First, thank you for bringing such a brilliant concert to New Zealand - I saw Nick Lowe and Ry Cooder in Christchurch last Wednesday. My friends and I drove from Dunedin to see them and were not disappointed!
However, I and many of my friends were extremely disappointed to find we had paid more than twice the going rate for our tickets - simply, it appears, because we had the foresight to book early. Of course we are happy to pay what an artist is worth to see them but do not expect to be the victims of a Dutch auction and subsidise those who are not prepared to pay. Our seats were ok, not particularly special, set off to one side with some of the stage obscured by speaker stacks. People paying a lot less were nicely positioned centre forward.
Out of a sample of 20 people that I new at the concert, 5 of us paid $131 and the rest all paid $59. Indeed, many other friends around the country have declared that they paid $59 for tickets in Auckland and Wellington.
We are told by promoters time and time again that acts will not be brought to our smaller centres because we are reluctant to buy enough tickets early enough. It would appear that you are encouraging this behaviour, as I for one will not be in a hurry to book early in the future.
And from others:
Here's my bitter tale. The day that bookings opened for the Auckland show the ticket price was $149. I just couldn't afford or justify that so completely gave up on the idea, despite Ry Cooder having been one of my musical heroes for as long as I can remember. On the day of the concert a friend casually mentioned that he had bought tickets that day for $59. I had other arrangements made that I couldn't undo, so missed out.
Sorry to hear that, Mike. Pressure needs to be brought to bear upon promoters (and kept there), which it looks like you're doing. Also, letting them know that you've blogged this and dropped it onto your facebook, myspace, digg sites, etc, will get their attention. You don't want to come off sounding like you're whining, and you haven't here. Best to keep it impersonal and professional as you've done.
Eventually, with the help of this digital, bottom up media, booking promoters will have to standardise their methods, especially since live shows have now become, far and away, musicians' primary source of income. I can guarantee that if this gets back to Ry Cooder and his people (which it probably already has...), they'll let the promoters know, and will think twice about ever dealing with them again.
Not saying the promoters are crooks or anything, but they're at the least very badly managed and informed on the process. Trying to fill a half empty show after the fact, at the last moment, just doesn't cut it when the audience can let the rest of the world know immediately, via twitter, while they're STILL AT the concert.
I know I'll think twice about buying an expensive ticket online in advance, especially if I have to travel to see the show.
And the reply:::
to Mike Moroney
date27 November 2009 16:57
subjectRY COODER & NICK LOWE - CHRISTCHURCH
Thanks for your email in relation to the Ry Cooder & Nick Lowe performance in Christchurch.
We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the night along with many others.
In regards to your complaint about the discounted ticket price, this was a promotion to push our last release of tickets for this event. As the promoter, we are in our rights to change the ticketing price at any given time. This situation is very similiar to purchasing an airline flight at full price, to then see that same flight at a reduced price weeks after your purchase - just an example of many companies running similar promotions.
We understand that you are frustrated by the reduced price being implemented to this tour. However, we are unable to offer any form of compensation.
Michael Coppel Presents
PO Box 3030, Prahran East VIC 3181