Terrapin Crossroads Posts Apology For NYE Run Ticketing Issues

Getting tickets for high-demand concerts into the hands of fans and not scalpers has been an issue plaguing bands for decades. A perfect solution still hasn't been discovered as bands and venues continue to try various methods for disseminating the valuable ducats. Yesterday, tickets for the Phil Lesh and Friends New Year's Run at Terrapin Crossroads went on sale at the venue's box office and the Terrapin Crossroads' staff admittedly was unprepared for the deluge of fans who wanted to purchase tickets.

There's been a bunch of complaints about what went down yesterday afternoon posted on the venue's Facebook page. A few minutes ago Terrapin Crossroads staff issued a statement about the ordeal:

Good Afternoon, We are sorry that we disappointed and frustrated people during the ticket buying process. We have tried many methods and there are drawbacks to each method when there are more people than there are tickets.

The reason we do not sell all the tickets online, or post online sale times for the allotments we put up is because we've noticed that every time we sell tickets online for high demand shows, the majority are bought by people using bots which allows them to "jump the line". This is a huge problem that has not been solved by even the major ticket companies. This is why so many tickets end up in scalpers hands and also by fans who use software to jump the line. It is likely that with the small amount of tickets we have, coupled with the demand, that all of them would have been grabbed up by bots.

The box office works very well for shows that have less of a demand for them. We already had Phil playing a free bar show on Monday and thought folks might enjoy the social scene along with some music in the bar while they buy their tickets at the box office while still leaving an allotment online.

The demand for the New Years Eve shows was far beyond what we could accommodate. While we did open the parking lot at 3:30, the valet (which is mandated by the City for large events) could not handle the amount of traffic and we had to close it down early and turn people away, as traffic was backed up and causing problems. While people did come and line up at the front door before the stated time, we started the official line at a different place at 3:30, as we hoped anyone on site could conceivably get to the line fairly.

Because there were hundreds more than we expected, we did not have enough lottery numbers to give everybody. Phil, Jill and the staff are extremely sorry about the confusion and that we had to make so many people unhappy. Our plan was first come, first serve to get numbers and then those who had numbers were part of the lottery for their place in the line. This was obviously not communicated properly and there were hundreds more people than we could accommodate - we are very sorry.

Again, we did anticipate that people would show up early and line up at the front door despite our asking them not to, but we had hoped that after we opened the parking lot, we would start a new line in a completely different spot that it would level the playing field for everyone on site.

There is no solution that will make everybody happy when we have high demand shows and many more people who want tickets than we have available. We will probably go back to the email system for any future shows where we expect this kind of demand. That way no one has to wait in line, we have more control over the scalper issues, and while it is more of a wait than buying tickets online, it is much more fair.

Please know that Terrapin Crossroads is a huge undertaking for everyone working here. We all (including Phil and Jill, management, and staff) lovingly work long hours and our goal is to make it a warm, loving home-like place. After almost 50 years, Phil is not planning to tour in the future except for very limited engagements. He is planning many, many shows with a large variety of musician friends at Terrapin including more "concept" shows. He is also looking forward to putting together Music Education programs for all ages, community dinners with our Terrapin Nation, acoustic campfire sing-a-longs, Unbroken Chain Foundation community fundraising, and team work to better the community and many, many more free bar shows.

Please accept our most sincere apologies for the confusion and our inability to handle the massive amount of cars and people that showed up. We can and will do better as we move forward.

Much Love, Joy, Health and Happiness to you all in 2014!

While we imagine this doesn't completely soothe those left ticket-less, it's nice to see the venue quickly address the situation.

[Published on: 10/29/13]

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