Radiohead Ticket Policy Angers Fans

Fans believe they've fallen victim to "unfair" paperless ticket system.

Ultimate Guitar

While Radiohead are usually lauded for their "fan friendly" policies towards pretty much everything, a number of fans have taken issue with the latest method of distributing tickets for the group's upcoming tour. As Classic Rock reports, UK shows are being sold on a paperless system to stop touts from profiteering by charging inflated prices for tickets to sold out shows.

The paperless system allows fans to buy tickets in advance and then gain access to the venue with the card used to pay for the ticket and additional photo ID. However, the tickets are completely non-refundable, which has caused problems for people who wanted to pass tickets onto friends or had bought tickets as presents for others.

Richa Manwani, a doctor who bought Radiohead tickets, has since been told that she'll be on call, meaning that her tickets are useless:

"Only I can redeem the tickets on the night of the event with my credit card and photo ID. This means I have no way of selling them on for face value. Ticketmaster offers a no-refunds policy, which means I have lost my money".

Paul Chambers, who spend almost £300 on tickets, has also had problems: "I can't go due to being away at work. The tickets are in my name and I can't pick them up. My wife isn't keen on going to the concert without me but couldn't anyway due to my name and bank card being on the bill. I would gladly sell them to fans for face value but I can't due to the restrictions".

Ticketmaster has issued the following statement regarding the issue, outlining the terms and conditions of paperless ticketing:

"Terms and conditions relating to the purchase of paperless tickets are clearly outlined to customers at multiple stages during the purchase process, including the initial purchase page, the shipping page and the billing page. Information relating to their purchase of paperless tickets is also conveyed on the confirmation email they receive".

Radiohead have yet to comment.

