We have received thousands of emails in the past several weeks regarding the dissemination of tickets for the MSG and Hampton shows.
Given the time it would take to answer each email specifically, we have created this general statement to address the most common questions and concerns. Please note that we do monitor all incoming emails, but due to the volume of correspondence related to ticket issues the vast majority of emails will not be answered.
The Phish organization is deeply committed to a fair and equitable distribution of tickets for all shows. We have checks and balances in place within the TBM system to insure that there is no abuse of the lottery system, and we work closely with Ticketmaster to define all parameters for each on-sale. The four upcoming shows experienced unprecedented demand for tickets. Remove this tremendous demand from the equation, and the vast majority of issues simply disappear. The fact is that, regardless of what systems were in place, the vast majority of ticket requests could not be filled. Some of you have inquired as to the actual number of requests for each show. We cannot share this specific information, but will say that a very small percentage of orders were filled (no surprise there).
To the very best of our knowledge, there is no way that any scalper had any “edge” in the ticketing process. Those scalpers offering tickets before they went on sale were likely gambling that they would somehow get tickets, even if it meant buying them on the secondary market and then reselling them again. Whatever their strategy was, we can assure you that they didn’t have the tickets they claimed to have if they were offering them before the TBM notification date.
There have been some comments circulating that the old “mail-in” system was less prone to abuse than the current on-line version. It could be argued, however, that the old system favored scalpers, who would regularly put thousands of dollars of money orders into multiple ticket requests if they felt the demand was high enough to justify the trouble. In the case of high demand shows such as MSG and Hampton, either system is prone to abuse by those placing multiple orders aimed at improving odds of getting tickets. One could argue, however, that the on-line system is a more level playing field for scalpers and fans alike. That being said, we’ve received plenty of insightful feedback and continue to explore potential adjustments to the current system.
We are well aware of the substantial amount of tickets being offered for resale on Ebay and other auction and scalper sites. We monitor these sites daily and are actively working to thwart the resale of tickets for profit. Because we monitor the activity so closely, we do not need general tips about obvious things like current activity on Ebay. If you have specific, detailed information that you feel will be of use to us, please send it along to mailto://firstname.lastname@example.org. If someone is found to be reselling, trading or brokering tickets purchased through our site for profit, Phish Tickets-by-Mail may at its discretion cancel the ticket order and all other pending orders in that person’s name. We are investigating all orders suspected to be in violation of this policy and are taking the appropriate action – some ticket orders have already been cancelled. If some tickets become available as a result of cancellations, we will determine the best way to offer these for sale and make an announcement at that time.
In closing, please understand that the only way to eliminate scalping is to simply not cooperate with it. As long as there are people willing to pay greater than face value for tickets, scalping will continue to flourish.