Crazed fans camp out for concert tickets

February 20, 2015


Elise Mariano

Sahra Sajasi and her friends sit by their computers in hopes of getting concert tickets.

Every teenage girl (or boy) has that one band they would do anything for. One group of musicians could reduce them to tears. These dedicated fans would stand in the pouring rain or even ditch class to get a hold of tickets to see their favorite band live in concert.

“The ticket buying process isn’t easy,” said Sahra Sajasi, a senior at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, “especially when you’re a teenage girl and the tickets almost always go on sale at 10 a.m. on a school day.” Sajasi has essentially “camped out” in front of her computer to wait for tickets several times before.  She gathers a group of friends (who do not have classes, of course) and her mom and tells them to be in front of a computer by 9:45.

Tickets tend to sell out pretty quickly online, due to ticket scalpers and the high demand for the tickets. “Taylor Swift just came out with the best album ever and I tried getting tickets,” Sajasi said. The tickets went on sale during Sajasi’s economics class. “I had my mom at home, my friends Nazeli and Angela at school helping me out,” Sajasi said. When the website finally let her through to get the tickets, she came out empty. “It was all very sad,” Sajasi said, “but Taylor Swift added more shows and I was able to get two tickets.”

Sajasi said that she has never camped out for concert tickets, but it is something she would “definitely want to try.” She said the the Internet is stressful, due to ticket scalpers and the loads of fans trying to see the show. The only upside to buying tickets online, Sajasi said, was the fact that you do not have to sleep outside. It seems like the fact that just so many people are online at the same time to get tickets really gets in the way. Sajasi is totally willing to camp out for concert tickets, however. “I think I would much rather prefer that,” she said. “It’s definitely something I want to experience.”

Prior to the Internet, the only ways to get concert tickets was to buy them from the venue or call Ticketmaster over the phone. Camping out for concert tickets seems unconventional now that virtually everyone has access to the Internet; however, there are still a handful of people who sleep outside just to get tickets to see their favorite artist.

According to a concert ticket sales table on Statistic Brain, concert ticket sales have been declining each year since 2009, with around 52 million tickets being sold that year. The fall in sales can be attributed to rising ticket prices — revenue has been going up, but sales have been going down, according to Media Decoder, a blog on the New York Times website.

concert ticket sales have been declining each year since 2009, with around 52 million tickets being sold that year

— Statistic Brain

For fans like Nicole Lloyd, a senior from Immaculate Heart High School standing in line for several hours in Inglewood was totally worth it for an Australian band called 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS). “I’ve gone through some dedicated experiences in order to get concert tickets,” Lloyd said. She admits to rushing home after school, using her phone in class, as well as having her friends help her just to get the concert tickets she so badly wants.

5SOS announced an event to sell tickets for their show at the Forum in Inglewood. “All the information that was announced was that lineup started at 3 a.m. around the block from the Forum, and ticket sales started at 11 a.m.,” Lloyd said. Being the dedicated fan she is, she arrived at 8 p.m. with some of her friends. “We were in line for 15 hours. We made some new friends, bonded with some people and shared some other experiences,” Lloyd said. What made the whole experience worthwhile was the band’s unexpected appearance at the venue. “They met the first 500 people in line,” Lloyd said. “We were lucky that we went at 8 p.m. because if we went at 3 a.m., we wouldn’t have been 120th in line.” 5SOS also played a free acoustic set outside the venue for the waiting fans.

Although Lloyd has only camped out for concert tickets once, she still would much rather do that than “camp out” in front of her computer and buy tickets online. “I think camping out is more fair,” she said, “It’s how they did it in the old days.” In her opinion, the people who are willing to hit the streets to buy tickets are the ones who end up getting the best seats. “They camp out to see the artist and the do deserve the tickets, whereas buying online is basically luck and good internet connection.”

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