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    Posted January 24, 2014 by


    Perhaps this is just an aberration from the norm in the world of ticketing sales, but something tells me that the level of inequality displayed by my local Performing Arts Theater, The Aronoff Center in Cincinnati Ohio, is far from uncommon.

    As with most gift-giving holidays, I had wanted to provide an experience for my Mom. After some research of the upcoming comedy venues, musicals, and other opportunities I decided I would take her to see The Phantom of the Opera, our favorite play.

    With a twinkle in my eye, this time it would be different I thought to myself. We'd actually get seats where we could see the actor's facial expressions, other than the Phantom of course. I had called the ticketing agent ahead of time to know exactly the date and time that tickets were to go on sale to the general public.

    I woke up this morning and researched the ticket availability, but to my dismay none of the sixteen shows had two consecutive seats together in the front sections.

    This seemed so strange, considering the tickets had been available to the general public for less than two hours. How could ALL the best tickets have been snatched up already?

    Well, the truth is about as ugly as it gets for those that appreciate the arts. 'Capitalism' or the membership racket, as I have come to understand it, drives the ticket sales.

    'Members' can pay anywhere between $100-$5000 where the more you pay, the better access you have to tickets. Now this wouldn't be an issue if all the 'members', assumed fans of the arts, were purchasing tickets only for themselves.

    On the day tickets became available to the general public, these 'members' had taken to such websites as StubHub, to sell dozens and dozens of tickets at prices inflated a minimum of 50% from their labeled price.

    The moral of this story is that if we wanted decent tickets, we'd have to pay more. Sure, each ticket is already $100, but if we actually want those tickets, it's either a minimum extra $100 to hope for the chance to purchase decent seats, or the minimum extra $200 from scalped internet tickets.

    I lament that the arts have taken such a turn, that you can't even get two decent tickets together the day tickets are available to the general public.

    Its a strange world where the wealthy use their status to purchase play tickets early, then immediately turn around and sell them for a mark-up.

    And that is why I charge that this ticketing sales operation is a racket. Should people wish to pre-purchase tickets to a show, go to the show with those tickets.

    Don't look at them as an opportunity to make a buck off someone very likely less fortunate than you to begin with. The Arts are meant to bring us together.
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