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Rant Warning: Booking Fees on Tickets

Johnny J 04 Aug 18 - 05:16 AM
Jack Campin 04 Aug 18 - 08:10 AM
Sandra in Sydney 04 Aug 18 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Brewgyrl 04 Aug 18 - 12:10 PM
Joe Offer 04 Aug 18 - 08:46 PM
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Subject: Rant Warning: Booking Fees on Tickets
From: Johnny J
Date: 04 Aug 18 - 05:16 AM

There's a nice wee festival happening down the coast for the next week or so and they have published a lovely programme with all the prices for their events there.

The problem is that you just can't buy the tickets at the published prices. You either have to book online through an outside ticket agency or you can purchase them at the official ticket booth which is also run on behalf of the festival by the same agency. Either way, a 5% booking fee is applied.
There are no other outlets and it is not possible to buy tickets "on the door"

There are no physical tickets now either. You need to print out a sheet of paper with a bar code or, if can show the ticket on your smart phone or tablet for scanning.... I've refused to get into this sort of nonsense on principle. It means bringing a phone, having it switched on, and praying that there is enough charge in the batteries. :-(
Usually, the stewards haven't a clue how to work the scanners either and the queue takes twice as long!

Anyway, neither this festival or ticket agency are any better or worse than most others these days. Unfortunately, it's the way of the world for event organisers to offload the responsibilty of ticket sales to outside agencies these days. Some are more efficient than others and the costs will vary too.

Even my local folk club is starting to head down this road but this is maybe due to the fact that our current Chair has spent too many years organising events within The Fringe and this has obviously shaped his views in this respect.

Anyway, I'm not totally against booking tickets via outside agencies. It can sometimes be convenient and I would naturally expect to pay a little more for this convenience(If there is any).
However, what I really dislike is when organisers provide absolutely no opportunity or outlet for customers to purchase tickets for events at face value. It had been my intention to wait and buy tickets at the actual festival for the less busy show and only book the essential ones in advance but I might as well have done everything at once in the first instance.

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Subject: RE: Rant Warning: Booking Fees on Tickets
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Aug 18 - 08:10 AM

Something that goes along with that: publicizing events on Facebook while providing no price info on the advert. You have to connect to the ticket sales site to find out. I simply don't bother with events advertised that way.

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Subject: RE: Rant Warning: Booking Fees on Tickets
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 04 Aug 18 - 11:43 AM

hasn't arrived here - yet!

We can book for festivals & bigger clubs via booking sites with or without paying a small fee, we can send cheques to clubs or festivals using these sites as I've done cos I only have Paypal & some sites only take credit cards, AND we can pay cash at the gate.

But I'm sure SOMEONE or company will eventually go your way ...


Maybe the gi-normous concerts at the gi-normous Convention & Entertainment Centres & theatres use only booking sites, but I don't go to their events. Bob Dylan is coming to Australia sometime soon, but I won't be going to one of his concerts.

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Subject: RE: Rant Warning: Booking Fees on Tickets
From: GUEST,Brewgyrl
Date: 04 Aug 18 - 12:10 PM

Pardon me for being cynical, but if all the above is true, maybe it's one way to make certain your festival doesn't succeed?

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Subject: RE: Rant Warning: Booking Fees on Tickets
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Aug 18 - 08:46 PM

Our local campus of the University of California has tickets for a September performance of Lyle Lovett for $79, plus $10 service charge for tickets. The $10 charge stays the same, no matter how many tickets or how much the price. Years ago, I skipped a Doc Watson concert at this same theater because the ticket service charge was too high. Wish I could remember how much it was at the time, but I think it was considerably higher than $10.
I guess I don't mind a $10 fee, but free is better.

The Sacramento theater-in-the-round has tickets for Little Shop of Horrors for $83, plus $10.50 per ticket "convenience fee," plus $3.75 "processing fee" no matter how many tickets you buy. This theater sells tickets through a commercial enterprise called, which may be why the service charge is much higher than it is at the university theater.

So, I stick to performances in our little town 50 miles from Sacramento. I saw a nice production of The Producers for a senior price of $22 (no service charge for online purchase); and local house concerts are $20-$25 at the door, with never a service charge.


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