Hipsters the world over were sent into convulsions when it was announced that Kraftewerk were performing in NYC in April. No, not like their previous visit in 2005 to the mammoth Hammerstein Ballroom……there were to be eight shows, each one where the band would perform one of their albums IN ITS ENTIRETY. And not just in any concert hall, in the atrium at the Museum of Modern Art. And not at exorbitant prices – $25 a ticket.
Word spread quickly through the hipster community, as panic slowly set in. Eight shows, but the atrium holds LESS THAN 200 people…What were the odds of actually getting through to purchase tickets? There was a strict two ticket per person limit for the entire run. The day tickets went on sale, those who got through to the ticket selling website (showclix.com), they were put into a queue…an ENDLESS queue. Some people got through & were able to purchase tickets immediately. Others hung around in the queue for as long as an hour and a half…and most got shut out. The precious Kraftwerk tickets were gone, and no one seemed to know who exactly got the tickets.
Anger turned to paranoia as conspiracy theories sprang up. MoMA workers took most of the tickets. The ticketing site crashed, unable to handle the huge demand. NO ONE from the original Kraftwerk line up would be present for the concerts. The band itself wouldn’t even be onstage during the performances – the music would all be pre-recorded, with mannequins onstage! Interestingly enough, these theories all seemed to be generated by those who had not been able to purchase tickets.
Throwing gasoline on the fire was Joshua Dziabiak, the CEO of Showclix. He sent out a rambling “letter of apology”. They had previously sold tickets to high volume events, but never for shows of this magnitude. Straight up, Dziabiak admitted that he’d messed up: “They leaned on us to help them with this on-sale, which was a special event for them, and we let them (and you) down… a single setting within one of the lower levels of our queuing system’s middleware bubbled-up under the heavy load and caused frequent timeouts. There were also some issues with the broadcast system which allows us to communicate with ticket buyers while they’re waiting in the queue…regardless of what the technical problem was—or how we plan to solve it in the future—we haven’t overlooked the incredible amount of frustration many people felt from the on-sale. We take full responsibility.”
Did this quiet the mobs of ticket-less Kraftwerk fans? HELL no! Blogs were full of people writing that they were SURE that Dziabiak would be front and center at all of the shows! The truth of the matter lay in the numbers: less than 1.5% of those logging on for tickets actually bought them. WOW. A classic example of demand outstripping supply. Craigslist was quickly filing up with posts from people looking to buy anyone’s “extra” tickets (but not willing to pay above face value, of course). If Kraftwerk played these shows at the Hammerstein (capacity 3000) the results would have been similar. No matter where they played, all the shows would have sold out.
Those who did get tickets will be seeing a concert of huge historical importance, hipster-wise. The godfathers of techno, onstage at MoMA, performing their classic albums in their entirety. WOW. Those who get in will be very lucky. Those who will feverishly troll the blogosphere to read the reviews & shoot as many holes in them as they can can only be considered haters. It’s a CONCERT, folks, you’ll live if you can’t go!
Easy for me to say……I have my ticket for one of the shows………………………………………..