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The Biggest Joke In EDM: Trying To Buy Tickets


When targeted customer’s abilities to purchase a product is impeded by a third-party, the creator of the product generally has a problem. That is, unless the product is tickets to live events, such as the shows and festivals we attend on a regular basis. Should that be the case, the issue is purely for the consumer to worry about, as the money gained from ticket sales is already firmly in the pockets of those who matter most (hint: that’s not you).

But how did we get here? To a point where it doesn’t matter who buys a ticket to a show, how they do it, how many they buy, or what they do with them afterward. The lack of time, care, and effort put toward making these transactions as smart, secure, and streamlined as possible has put EDM, and other live-event industries, in a tough spot.

We Have A Problem

Like most complex problems, there are many issues at play when it comes to the mess that is the way we purchase tickets to live events. But, it’s safe to say the growth and integration of technology into ticket sales has played a larger role than most.

Of course, being able to purchase tickets to events instantly, without cash, potentially from thousands of miles away, is fantastic. It’s only fantastic, though, if the system in place works. Right now, the system is broken.

We seem to be learning throughout the 21st Century, as our technologies grow along with our imaginations, that it’s not always easy to stay ahead of the ‘bad guys’. Figuring out how to effectively police who they are, where they are, and how they’re rigging the system is much easier said than done.

The current foes providing the most problems are bots, computer programs with the abilities to purchase large amounts of event tickets at rates far faster than fans. The proprietor of these bots then utilizes various online resources to re-sell those tickets at incredibly marked-up prices. Different studies show different numbers, but one thing is inarguable: bots are having a huge impact on the availability and pricing of live-event tickets.

It’s easy to envision this affecting us in the Northwest as well, as it already has, and does on a regular basis. Those who attempted to purchase tickets to Kaskade’s Automatic tour at Foundation Nightclub last fall, or any of the ODESZA performances throughout Seattle last winter, can attest to the horrors of battling bots for tickets.

Within minutes, we’re forced to scour Craigslist, Facebook, and sites like Stub Hub, where we know at least some tickets will be. Then, it’s off to figure out whether or not the show, which was affordable moments ago, is now even worth attending.

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Born and raised in the Northwest, professionalized in Pullman. Enjoying the ride that dance music provides in our lovely corner of the country.

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