In News that didn’t shock me a bit, The Dead announced that more tickets will be released for The Fare Thee Well Shows at Soldier Field. If you’ve been following the blog, I’ve been talking about this for months. The announcement came via their website and was probably a poor idea. Why make an announcement 5 days before the onsale??? Just to be sure it circulates enough for every ticket agent out there to catch the news… Why not just release the tickets without saying a thing? All of a sudden, BAM! Tickets are on TicketMaster. Why not make the announcement the minute they’re released giving the people that follow the band and their social media avenues the heads up on the release? Why instead make an announcement 5 days prior to the release, lining up every single broker and person that has tickets already, as well as those that don’t, at the starting line all at once? Am I the only one that thinks this idea leaves a lot to be desired?
I’ll give you the answer now… Peter Shapiro is a genius. Say what you want about him or the event but this has been a masterful job of promoting. The tricks used are not new but apparently unknown by the vast majority of the fan base. The first batch of tickets that were released were all of the less desirable seats that most commonly go unpurchased or at the very least, purchased last. All of the shit seats are already Sold, GENIUS move number 1!!! Not only that, they only sold a percentage of the total seats available which created the illusion of a scarcity of tickets. What would Garcia say? He already said it, “Cats in the limelight, Feels like it’s all right! Everybody wants something they might not get!” Shapiro took that advice to heart. He created the sensation of lack and scarcity that not only drove demand among Dead Heads but drove every segment of the media right into his lap. Look at us!!! We sold out in 10 seconds! Brilliant Marketing! All of a sudden the demand was so inflated that everyone imaginable wanted a piece of the Grateful Dead Pie. Every news organization in the country has run articles on the demand for tickets, Genius move #2!
While tickets on the secondary market swelled up, those dumb enough to buy them 5 months in advance were spending a fortune purchasing seats with absolutely no view behind the stage. There’s a few things that even Shapiro hates to see. Fans that are extremely disappointed and an out of control secondary market. He always does what he can to limit scalping as much as possible. While the iron was red hot, they struck up 2 shows in California and put nearly every available seat on sale through Internet Mail Order. That was a hit as the internet mail order completely sold out. All along, The Official Home of Unofficial Grateful Dead News was reporting that there are TONS of unreleased tickets. I ran into a few people that thought I was nuts but that’s OK, they’re probably right… So here we are, waiting patiently until Friday as well as hitting TicketMaster every half hour until then(Just in case). Will Friday be the last release? If I had to guess, the next batch of less desirable seats will be put out on TicketMaster with a handful of decent seats. Why do that? Because a lot of people with tickets will absolutely buy tickets again if they have a chance to upgrade their seats from behind the stage to anywhere in front of it. In another couple of weeks people will gladly buy again if they can move from 300 level seats to 100 level seats. Garcia might say, “Strategy was a strength, not disaster…” Genius MOVE #3!!!
Why tell everybody 5 days in advance of a ticket release? This one is a no brainer too! It ensures the next wave of seats will sell out just as fast as the first. In order to keep interest as high as possible, the sense of extremely limited availability has to be maintained. If there was only a small number of tickets being released, why announce that to EVERYBODY 5 days in advance? With a fresh wave of euphoria for those who get their tickets, there will also be a fresh wave of aggravation for those that don’t. The most important thing that will happen is EVERYBODY will be talking about it. The more chatter, the better. Drives all attention back to the big event. If I had to guess, I’d say a minimum of 20% to 30% of the tickets are still available. I don’t think this will be the last release either. I think tickets will continue to be released in the weeks to come right up to day of show! It happens at the Cap for every big show. GENIUS Move #4!!!
When all is said and done, everybody willing to pay face for a ticket will get in. For many, they’ve spent months shitting on each and every day of their lives worrying about a problem that was never a problem. The strategy isn’t a new one at all but it was played perfectly. Like a magic trick that’s been around forever, the shit still works. The collapse of the secondary market is already beginning and following the arrival of mail order tickets plus the additional tickets being released, tix will start circulating in big numbers. As of now, on StubHub, tickets for Santa Clara are at or below face in most sections. I can just hear the poor fools in the lots and hotels in Chicago trying to sell their extras by saying, “I didn’t pay face brah, I got these on StubHub and I paid $(insert crazy price that is an inflated lie here).” Nobody will be buying and the Good Seats will start getting released by Shapiro at the same time through more week and day of show releases. It will destroy the greed of people that thought they’d make some money back on them in Chicago. “Oooohh Oooooh ooh ooh my plans didn’t work out like I thought. I made my trap for you but it seems like I got caught.” Peter Shapiro has done a great job playing this one and in the end, all is forgiven because we’re ALL getting in!!!
Then again, maybe I don’t know shit… I’ve also already mentioned, nobody has fewer connections than I do. Keep an eye on it and watch as it unfolds! It’s extremely exciting to see everybody receiving their tickets in the mail this week! Amazing that we’re only a month out!!! Can’t wait to see y’all in Chicago! If you don’t have tix, stop worrying about it! There’s PLENTY!!! Love You Long Time!!!
Dead To The Core,
Dean Sottile (pronounced So Tilly)
FB Group at The Official Home of Unofficial Grateful Dead News