September 10, 2012

Cornell Concert Commission Ticket Policies Draw Mixed Reviews

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The Cornell Concert Commission is warning students that tickets purchased for the upcoming Avicii show must be backed by photo identification — a policy that, though intended to curb violations of CCC’s policies, drew mixed reactions from students.

Under a set of policies which is limited to “closed” shows such as Avicii’s Homecoming performance, students who give one of their tickets to a guest must arrive with that guest at the concert. At the door, the buyer will need to show photo ID that matches the name on the ticket. For shows that are closed, concertgoers only need to present a ticket to enter.

The policy also sets a limit of two tickets per buyer, down from CCC’s usual maximum of four.

A show is considered closed when ticket sales are restricted to Cornell students, staff and faculty because of a request by the performer, according to CCC.

“This show is unique,” said Dave Rodriguez ’13, executive director of CCC. “We understand that any extra restrictions could be an inconvenience, but we did our best to spell [the policy] out on our ticketing website.”

Limiting purchases from the typical four ticket maximum to two and checking IDs at the door — policies that differ from those in place for concerts open to the public — were measures CCC took to guarantee that Cornell students comprised the majority of the show’s audience, according to Rodriguez.

“Avicii is also playing shows in Binghamton and Syracuse … so part of our contract is that we don’t promote the show off-campus. We only let [Cornell affiliates] into our show to not take ticket sales away from other concerts,” he said.

The last time CCC implemented these ticket policies was for Billy Joel’s show at Bailey Hall in December 2011 — another closed concert, which, according to Rodriguez, is rare.

“I can’t think of the last closed show we had before Billy Joel. It certainly wasn’t in the past four years,” Rodriguez said.

He added that the policy is also in place to prevent ticket scalping. CCC’s Facebook page warns buyers to “BEWARE OF SCALPERS!”

“We know that people are scalping their guest ticket. It’s something we try to combat, but realistically, we know that there’s not much that we can do to completely eliminate it,” Rodriguez said.

Steele Phillips ’13 said he believed the policy would help diminish the problem of ticket scalping.

“Though bothersome, it’s a smart policy … Although it doesn’t totally eliminate the problem of scalping, it does minimize it,” he said.

The vast majority of CCC shows are open, Rodriguez said, and therefore do not require such stringent identification measures or a restriction to two tickets per buyer.

Still, many students felt that the policy for a closed concert made the process of buying tickets unfair.

“I feel like it’s a really impractical policy, especially for Avicii,” Rohit Ramanathan ’15 said. “I feel like nobody knew that this was the policy and people who bought tickets from others because they simply weren’t able to that morning are in a rough situation. It’s going to screw over a lot of people.”

Andrea Cerruti ’14 echoed these sentiments.

“Sometimes you’re in class [when tickets go on sale] and you physically can’t get them,” she said.

Still, others said the policy was fair to place the responsibility of ticket purchasing on potential buyers.

“People should just wake up and get the tickets for themselves,” Alex Familant ’15 said.

Original Author: Lianne Bornfeld