The Future of Coachella: Post-Ticket Purchasing Clusterfuck

Categories: Open Thread
Coachella purchase page.jpg
​Now that everyone has calmed down after the extreme chaos that was Friday's ticket purchasing experience, there has been ample discussion about the process. Both weekends of Coachella collectively sold out in three hours. People left and right are pissed that they didn't get tickets, and now GA festival passes are going for up to about $2,000 a piece on eBay.

So listen up, Goldenvoice. You and I need to have a serious discussion about how I, a loyal customer who can honestly say that the Coachella grounds are my favorite place in the world, got screwed out of tickets this year.

Where do we begin in regards to the issues with the ticket purchasing portal? First of all, it turned out there was no real queue for the people on the standby page and people got picked for tickets at random. The same thing happened back in June during the pre-sale. Sure, nobody who was on the standby page was guaranteed tickets in the first place because they aren't guaranteed anything on the purchase page either, but a lot of people still got screwed out of tickets. Some people got into the portal three times while others didn't get in at all. Some people who entered the purchase portal a few minutes after it opened got picked for tickets right away while others who entered it before them didn't get picked. That's certainly not fair to those who waited the longest and got nothing.

There should have been a proper queue where the first people who got into the virtual line are the people who would have gotten tickets. Establishing a first come, first serve system would have eliminated a lot of problems and would relieve everyone who didn't get a ticket from their anger towards Coachella and Goldenvoice. On top of that, many computers still had people on the standby page after the festival passes for both weekends had completely sold out. That's not right.

I'm not one to advocate using Ticketmaster, but they did one hell of a better job at managing Coachella's ticket sales in the past than Front Gate Tickets did this year. Once Ticketmaster finds your tickets, which never takes more than two minutes before you're told to try again, it reserves your tickets for you right away. In this case, nobody's tickets were reserved, and people waited hours for tickets to no avail.

Is Coachella even worth the price this year anyway? The answer is simple: If you feel whatever amount you paid for a ticket is a decent price for the number of artists you want to see live at Coachella, then yes, it's worth it. You also have to consider how you'll fill each day you spend at the festival. My roommate has what she calls a "seven band rule." It's a brilliant decision regarding the justification of attending a music festival. The seven band rule is where you need to have at least seven bands per day that you really want to see for the festival to be worth it. One should also take into account the convenience factor of Coachella; that is, you're seeing so many performances all in one place. That's all good and fun, but what fires me up more than the ticket prices is the fact that I was robbed of an experience this year.

My Voice Nation Help

Coachella exists for one reason - to separate kids from $350 or more.  I'd be surprised if the promoters weren't the *buyers* of at least some of these tickets that are now being sold for ridiculous sums - the Chicago Cubs have been doing this for years, and it's rumored that Live Nation does it (sometimes even as a front for the greedy acts themselves - the shocking horror!), so why wouldn't they get in on the action?  I hate to burst your hipster bubble, but it's been "mainstream" for going on a decade, right around when AEG (they're super people, look them up!) bought Goldenvoice.  

I'm just speculating, but anybody that's willing to spend more than the time it takes to pull off the road to eat and/or take a dump in The-S#!thole-Known-As-Indio is "passionately excited" about it - there's just a lot of those kinds of people, and you are not any different than they are, even if you've been going since before it was cool, or whatever your imaginary beef is.

At any rate, the sooner you figure out that Goldenvoice doesn't give a fart about accommodating "people with tickets more fairly," the sooner you'll get over the tragedy that is not having tickets for Coachella.  BTW, I could barely find seven acts that I'd pay money to see, let alone seven per day, but I'm old as hell, which is why I'll be going to IBYM instead.


Three hours and seven days, fool.

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