When was the last time you went out and physically purchased tickets to an upcoming concert? Personally, it’s been almost a decade since I popped into my local record store to buy tickets to the NOFX & Bad Religion double-header that toured in Australia in 2009. Since then, it’s been nothing but online sales for any gigs that come to town. But Nine Inch Nails frontman, Trent Reznor, wants fans to eschew the digital age and return to the box office to buy tickets for the band’s upcoming North American tour.
Just a couple of days ago, Nine Inch Nails announced their Cold And Dark And Infinite tour, which will see them tour various locations in the United States between September and December with Scottish alt-rockers The Jesus And Mary Chain. But there’s a catch – you won’t be able to buy tickets online.
Yes, ticket sales for the upcoming tour have been listed as “box office only,” meaning that despite all the technological advancements we’ve made in the last few decades in regards to buying tickets online, you’ll have to camp out like we used to in the good old days if you want to secure your spot in the crowd.
Obviously predicting a number of questions that will be coming their way in regards to this decision, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor addressed this physical ticket sale decision on the group’s website in a section titled “What? Why? Physical world presale?”
“The promise of a world made better by computers and online connectivity has failed us in many ways, particularly when it comes to ticketing,” explains Reznor. “Everything about the process sucks and everyone loses except the reseller. We’ve decided to try something different that will also likely suck, but in a different way.”
“We’re hoping many of you will be happy with the results, while some may do what they always do and bitch about it.”
“Here’s how it works: you (an actual human being) show up at the box office, interact with the ticket seller (another actual human being) and purchase up to four tickets that will actually be handed to you on the spot,” he continues. “The tickets will not be available online or anywhere else before or during that day. All seats (including the best seats) will be available first come, first serve.”
Never miss industry news
Get the latest music industry news, insights, and updates straight to your inbox. Learn more
“You may actually encounter other actual human beings with similar interests likely wearing black clothing during the process and potentially interact with them. The experience has the potential* to be enjoyable. Nine inch nails has always been about bringing people together, living life to the fullest and good times.**”
**not entirely true
Of course, Reznor does admit that some exceptions will be made, such as for those with disabilities who are unable to line up at the venue, and that a number of tickets will indeed be made available online for fans at a later date. However, it looks as though any other American fans keen on scoping out the band’s renowned live show might want to pack their sleeping bags for a long night in the cold.
Reznor’s decision to sell tickets in this manner is obviously not without precedent, with scalpers and ticket resale websites coming together frequently to attempt to ruin the concert experience of many punters by jacking up the prices to obscene levels.
Amazingly though, Reznor has had to take to social media to make fans aware of the fact that tickets to these shows that are already showing up online don’t actually exist, as the sale does not begin for another week.
COLD AND BLACK AND INFINITE NORTH AMERICA 2018 tickets currently showing up on 3rd party reseller sites including, but not limited to, @stubhub DO NOT EXIST. Tickets for these shows will be available beginning May 19th at The Physical World Presale events. https://t.co/f3e4c7Q2TH pic.twitter.com/4RnlHhLo3i
— nine inch nails (@nineinchnails) May 12, 2018
Back in January, Aussie musicians The Rubens spoke out against the “dodgy profiteering” of sites such as Viagogo which prey on desperate music fans. Thankfully though, a number of official resale services, including Twickets, have been launched in Australia to help stamp out this ridiculous behaviour.
While we’ll have to wait and see how successful the physical ticket sales for Nine Inch Nails’ upcoming tour are, here’s hoping though that others artists won’t have to resort to a Trent Reznor style of action to prevent scalpers and resale sites in the future.
Nine Inch Nails are set to release their new album, Bad Witch, on June 22nd.