Campus Life, Lifestyle

Woes of buying concert tickets

If you haven’t done it yet, consider yourself lucky. Let me take you through the chaotic and stressful series of events you must endure to get a ticket to see your favorite artist. 

In this story, the artist we’re focusing on is Charli XCX, one of my favorite artists who will be touring in 2022. As soon as she announced the tour — and that she was coming to House of Blues — I knew I would fight as hard as I possibly could to secure a seat at this show.

If you’re like me, you may put yourself through these tribulations to end up with only mildly decent seats due to financial constraints. I am a college student, so I can’t spend hundreds of dollars to sit in the front row.

The Ticketmaster app on an iPhone. Sam writes about the frustration and panic that can come with purchasing concert tickets online. COURTESY OF THE FOCAL PROJECT VIA FLICKR

But when the day of presale rolled around, I waited impatiently for the presale code — a code that fans usually receive from an artist to access early tickets. I scoured Twitter to see if anybody had received their code yet, and eventually, the code came only two hours before the sale began. With the code ready, I sat and waited for the 10 a.m. presale to begin.

I had a class until 9:55 a.m. on the day the tickets went on sale, so I logged into the waiting room as soon as the class ended. This gave me about five minutes to sit and watch the countdown tick ever so slowly.

That was only the beginning. I swear time slowed down. As I walked to my next class, it felt like I was living in a slow-motion replay of my life, watching myself stare unblinking at my phone. I think if I were in the shoes of someone who was watching me wait for the countdown, I would’ve laughed at how insane I looked. But at that moment, I was so absorbed by the little numbers on my screen.

After what felt like hours — but was actually less than five minutes — the clock switched to read less than a minute. My heart leapt. Soon after, I got a message that I was being redirected to the queue waiting to get into the section where you can choose your seats.

Despite logging into the waiting room decently early, I saw that 155 people were ahead of me. I felt some of my hope slide away into the cold breeze down Commonwealth Avenue. How many presale tickets were available? Would I even get to pick my seats before my next class started? So many questions, yet so little time.

Luckily, the queue went relatively fast and within a few minutes, I was greeted by a screen telling me that I would be redirected to reserve my seats. Success. Finally, it was happening.

That redirecting screen was a sight for sore eyes, but I quickly got sick of it as I was, in fact, not redirected to reserve my seats. Instead, I waited for a few minutes before I was met with an error screen telling me my connection timed out. 

I panicked. I went through the queue process again — another minor wait — then I was back to the redirecting screen. Again, the connection timed out. I tried another five times before I had to go into class and take an exam, all the while wondering whether my long-awaited tickets were being ripped from me by people who did not happen to have exams at that very moment.

After I finished my exam, I felt gloomy. I felt like I missed my chance to see one of my favorite artists due to some vague technical glitch that seemed set on keeping me from attending this concert. On a whim, I decided to check one more time if I could get into the seat reservation screen, if not to buy tickets, then to wonder about what could’ve been.

Buffeted by the wind on my walk back after class, I logged in for a final time and was immediately greeted by the screen allowing me to reserve seats. I froze in the middle of the busy Commonwealth Avenue sidewalk. This was what I had been working so hard for.

Without thinking, I bought the best tickets I could, checking out while barely reading the total amount I was spending. Luckily, the tickets weren’t too expensive because ignoring the price while buying concert tickets is a horrible idea.

I was elated beyond words. Getting these tickets felt even sweeter after the trials and tribulations I endured in the purchasing process. 

That was probably the fourth time I bought concert tickets in the past year — since I’ve missed live music immeasurably — and it never gets easier. The stress and panic I feel in the waiting room, then the queue, then choosing seats has probably taken a few years off of my life if I’m being honest. But in the end, it’s all so worth it.

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