Foo Fighters use anti-scalping ticketing strategy for rare N.O. club show

Foo Fighters use anti-scalping ticketing strategy for rare N.O. club show

The world famous rock band Foo Fighters stepped away from touring stadiums and massive festivals Friday, to play a rare show for just a few hundred people at the House of Blues.

Tickets sold out almost instantly -- in mere seconds.

As lucky ticket holders formed a massive line before the show at the intimate French Quarter venue, some shared stories of how they scored their improbable prizes.

"(I had) luck and a lot of refreshing on the internet," said Morgan Lawrence, who traveled from Boston for the show.

Others, meanwhile, desperately strolled along Decatur Street hoping for a miracle, but to no avail.

"I would do anything to get in there right now," said Jenn Ventresca from Edmonton, AB. "I would probably lick the sidewalk."

The band announced early this week, just hours before tickets went on sale.

To prevent scalping, price gouging and even scams, they sold a limit of two paperless tickets per order. The purchaser was then required to show matching ID at the door, before going straight inside. No chance for resale.

"It was really focused on getting the tickets into the hands of the fans, giving them an affordable and not having to go into the secondary market and pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to see this show," said House of Blues Marketing Director Mark Roberts.

Fans can often face big disadvantages when trying to buy big event tickets these days, as they're battling high-powered programs and algorithms.

"There's often a problem with automated systems buying up a lot of tickets that end up in the secondary market," said / Times-Picayune Music Writer Keith Spera. "Just about all tickets are sold online now. It's opened up a whole new world of scalping, and legalized scalping.

That can lead to soaring prices or scams for concerts, sporting events and other forms of entertainment.

New Orleans resident Sarah Tucker found out the hard way when trying to buy a Voodoo Experience pass online. She was eventually out $150.

"(We) went through paying the individual and (the tickets) never came," Tucker said. "(We) were super frustrated -- ruined the weekend plan really."

Some sites offer guarantees, while others leave you more at risk.

This week, House of Blues representatives posted numerous warnings about the Foo Fighters show.

"The reason that we wanted to be so out in front of the issue is because we saw offers of tickets going up on the secondary market, and we didn't want anyone to waste their money," Roberts said.

Again, due to the restrictive purchasing guidelines for the show, any tickets found on resale sites were fakes. The only fans who got inside, organizers said, were the fortunate few how bought their tickets directly, like Paul Serraino.

"It's a dream come true," he said.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.