Iron Maiden – Paperless Tickets are NOT the solution.

img_5341Surprise, surprise! I’m a huge concert goer. I prefer to buy concert tickets and seeing the world than a new pair of jeans. So if you see me wear the same clothes you’ll know why.

Anyways I’m disappointed with Iron Maiden. At the same time I am also excited – because tour dates being announced always make me happy. Here is the announcement:

Iron Maiden News Announcement about Ticket Piracy

Give that a read and let that sink in a bit.

I’m all for taking the high road and nothing is more insulting than seeing concert tickets on sale before they actually go on sale either. The secondary ticket re-sellers/brokers or the politically incorrect term we used to call it was scalpers (sorry) have exploded with the internet, making it easier for them to sell/buy tickets as they please. With sites such as Stubhub, Viagogo and whatever in between.

So in Iron Maiden’s infinite wisdom (yeah I went there) they are in love with the paperless tickets concept that they have used for several tours in North America. They think it’s the bees knees, that it’s the solution to the fans getting gouged by the ticket re-sellers. But I’m here to say that it isn’t. I pleaded once on their fan club forum along with others, but it apparently went unheard.

The paperless system in theory actually works (and saves trees) to some degree. It gives an extra level of effort that re-sellers need to go through. The problem here for all the “positive reinforcement” the above link provides is that that user error is a huge problem. Whether it’s not bringing your ID, your credit card or just that dumbass guy who stands at the head of the line who doesn’t know why his reader won’t work…there are too many problems that happen.

To be clear, I don’t want to be stabbed in the eye by these re-sellers but to make the fans go through all of these hoops so that those guys don’t make that extra profit is fucking ridiculous. I speak from experience here.

Let me tell you about the time last year in Florida where I was in the queue for FTTB (First to the Barrier) because I am a fan club member and have a chance at winning. Standing for a couple of hours in the sun, waiting to be let in first. I was maybe 50th in line? Something like that. The queue starts to move (which is one of the biggest stressful moments because now you are in a fight for your life to get to the front of the stage and secure a spot) and about 50 people in front of you are let in without a problem (ahead of all the others in the general queue) and then the system goes down.

In this case it was my friend Paolo who had the tickets on his card. This is how it went:

Card Reader Person swipes the card. Nothing happens.
Card Reader Person swipes it again. Nothing happens – maybe a beep to say denied.
We all look at each other confused at this point. My friend gets his printed receipt of the tickets to show. The response, “We can’t use that.”
Card Reader Person looks to another Card Reader Person to see if they have a solution of it works with their card reader instead. No dice.
First Card Reader Person tells my friend he will have to go to the box office to figure this out. Which was across the crowds of people.
Tick, tock, tick tock.
After which seemed like a really long time (in concert going speak) he finally returns and he was told that they couldn’t help him. They couldn’t print the ticket either, but his tickets were valid. Yeah that makes sense.
At this point no one is getting in. Except the people who paid extra for the Trooper Beer party – and with our delays, they were now ahead of “First to the Barrier” fans. Way to go Maiden – you had people pay you extra for getting ahead of everyone else. High horse my ass.
Everyone at this point is pretty much looking at each other perplexed, from the guards to the fans. We weren’t being let in and the amount of swearing in multiple languages was pretty impressive I will admit.
Someone must have gotten a clue somewhere and re-booted their system as the card readers started to work again. But not for me and several of my friends.
Swipe : Nope
Swipe again: Nope
Card Reader Person: Show me your ticket receipt?
Card Reader Person then asks a higher level card reader person for assistance. She takes out a little black marker makes a swipe and says go in.

By this time, the general public was being let in. There was no hope for being at the barrier even though we won that privilege. While it’s not guaranteed, it certainly is one dick move for that to happen.

The saving grace of this incident was that my bladder appreciated a trip to the loo and my feet appreciated not having to stand up for hours. Oh and I could re-hydrate without fear of any accidents while standing there. Always look on the bright side, right?


So all this to explain why paperless tickets do not work for the fans. But do they actually stop the re-sellers? And what about the people who are in town at the last minute and have a friend that has a ticket, but they can’t go but they can’t change it over to your name either? What in holy hell man. Lets not forget that everyone on the ticket needs to enter at the same time. So you are telling me that 4 friends are on the same credit card and one friend can’t get off work early to go to the show that they either all have to miss out at great general admission spots OR they have to leave their friend behind? Seriously, what is this nonsense?

This is not an acceptable solution. This actually seems kind of illegal. I buy a ticket to a show and it should be my right how I use that ticket. If I can’t be at the show, I shouldn’t have no choice but to eat the cost of the ticket. How about this Iron Maiden? Why not sell extra insurance? Not that crap insurance in case of death or whatever, but real insurance “Want insurance in case you change your mind or your boss is a dick that might not give you the time off? Pay this extra fee.” That extra fee will give you the right to get a REFUND on your ticket and then it goes back on sale to someone who can go to the show. How about that, eh? Stop punishing the fans. STOP IT.

Go after the ticket re-sellers. What about almighty Ticketmaster itself who now allows reselling on it’s own website! What the hell is that. With the amount of ticket sales that Iron Maiden does, why don’t you demand that they take that shit down for ALL shows? Or you will no longer use them.

Technology has come a long way and we fans deserve better.

That said, you know what hurts us fans as well? We no longer get tickets to these shows. It’s a silly thing really but the little facsimile print out we get isn’t the same as a real ticket. (Sorry trees). How about letting us use our facsimile print out at the end of the show to get a real ticket? (Fee of course)

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One Response to Iron Maiden – Paperless Tickets are NOT the solution.

  1. Tully says:

    completely agree with u

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