Tyson and Gord Downie in 2007

Tyson and Gord Downie in 2007

Yesterday I was able to score myself some tickets to what could be the final Tragically Hip concert in Victoria ever. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case for everyone. Actually. That wasn’t the case for 98% people I’ve talked to who tried to get presale tickets on Monday morning.

Last week storied Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip announced that lead singer Gord Downie had inoperable brain cancer and that this would most likely be their last hurrah before calling it quits. It might as well have been classified a national tragedy. The Hip are Canadian royalty. Love ’em or hate ’em, every Canadian felt the news that day.

If Stephen King was Canadian, he would write a time travel book about traveling back in time to stop Gord from getting cancer. Shomi would adapt it into an original series starring Seth Rogan (Canada’s James Franco). It would get me to sign up for that hot garbage that is Shomi again. I’d pay money to watch that.

But I digress. Today fans of The Hip across the Great White North held out hope of getting seats to one of the most important concerts of their lives. They are probably one of the most important concerts in the nation’s history. Alas, not many had luck. Instead, fans found hundreds (if not thousands) of tickets appear on reseller websites like Stubhub.com moments later. Actually, “moments” is a stretch. How about less than thirty seconds after tickets went on sale? Wait, that’s not it, either. How about before presale started?

My social media feeds have been filled with people yelling into the empty nothingness which is internet — a series of tubes protected by trolls and misogynist assholes afraid to like the Ghostbusters reboot because they are afraid of women (I can’t wait to see it). Longtime fans are/were mad that they might not get to see their favourite band before they’re gone. Heck, read the messages Alan Cross was getting, and he’s got nothing to do with the band.

Over 138 tickets appeared on StubHub before 10:02am and more as the day progressed. All more than double the cost of the original tickets. Something smells fishy.

How exactly did these reseller websites get the tickets so fast? Did Ticketmaster give them the tickets beforehand? Why would they do that? Ticketmaster and other big ticket agencies have denied their involvement with reseller websites for years, but things like this seem a little shady.

I’m not Pearl Jam, and neither is Rocktographers. We can’t fight the big fights, but we can point things out when they don’t seem right to us. This is our little soapbox.

When I saw that there was a pair of front row tickets on a reseller site for The Tragically Hip show in Kingston, ON for $7,175 I was floored. How about a cool $900 for a pair of similar seats in Victoria? It’s out of control. It’s sickening to see people capitalizing on someone’s illness like this. There is a special place in hell for those people.

There needs to be a better system for purchasing concert tickets, especially when it comes to presales. I’m sure there is no simple answer, but there needs be a conversation started. Tickets need to get into the hands of music fans and not greedy scalpers. Whether that means unique presale codes, doing away with online sales and camping in front of arenas (like the good old days), or battles to the music nerd death. How do you think we should solve these issues?

I’m one of the lucky few who actually managed to purchase tickets. Yes, they were crappy seats, but I don’t care. Yes, I paid a lot of money for them, but I don’t care. I’ve paid to see the Tragically Hip over a dozen times and it doesn’t matter whether I’ve had front row or last row (I’ve had both), it has still been an amazing concert. The Hip have remained one of my favourite bands since I was a kid and that’ll continue well past when they stop making music. I’m a fan first. I’m a Rocktographer second.

There are two more presales this week before tickets go on sale to the general public. It makes me wonder how many tickets will actually be there for the public on Friday, but more than that, it makes me wonder how many tickets are going to be on those reseller sites.

Did you get tickets to any of the Tragically Hip’s concerts? What do you think about all of these reseller websites? Have you ever bought a scalped ticket? Are you holding out hope that the band announces another tour date in your city? Let us know in the comments or on social media.