Adventures In Ticketing

When I was little, my parents heard that Eric Clapton was coming to the Hartford Civic Center. One winter morning my mom drove out to the Civic Center and stood in line to purchase tickets. Back then there wasn’t a thing as online or home computers. You had to go to the venue to get tickets for the good seats. My mom ended up getting great tickets “you could see the whites of his eyes!” she said excitedly.

Me in 2013 with my amazing DMB tickets

When I was a teenager and started going to concerts, things were slightly more convenient. I would purchase my tickets from the local music shop. Or even sometimes local department stores. Since then those music stores have closed and are long gone.

Nowadays things are even more convenient. I belong to the fan club of my favorite band (Dave Matthews Band anyone??) and I’m allowed to put in for tickets before they go on sale to the public. A few clicks on the computer in the comfort of my own home and I’m pretty much guaranteed tickets. What puts a slight wrench in the plans now is that I have to be sure I have someone to watch my kids. So while it’s easy to request tickets, there’s more what I call invisible work going on.

I didn’t apprecieate just how much work goes into getting tickets and seeing a show or concert now that we have kids. It all became apparent yesterday when I went to purchase those elusive tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway. Last week on Facebook I saw that they posted about verified fan presales in order to curb scalpers and bots. I dusted off my account on that ticketing site. Seriously, my shipping address on there was an apartment we haven’t lived in nearly 10 years! I followed all the steps of updating my payment information and everything. I also had the website up and the date picked, my special code saved and waited until 10am when the presale started. I even timed it so my 11 week old baby was taking a nap at the time, knowing she only takes short cat naps. And we had a play date scheduled for 10:30 because of course this shouldn’t take long. It’s all online now! What could possibly go wrong?

My page refreshed.

Then it stalled.

I waited.

And waited….

Finally I could select my preferences! But then it said there was an error. I kept trying different dates. Same message. I hopped on Twitter to see if anyone else had a problem and of course there were many others facing the same thing. “Wait! Be patient” one Twitter user said. HOW CAN I BE PATIENT WHEN MY DAUGHTER IS GOING TO WAKE UP ANY MINUTE AND WE HAVE SOMEWHERE TO BE?!

I waited a good 25 minutes and gave up. It just wasn’t in the cards. I packed up the girls and headed to our playdate. My friend let me log into her wifi from my phone and I tried 2 more times. The second time I got the tickets!! My heart was pounding. And I could have really used a nap.

By the time the show rolls around my newborn baby will be a year old and my 6-year-old will be 7. Life will be different just like it was all those years ago when my mom bought Clapton tickets but I’m sure we both had the same excited, adrenaline rush. Now to hurry up and wait.

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