A music blog from Ireland.
This aul’ Internet lark is a double-edged sword; the more good music sites and blogs there are, the more gigs fill up the calendar and the lighter wallets get. Sometimes it’s not possible to buy tickets when they go on sale, for reasons as simple as not having a credit card or the funds to pay immediately, being unaware of the show or having other plans for the date. In the bad old days, there was nothing for it to scope out a ticket tout outside the venue and pay over the odds, or miss the gig entirely.
While there are very few online music endeavours to have made a profit (remember the Decline of Myspace?) for more than a few years, the most successful online ventures are the ones that are based on simple ideas. Few things are as geekily interesting as the scope of ideas that regularly pour forth from internet entrepreneurs’ get-rich-quick schemes but for every successful moneyspinner, untold multitudes fail. Here in Ireland we’ve seen cases where sharp business acumen has been handsomely rewarded with one very recent example being the £1.7m sale of the social media website Simply Zesty last week.
Not everything’s about money, thankfully. To alleviate the missed-gig pain, Toutless arrived around 2007 as a forum for gig-goers to sell and swap tickets for the original price. And then with the mighty snows of 2010 came the #ticketfairy hashtag on Twitter, when @Nialler9 helped hook people up with tickets from those who were snowed in and couldn’t make it to the show. Well over a year since the first batch of tweets tagged, the #ticketfairy service has been granting gig-goers’ wishes ever since. Well, most of the time.
And to keep it real, Nialler made the point that has kept the ‘Fairy safe from harm ::
What brought on this post? Mainly to encourage more people to join my favourite social networking platform, and to inform others who sometimes find themselves at a loss. Every week I see people in my Twitter feed matched up with tickets for gigs they didn’t think they’d be able to attend. It’s a simple idea that works on the premise of ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ – simply compose a tweet offering or requesting tickets to an upcoming gig, add the price, #ticketfairy tag and sit back and wait. It’s a special little feature for Irish music fans on Twitter and surprisingly, despite the cute handle, has not been picked up by any other music scene on the world wide web.
As Hugh Torpey points out however, it’s not infallible and giving/getting tickets is never a dead cert, particularly when people don’t use it properly. After seeing a rake of Jeff Mangum tickets find good homes during the week, last Saturday I found I had the time and money to go to the sold-out Future Islands gig at Whelan’s. Rather than go begging the promoter for guestlist to the show, I opened up a tab to keep an eye out for last-minute tickets. And it seemed my luck was in: after a day of watching people get frantic in their searches, a new tweet flashed up offering a Future Islands ticket at 19:22, shortly before the show was due to start. With a head full of hair colour and a heart full of hope, I replied in a flash and sat by my laptop for the next 90 minutes waiting and willing the bearer to respond. But he never did, not to me or anyone else who replied, and didn’t tweet again for three days. Whether he was a troll who just loved watching us squirm or one of those dimwits who don’t know how to use the Internet properly, I’ll probably never know. But there are many others out there who’ve found the magic of the Ticketfairy another little thing to love about the Irish music scene.