Random Thoughts

At the root of fair value

Many many years ago, I was not even in my teens yet, my father came home one day from work and told the family “I got tickets for the world-famous American pop-star M.!” I could not believe it – what made a man as conservative as him interested in seeing a show by a lady as progressive as her? I soon forgot to care, though, because I got too excited about going to go see the most talked-about tour in town (and in our house, mainly by me)!


Well, as it turned out, we never got to see her show. My father had kept the tickets with him, but he misread the printed date and we completely missed it… what a waste of great tickets that was! But, in a way, I was glad we missed it. As time passed, I grew more and more convinced that I would have lost my father to a heart attack at the show, with so much provocative dance moves and (figuratively and literally) pointed outfits.


At the same time, I grew more and more curious as to how he got the tickets. If my memory serves me right, it was only a few days before the show that he brought them home, so he could not have gotten them the regular way.


Maybe one of his colleagues gave them to him, because he had other engagements.

Or maybe he got them through a reseller, possibly at insanely hiked prices?

And maybe he did so because, being a good father, he wanted to put a smile on the face of his little pre-teen who just would not stop talking about the tour?


I am not sure… it is a bittersweet memory for all of us, probably especially for my father for the frown he put on my face, so we do not like to talk about it. Now that I am all grown up, I can appreciate all that he went through, regardless of the outcome. But as a grown-up, I must wonder if it was the right thing to do to get the tickets via unofficial routes, sometimes against the wishes of the artists and show organizers.


As I watch news on big summer music fests I think of going every year but never can get tickets for, I am reminded of the issue of ticket resale. I set limits on my spending, so I only go to events whose tickets I believe are set at fair value, at original sale or through resellers. But I can see why some people would take desperate measures to get them at all costs.


Ticket resale has quickly become an established business because it can supply the demands we put out. Business to regulate it is also on the rise because the demand is there. And I am sure that, when it starts to show success, there will be business to meet the demands of circumventing the regulations.


Maybe we can expect much more innovations to come with this supply-and-demand.

But maybe it is becoming an arms race that can never be fully resolved going forward.

Then maybe, we need to stop searching for cures to the symptoms and look back upstream, so we can find and treat the problem at its root causes.


I am not an expert on the issue, but I understand that resellers thrive when tickets are said to have sold out. Then, how about not selling out too fast… say, by selling tickets in phases? It is just a layman’s silly little idea, but at the very least, it will make lay ticket-buyers like me hopeful for a little while longer of getting tickets at fair value.


Maybe I do not have any thoughts better than the ones already out there to amend the ticket resale situation we see worldwide today, but I express my full support for all artists and their fans, and any businesses that link them, who not only cure the symptoms but also treat the root causes.


As for the tickets that went to waste many many years ago… should I get to the root cause of the mystery once in for all, or should I stop wondering and simply be grateful that my good father is still alive and well as ever, without a heart condition?

Maybe the latter. I think I got more value out of them than their prices, finding out a few sides to my father I otherwise would never have!


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