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On Trying To Buy Radiohead Tickets

April 11, 2008

We thought we were being clever, opting to see the band in concert in the aging, conservative town of Santa Barbara rather than trying to catch them in San Francisco. We believed we would be at an advantage, living in California, in terms of getting our hands on tickets through a British website, given the time difference. Little did we know.

Radiohead's website announced that tickets for the rock band's appearance in Santa Barbara on August 28 would be going on sale through the British website waste on April 9. With the U.K. being eight hours ahead of The Bay Area, we all thought we stood a pretty good chance of getting tickets once the clock switched from midnight on April 8 to 00:01 on April 9 in Britain -- which meant the middle of the previous afternoon for us.

Of course, hitting the "refresh" button on our Internet browsers all afternoon didn't yield results. The site remained closed to ticket buyers until around 9am UK time on April 9. But even those of us standing by at our computers at 1am had no luck. Within about 30 seconds, all the tickets available for purchase through waste had been snapped up. Not one person I know in the Bay Area managed to succeed in buying tickets online that night. We all went to bed dissatisfied.

What does a person need to do to get tickets to this concert? Is it even possible? I wonder if rock critics in California are having similar trouble? Seems like you need to be related to one of the band members to get in. Or have the resources to bribe someone. I expect it's easier trying to get an appointment with the Queen of England.

More tickets go on sale via Ticketmaster tomorrow morning. The venue, Santa Barbara Bowl, has put out a stern warning prohibiting fans from lining up at the box office at midnight tonight: "No lining up before midnight on the night prior to the "on sale" date," the website announces. "All "on sale" lines at the Santa Barbara Bowl Box Office are subject to a wristband lottery. There is a 2 ticket limit per person." Interestingly enough, no other concert listing on the venue's website features a message like this. I guess Avril Lavigne, The Cure and The Gypsy Kings don't bring out the same level of obsession in their fans.

Of course, my friends and I will be hitting the refresh key on our Internet browsers all night tonight once again -- even though tickets don't even go on sale until 10am tomorrow. Rock fans do the strangest things


  • A great post about the difficulty of buying Radiohead tickets. I work for the Santa Barbara Bowl and just want to point out a couple little things.
    The Bowl has a maximum capacity of 5,000 which is extremely small for Radiohead (Santa Barbara is honored to have them come back). In LA alone, they are playing two Hollywood Bowl concerts and one Verizon Amphitheater. That is 50,000 tickets that they are going to sell. You can now imagine the demand for the Bowl concert; very difficult.
    The "stern warning" we place on the web-site is in effect for every concert when it goes on sale. The sole reason that you do not see that statement on any other concert is because Radiohead is the only concert going on sale this weekend. Once the show is on sale (like Avril Lavign, the Cure, etc.), we remove that language since it becomes unnecessary.
    Everyone here hopes that you are able to get tickets when Radiohead goes on sale this morning and we ar every happy that you want to attend our venue.

    By Blogger erockfiesta, At April 12, 2008 at 9:39 AM  

  • bullshit

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 21, 2008 at 7:55 PM  

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