99 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I don't see how this is Radiohead's fault? Trying to fight back ticket scalps is a good cause, but it mostly seems Ticketmaster is the one causing the problem. Nontheless, I believe this is a need-of-the-many situation.
    See, because, in today's world, if the tickets are for X band, it's X band's fault, because X band was in charge of absolutely everything. They have time to write music, rehearse, organize the event, organize funding, organize the travels, organize Ticketmaster, organize everything. ... Yep. The band does virtually everything. I'm surprised they even have time for interviews or for sleeping or for even breathing.
    Fans are angry at Radiohead, not necessarily the band itself. Radiohead is taking the flak for the management, tour organizers, and ticket sellers due to the actions being taken in Radioheads behalf.
    the first sentence is supposed to be Fans are angry at Radiohead, but not necessarily the band itself. an edit button would be very nice.
    Maybe they could just refund the tickets through ticket master up until the day of the show, and other fans can buy them again as they are returned? No one gains anything by returning them so it's not like it would be very much abused. Only people to lose are potentially ticketmaster on a small number of tickets but radiohead are pretty sure to sell a boatload of tickets even up until showtime so it wouldn't be bad for them to be a little more user friendly in the process.
    Sorry to hijack this thread up here, but I'm not sure people know how the like/dislike buttons are supposed to be used. This is the top story, due to clicks and comments, yet it has been largely disliked. Those buttons aren't supposed to be there to necessarily give your opinion on the information being presented; they're there so that you can give your opinion on the article, itself, as well as its relevance. When you give a thumbs up, you give a thumbs up to the article - not the news presented in it. That's not to say you're giving the thumbs up to the news, but it's saying that you don't mind seeing the information here. Look at it this way: Thumbs up = "I may not like the story, but the article was satisfactory, I don't necessarily disapprove of the information or the way in which it was presented, and I'd like to see more articles like it in the future, when it pertains to something I'm interested in." Thumbs down = "WTF?! Get this bullshit off the site! Poor journalism pertaining to garbage 'information' that has no relevance here." Use them however you want, but the whole point of them is so that UG knows what people want to see or not. It's like the boy who cried wolf. If you downvote the shit out of relevant articles that present information you may not be happy about, how are they supposed to tell the difference between that wave of down-pointing thumbs and the ones on every Ke$ha article they post? (Of course, we all know that they'll keep posting stuff that generates hits, regardless of how we feel about it, because they want money, too.) *Pertaining to the article, it's relevant information that people should be aware of if they're considering making a purchase of a paperless ticket. It never once claims that Radiohead is responsible for the issue, yet they need to single them out about it because people who bought the tickets for their shows are the ones who are bringing this issue up.
    I'm with you to a point, about the thumbs rating. But there's a bit of a cop-out with relying on viewer feedback to organise your news. Shouldn't there be more responsibility on the site to present the news that best represents the guitar-playing world? For instance a great story on some old classical Latin guy that shreds flamenco is surely better for "Ultimate Guitar" than a report on Keshia saying something dumb or Dave Mustain Saying something dumb, or Axl Rose for that matter, saying something dumb. The stories that are presented here are merely a symbol of what sources the UG team use... Loudmouth, Rolling Stone, NME, etc... By trying desperately to appeal to a young and trendy demographic the UG team instantly runs into problems.. Rather than relying on meta-data to show that people care more about a Radiohead album release than Beyonce using a Metallica riff to back one of her songs, the UG team should make a point of standing up for Guitar related journalism. Could the UG team not be innovators of their own image and style, rather than relying on forum-votes to show them that people would like to hear more on great guitarists than on what Flea from RHCP has to say about 'that thing that's happening in the world'. This rating system just seems like a way of showing their customers (The advertisers) that they are putting efforts into "Market research"; but we'ere not a market... We're just some people who like to know about the guitar and more often than not, great bands.
    "Famous Musician dies" - I Like This Even if the article was well-written and was composed in the format of an award-winning novel, i'd still feel like a douchebag if I liked the article.
    I lost interest after the first sentence. Anyway, whoever did this was not thinking it through, clearly.
    Ticketmaster are just leeches man, if Radiohead lashes out on them they'll give refunds asap
    This happens all the time with airplane tickets and nobody complains. I think it's the only way to solve the issue with people massively buying tickets and selling them outside the venue 10 times their face value. This situation has gone absolutely out of control, especially in the UK where the mafia buys shitloads of tickets and sells out almost every major event on a matter of minutes. I remember getting in a blink-182 gig 10 years ago for 150 through This kind of business is totally unacceptable and has to stop. BTW, I think Radiohead has absolutely no control over those ticketing policies...
    Lesson Learned? Read the Fine Print. I'm not justifying this, but that's how ticketmaster's gonna skate away. If they wanted to save face, ticketmaster could refund the cards online to the people that needed to cancel, but greed is king.
    This system has been in Montreal for a while. I been to 2 shows like this. My friend had bought 4 tickets and we all went in with him no issues. I say anything to stop the scalpers. You should be able to get a refund tho maybe a week before the show.
