The Rules of Rock and Roll: #247

I saw a classic example of the rules of rock in effect this week. There’s a pretty standard trick that bands tend to pull when arranging tours. The logic goes something along the lines that, if you can probably fill a venue three times, you book it for just two nights, thus ensuring that demand for tickets comfortably outstrips supply. To create even more demand, and galvanise your fans into getting in quick for tickets, even though you have booked two nights at the venue, you only announce one to begin with, and then announce a second extra show when the first one sells out, “due to unprecedented demand” (that being the type of unprecedented demand that you knew about all along, although presumably you expect your fans to think that a series of frantic phone calls have suddenly made special late arrangements to squeeze another date in, and the venue just happens to be free…).

The other day we booked a couple of tickets to see a band next year, and I was rather amused to see that, although the band’s website only mentioned the one show (describing it as a “one off, not to be missed show”, no less), and ticketmaster were dutifully only selling tickets for the one night, someone had forgotten to mention this to the venue, who were selling tickets for a mysterious second night, something the band’s management themselves apparently didn’t even know about. So we booked our tickets for the second date, and sure enough, a couple of days later there it is on the band’s website: “Due to this phenomenal demand, the band have added a second night… Tickets go on sale tomorrow…” Well, that was a stroke of luck, then, wasn’t it.