit cards. Besides, LOP doesn’t get three-percent cash back for using cash.

No one that can afford to go to a concert—minus teenagers—has the time or the energy to waste standing in line. We want to buy a ticket whenever we want, walk right in, and sit down.

Much like Bob Dylan’s Christmas album, this was a colossally stupid idea. And the idea was his to begin with.

The Warfield is a Ticketmaster venue.

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