U2: From $175 to $1,585 in 13 minutes

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What just happened? Ticketmaster sales of Vancouver concert hit the stratosphere

Martha Perkins / Vancouver Courier

January 17, 2017 10:47 AM

Joshua Tree was the soundtrack to Daniel LaPorta’s life the year he graduated from high school. So when he heard that U2 was coming to Vancouver on May 2, he wanted to share the experience with his daughter.

Tickets went on sale this morning (January 17) at 10am. When he arrived at his office at Glacier Media, he logged onto TicketMaster and was told he was in the queue to buy tickets.
At 10 a.m. precisely, he went onto the site and was told that although ticket sales began at $175, the cheapest one available was $375. He balked. He went out and vented to a co-worker that he wasn’t going to spend that much money.
But then he thought about how much he loved the band, how great it would be to see them with his daughter, and re-considered. He hit the tab that said $500. Sold out. $682. Sold out. Scrolling down the options — even though he knew by this time he wasn’t going to buy a ticket — he hit the $1,300. No seats available at that price.
Just for curiosity, at 10:13, he clicked the highest price on his screen. For $1,585 he could get a ticket at the back of the back of BC Place. He clicked. None were available.
Thirteen minutes after the tickets went on sale, the worst seats had sold out for $1,410 more than first offered.
“It’s scandalous,” he says. “I’m almost trying to find some humour in it.”
The last time he checked? More than $2,000 for a seat in the upper 400s farthest from the stage.
Last July, West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert called for the province to control online scalping of tickets by powerful bots after an Insights West study said three in 10 Canadians are unable to buy tickets.

“It makes people mad,” Chandra Herbert told the Courier. “When any big-name artist is in town, people will get upset. And for good reason — people are getting gouged here through unfair practices.”