    Why can't ticket master set up a site where u post your ticket and see if someone else will buy electronically?
    Paul Chambers, who spend almost 300 on tickets, has also had problems
    I know he's still dead, but I'm still going to assume it's the same Paul Chambers who played bass on Kind of Blue.
    Iron Maiden & Alice Cooper did the paperless ticketing this past summer. 97 bucks to be in the pit, which is cheap as hell by today's ticket standards for major bands. Didn't notice anything about an absolute no refund policy though.
    kill it
    it should help limit the scalping. if you don't like the system don't buy a ticket. if i buy a ticket i go to the show, if i can't make it that's my own fault. ticketmaster are the biggest scalpers of all. they let ticket companies they are affiliated with get the best seats and inflate the prices drastically. i have no idea why they haven't been investigated on the matter.
    What you're not taking into consideration here is that sometimes, things come up. Tickets often go on sale 4-6 months before the event even takes place and you have no clue what could happen in that time. Often times, if something like that has happened to me, I would resale the tickets to a friend or through eBay at face value. With this system, you can't do that unless you personally go to the gate to show your credit card and ID. And if you live a few hours away from the city where the show is happening, that might not be possible.
    The only way to get Radiohead tickets in Australia is to buy them on ebay... for $700 each. No wonder Radiohead are doing something about scalpers.
    This policy doesn't even work over here in the states. I recently bought tickets to see Green Day in December and online scalpers are selling 62 dollar tickets for almost $300. It's ridiculous.
    How would they sell the tickets online if there isn't tickets?
    Basically they sell their spot. The scalpers still go to the ticket booth with their ID's and their credit cards to receive their tickets, but then they hand them off to the people they've previously sold them to. It's an incredibly shady way to do this but apparently it works.
    Oh ok, I didn't realise that you still get tickets but not until you go to the gate, sorry. I can see why that system wouldn't work then. I wish people wouldn't be so selfish
    my only problem with this is that I wouldnt be able to buy tickets for friends and family as gifts. but, scalpers are a shit that NEEDS to be scooped out! so Im kind of divided in my opinion on this subject.
    I find it pretty crazy that "paperless system" was made without a feature to switch the name to pick up tickets before hand or sell them to someone else through a website or anything. Apparently those *****s didn't about that. For the record I'm NOT calling Radiohead *****s. Im calling the people that made the "paperless system" *****s.
    While it must suck for someone who legitimately can't attend, something like this does need to be done. Maybe a refund policy could be implemented; They can just refund the money and ticketmaster sell the ticket on. Of course they would need a limit as to how long they can offer refunds, like 2-3 weeks from the event refunds are allowed.
    Soundwave Festival here in Aus has implemented a system that puts you in touch with people reselling tickets at the original price, exactly for people in this situation
    Wow those are some pricey tickets, sucks about the way they were sold but it seems to be more common these days, they are really trying to kill off ticket scalping. But the only downside is I know here in Vancouver we have a charity program that people donate tickets to they can't use and they take terminal children and stuff to see concerts and shows, would really suck to take away the donations from something like this, ticketmaster should look into their policy further.
    While this is a little flawed system, I like the idea. Nothing annoys me more than people that buy tickets just to extort fans of more money.
    Oh ok TicketMaster. Thanks for telling me i have to agree to your shit policies before i get my ticket. That makes your policies perfectly reasonable... A-holes
    They don't actually NEED to provide you with this service, so I think it's fair that they can decide the terms and conditions. Concerts are a privilege, not a right.
    They are a business that would like to make money so therefore they do need to provide this service.
    I would be much happier if they didn't. We don't actually NEED a monopoly controlling the ticket services. In my city, venues have started to cut out ticketmaster and I am perfectly happy purchasing directly from the venue. When i pay for a privilege i expect resonable policies. Thats ok if you don't...
    Two fans claiming they want to resell their tickets for face value. Riiiiight.
    Is it unfair? Of course it is. And Ticketmaster is counting on you to not know the terms. But Jesus, you're the consumer. You know they just want your money, so why not inform yourself to make the best possible decision?
    It's all very well Ticketmaster outlining their stupid policy when people are buying tickets, but that's never going to stop unexpected things happening to people that mean they can't go to the gig. I understand the need to try and stop touting, but this isn't a good way to go about it. I mean, what do Ticketmaster expect to achieve? If, for example, I bought tickets to a gig, then got attacked in the street and was hospitalised so I couldn't go, am I meant to say to the attacker, "Sorry, I can't be attacked today, Ticketmaster's t&c's mean I won't be able to get a refund if you injure me." Ultimately it's screwing over honest fans with genuine reasons for selling, because a minority of ticket buyers are dickwads. There must be another way.
    If someone is willing to pay five times the face value for a ticket, I don't understand why someone shouldn't be allowed to sell it to them at that price. Everyone wants to blame scalpers or brokers when prices go up but it isn't their fault that patrons are willing to pay that much money for a ticket.
    Since people are so desperately asking for it... "Radiohead fans SLAM new ticket policy"
    That's what T&Cs are for, no-one is to blame but the consumers. I spent 300 on going to Download last year, but was forced home early and got no refunds. I raged for a bit, but it was nobody's fault (to a certain extent).
