An Open Letter to All Scalpers

Subject: An Open Letter to All Scalpers
From: Shannon Richard
Date: 15 Jun 2016

Shame on you. Shame on you for gouging honest people of their hard earned money by monopolizing event tickets. Shame on you for making it impossible for some people to experience watching their favourite team play or seeing their favourite band live onstage. Shame on you for scavenging off of other individuals’ talent, work ethic, and contribution to our society. Shame on you for even thinking you have the right to profit from these hard working, committed, and not to mention uber talented players/performers. Where do you get off? How could so much greed and entitlement be embedded in you? I just don’t understand.

I’m sure you know where this anger and resentment is stemming from. As a huge fan of the Tragically Hip, I have devotedly sat at my computer to purchase tickets for the Man Machine Poem tour at every single opportunity that has been presented to the public - pre-sale, public sale, newly released seating sale… you name it. And to no avail, I have failed. Every. Single. Time. How is that possible? I wait patiently while the website searches, search again when the screen reads “no tickets available,” and wait again. Repeat x 1,000,000 (at least that’s what it feels like). Wait while, what? Your bots get to work and snatch up almost every single available ticket so you can resell for an exorbitant amount of money? Let’s be real, who can afford a night out at a whopping price tag of $1,000+? I surely can’t and I doubt I’m alone. And why should I? Because you feel some sense of entitlement for your own personal - and so very unjust- gain? 

Even more sickening is the advantage you’re taking of a dreadful situation where the beloved Gord Downie has announced this tour despite his battle with terminal cancer. Of course his fans will flock to the opportunity to see him perform one last time – and you know it will be at any cost. Buying a $50 ticket for the absurd price of $650? Absolutely! Why? Because he means that much to us. And let me guess… when Ticketmaster presented your bots with the opportunity to donate to the Gord Downie Fund, they generously accepted? What a joke, am I right? Do you know who would have? His fans. Real life human beings with compassion, and love, and consideration for others who want to do their part and contribute to this cause. It’s such a shame to think of the funds that could have been raised to help others in need. Instead, you line your pockets out of selfishness and disregard.

On a personal level, the Tragically Hip is very near and dear to my heart. I grew up listening to them play over our stereo system almost daily. My Dad would crank it way up every Saturday morning and get started with chores -whether or not his teenage daughters were planning to sleep the morning away. Sleeping as I may have been, I never minded… How could you? It’s the Hip! Any opportunity we had to see them live, we were there. One of my favourite venues was the Friendship Festival in Fort Erie, Ontario. I cherish those memories so very much.

News of Gord’s battle with brain cancer hits close to home as my father passed away 11 years ago after his own relentless fight. I would have loved the chance to take my two sons along with my husband to see the Hip live onstage. I would get to recall my childhood memories and create new ones that my boys will treasure in the future. I would be able to share in the joy of their first concert and what an amazing one it would be. I should know… the Tragically Hip was, in fact, my first concert.

You robbed them of this. I hold you accountable - snatching that gift right from my fingertips. I know I’m not the only one with such sentimental ties to this idolized group. I hold you responsible for robbing so many others who have such treasured memories of this truly Canadian band who will never again have the opportunity to share memories with the ones they love while their favourite band is performing live – reminiscing about their first dance on their wedding day, or road trips with the Hip blaring on the radio, and backyard barbecues and bon fires with a playlist of every single one of their albums on repeat. This list goes on and on. How could you take this from us?

I really hope that this letter has, even just for a second, made you think twice about buying event tickets to resell for a profit.  You’re deliberately taking advantage at everyone else’s expense. If it’s not you second guessing, hopefully it’s our government who will put a stop to this terrible practice. Regardless, do us all a favour, go out and get yourself a real job - earn a living and stop riding along on others’ coat tails while you deprive us of great times at a fair price.