It seems that every week I get a sad email to email@example.com. It’s someone bemoaning an expensive error when purchasing show tickets, be that something at the DECC’s Symphony Hall or a blow-out concert at AMSOIL arena or Bayfront Festival Park.
What mistake are they making? It’s using a search engine, like Google, to find the event and then clicking on the first link there. There’s a logical and totally understandable assumption that by clicking on the first link, you’re getting tickets from “the right place.”
However, there are lots of sites created by professional ticket re-sellers who pay to have their listings posted high in your search engine results. The DECC site is often found several listings down the page.
So, what’s a ticket re-seller? Well, that’s a person (or robot) that makes several purchases of tickets for an event. They then turn around and sell the tickets at a much higher rate, sometimes inflated by hundreds of dollars per ticket.
The good news is that those tickets are almost always valid. The bad news is that there’s no way for DECC staff to get that extra money you paid back. And while it may sound illegal, it’s above board – just unkind.
Sadly, there are also people out there selling invalid tickets. A prevalent way is posting online, maybe under an ad for a show, saying that they’ve bought tickets and can no longer attend. The profile picture often gives a sweet, young mom vibe. She wouldn’t scam ya, right?
These “tickets” are offered at a reasonable discount but are completely fraudulent. Would-be attendees are disappointed and angry when they arrive for the event and are unable to be seated. It’s stressful for the buyer and honestly, stressful for the frontline staff who must deliver the bad news.
Know what you’re buying
Good news, there are ways to avoid this trauma. One is to always read the address for the website before you click. Is it StubHub? Tickets Center? SeatGeek? Some other creative name? It’s likely a re-seller.
The best place to start is at the venue website, be it the DECC or any other place you hope to see a show.
For a show here at any of the venues at the DECC, you’ll want to start with decc.org. (Friendly reminder that the DECC manages AMSOIL Arena, Symphony Hall, DECC Arena, and Bayfront Festival Park.)
So where does a ticket link on DECC.org bring you? Generally, it will be our official ticketing partner Ticketmaster or their subsidiary Universe. There are some exceptions such as the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra (DSSO) and some of the expos, like the Arrowhead Home and Builders Show that may use other ticketing platforms. But the DECC.org website will send you in the right direction.
Another option is coming down to the DECC for an in-person purchase. Our ticket office is in the lobby of AMSOIL arena at Door E. But you don’t even have to leave your house! You may call the DECC ticket office at 218-727-4344 and purchase over the phone. Our ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and now on Saturdays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.
So, what if you bought tickets and are unable to go? Good news, you’re not out of luck. If you’ve purchased your tickets through Ticketmaster, there’s a verified resellers program that allows fan-to-fan resale. This is a program that the artist must opt into with Ticketmaster. When they do, ticketholders may put their un-neededtickets for sale on the Ticketmaster site and set their own price. Once sold, the tickets are then put into the name of the re-buyer. You get the cash and the entire transaction is 100% guaranteed
Put simply, Ticketmaster’s verified resale = good. Buying tickets from a stranger on Facebook with Ticketmaster verified resale tickets = bad or at least sus.
Getting it Right
When you drown out the noise of the third-party sellers, there are only three ways to purchase entertainment tickets at the DECC. 1) Via a link on DECC.org 2) Via Ticketmaster, which most of our tickets go through or 3) In person or phoning the AMSOIL Ticket office at the DECC.
So, why should you navigate all this to get to a live performance? I mean, is it even worth it? The answer is a deafening YES. Why? Because attending a show and sharing an experience with a crowd is from sitting on your couch – even if your entertainment room does have those poofy, reclining chairs with cup holders.
There’s a special something, magic even, in shared experiences. And while there are studies touting the positive effects of social interactions, I’d argue there’s a heightened sense of shared energy when taking in a crowded performance. A goal scored, a rocking refrain or a poignant line can flood a space with it.
What is that exactly? It’s difficult to define, but you know it when you feel it.