    That's your excuse for BS policies? Just because those are the Terms and Conditions doesn't make them right. By that logic anything is alright, as long as you put them in the T&C contract. So what you are suggesting is that people either give in to whatever Ticketmaster's demand that are ripping them off or never go to concerts because Ticketmaster is the corporation in charge of it all. @#$% that. Ticketmaster needs to go away. Inflated ticket prices, poor customer service and site design. Pretty much everything they do is crap, even the way you order tickets is terrible. (Click a button to hope to get a good ticket, and if not try clicking again!)
    i personally think people, like you i'm sure, need to start reading that fine print. if you buy the ticket you should have read the fine print. if you didn't you're to blame. seeing as ticketmaster actually pays for those tickets i think they do an alright job. at least i'm not paying upwards of 3 times the ticket price, like i would be from a scalper.
    Reading the small print and being forced to accept it in order to be able to go to gigs at all doesn't make what's in the small print fair or right. If the choice is between accepting shitty T&Cs or not going to gigs, I know what most people on this site would do. It's bullshit.
    Richa Manwani, a doctor who bought Radiohead tickets, has since been told that shell be on call, meaning that her tickets are useless: "Only I can redeem the tickets on the night of the event with my credit card and photo ID. This means I have no way of selling them on for face value. Ticketmaster offers a no-refunds policy, which means I have lost my money". THEN WHY BUY THE TICKETS IN THE FUCKING FIRST PLACE!??
    Richa Manwani, a doctor who bought Radiohead tickets, has since been told that shell be on call, meaning that her tickets are useless. There's your answer.
    Alan Ciccone
    Really glad they're trying this. I've been trying to think of a system to completely take touts out of the equation but also to cut out middle men like ticketmaster and blood sucking promotions companies. CDs aren't selling anymore. Bands need to claim the lion's share of their touring revenue. Ticket prices could be reduced and perhaps include a copy of the latest album with a purchase. a certain percentage of the sales could be banked for the recording of the next album etc. There must be a way to do this without companies like Ticketmaster.
    Sammy Mantis
    Don't buy tickets unless you know 100% for sure that your schedule is clear. What's so difficult about this?
    Shit can happen. I've had someone I was going to a concert with drop out the night before because something important came up. I'm always one to make sure people read the fine print before complaining about getting screwed over, but a transferring feature would still be nice to avoid future issues.
    Because emergencies and stuff happening unexpectedly can only ever happen when you don't have a gig to go to...
    I been to one of these and bought scalped paperless tickets. Worked out fine for me, front row to the best show i ever saw.
    Radiohead tickets over here are 200 cheapest and i can't find them anywhere.
    Really? I paid $45 to see them last June and I'm pretty sure there were tickets still available the week before the show.
    Notice the symbols for pounds versus your dollars. I imagine British demand to be a lot higher.
    Iron Maiden did a paperless ticket system for their shows at the O2 arena last summer, yet in the end we still ended up getting the paper tickets sent through the post anyway for some reason
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the scenario where a parent buys tickets for their kids to go to a show. I guess if you're in high school, you just can't go to a concert without someone who owns a credit card.
    This paperless system has been in use for a while here in Winnipeg, MB and honestly the event staff couldn't give two f***s about whether you are the person who owns the card or not. Before I applied for my own card I used parents and friends for two shows at least. In regards to the scalping thing it's interesting that it really does fall in fairly with the capitalist system we have in the "developed" world. Small supply and great demand for tickets = higher prices. Lack of policy regulation as well makes it one of the truly free markets left. *Not saying I agree but food for thought.
    Hopefully this method of tickets doesn't stick around, yes it prevents reselling tickets are higher prices but it also means you can't pass along your tickets to another friend because someone couldn't go. And no refunds? Crazy
    This surely can't be that hard to figure out. Maybe Ticketek could do something where tickets could be resold at faceprice, or even $5-10 below faceprice to deter scalping? It's not ideal, but scalpers would lose out doing it this way and people would be able to move the ticket on.
    You know, I didn't have that when I saw them in Detroit. I was so worried, and I know some people had paperless, but I bought mine on StubHub and got real, paper tickets to bring in. I really did think the paperless thing was stupid at the time though, and still do to be honest. It seems so extraordinarily complicated to try and execute that well.
    I can see some of the issues, especially if something comes up at last minute and there's no way to sell your tickets (which can be quite annoying considering the prices of Radiohead's tickets this tour). However I don't see the biggest problem to make an outrage over this. If anything the bigger problem for me has been the touts. I lost track of how many people were selling tickets immediately after the show sold out in 30 seconds. Anyways, Radiohead are still one of the best live bands out there. I'd recommend seeing them if given the chance.
    Paperless tickets suck anyway. If I am going to see Radiohead, I want the ticket stub as well to keep as a collectable. Maybe that's just me, but I keep my concert tickets. Without my stubs, I'd forget about half the shows I've been to, no matter how great they were.
    You could just print out the receipt if your memories and perhaps photos of the night aren't enough.
    Only thing I can say to these whiners is if you can't go because your job requires your attention then why the hell did you purchase the tickets? Someone had to say it. Dumbasses.
    This just means the ****ing brokers can't buy 200 tickets at a time and jack up the price.