Sad day for some Asheville Phish fans

Most of the 180 or so fans gathered outside the Asheville Civic Center waiting for Phish tickets were mightily disappointed today. Tickets sold out in virtual seconds, with an error in the Ticketmaster system apparently releasing the 400 tickets that were supposed to be held back for the venue. Only about 20 people got tickets, said the Civic Center’s executive director Sherman Bass.

“What makes me sicker over it is that scalpers will turn them around and make lots of money,” Bass said.

The show’s promoter (LiveNation) called at around 8:30 a.m. Friday and asked how many people were in line, Bass said. Although he doesn’t know what criteria influenced the promoter’s decision, Bass said he was asked to hold back 400 tickets specifically for the Asheville fans. Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m.

But a computer error resulted in those tickets being sold. With only 11 shows announced for the wildly popular jamband’s reunion tour, the tickets went fast. Also, half the 7,200 Civic Center tickets had already been sold through the band’s fan club, Bass said.

In the morning, Bass and his staff passed out coffee and donuts to the waiting masses, many of whom had set up tents. Staff had also ordered portable toilets to accommodate the crowd.

The fans had put together their own list of those waiting so that a physical line wasn’t necessary. They entertained each other with games, guitars and even a portable disc golf hole. Xpress photographer Jonathan Welch has a photo gallery of the scene.

“They self-regulated,” Bass said. “We didn’t have any complaints.”


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28 thoughts on “Sad day for some Asheville Phish fans

  1. chalkbox

    It’s crazy when those “errors” pop up when $50 tickets are selling for $500 on ebay.

  2. Scott Woodall

    I was #37 on the list. What did that get me? Absolutely nothing!!!! In 16 years of following the band all over the place this is the biggest disappointment of them all. BOO to everyone who dropped the ball!!! Im completely unimpressed. And to anyone who sells their ticket for even 1 cent over face value I hope bad karma follows you aroung FOREVER!!!

  3. travelinlife

    The Civic Center Box office dropped the ball. Period. Most venues with “holds” will go ahead and print the tickets first, then sell them to the fans waiting in line. I think this was a big finger in the direction of the Asheville fans. Not on purpose, just incompetence.

  4. LiveNation Sucks

    Live Nation, Ticketmaster, and Tickets Now are the most ridiculous scam ever, something needs to be done about them. I though we were anti monopoly in the US? write your congressmen.

  5. Trey

    Boycott Ticketmaster!!!

    How can a show sell out in 7 seconds online…. yet immediately after there are hundreds of tickets available online from a Ticketmaster subsidiary for $300 a pop????

    Ticketmaster sells its own company a huge block of the tickets to immediately mark up… they have found a nice little loophole in the current scalping laws.

    Ticketmaster does this with every concert…. how else are they reporting profits, while the artists, promoters, venues, and everyone else involved in music are reporting losses.

  6. brian matthews

    I’ve heard the ticketmaster boycott rally for years, and agree it certainly would be a noble boycott. However its very difficult to ask someone who has a passion for live music (and/or sporting events for that matter!) to boycott ticketmaster since their grasp on these industries is so huge! We don’t live in a country where we should have to chose between our morals and our love. If all of us offended by what happened at the Civic Center Friday aggressively write anyone and everyone from politicians, to the band, to the promoter, it probably won’t change over night, but maybe we can at least raise a few eyebrows!

  7. cwaster

    Typical “Ticket-bastard” evil. Well, if I was considering seeing Phish again, I’m not now. They ought to do something about this and the fans that waited so long.

  8. noah phence

    It was 100% deliberate, don’t think for a second that they didn’t sell those tickets to themselves so they could resell them for 300.00 a piece.

  9. Piffy!

    —>*”If all of us offended by what happened at the Civic Center Friday aggressively write anyone and everyone from politicians, to the band, to the promoter, it probably won’t change over night, but maybe we can at least raise a few eyebrows! *”<----- OR, you could stop spending your money on bands, venues, and promoters who dont give a crap about you and your community and Start investing in something local that more accurately supports your beliefs. Phish is a played-out scene that takes for granted that people are willing to pay upwards of $500 for a chance to pretend to be part of a "movement" that is a mockery of real community. Phish started out as a small new england band. Why dont you give that much support to some of your friends bands who are just as "good" as these hacks anyway. And that band might actually appreciate your money instead of pissing it away on designer drugs. Heck, maybe you can say you were part of an actual "scene" instead of a pale, commercialized shadow of one.

  10. Piffy!

    PETA has announced the new name for Phish Phans is “Lot Kittens”.

  11. Trey

    Yo PFKaP…. how is the weather up there?

    God it must be good to be you.

    Personally…. I’ll spend my money where I want. Start investing in something local that more accurately supports my beliefs??? What the hell does that mean?? I want to see a band that is going to FN blow the roof of the joint… end of story.

    I could care less about the “scene”…. and people will pay what they can, to do the things they want to do. I got lucky and got tickets through the lottery, and wouldn’t have bothered to go otherwise. I’ve never heard of Phish being referred to as a “movement”. I guess we’re marching to Fluffhead and Meatstick?

    Phish did start out as a small band…. and I supported them when they were a small band because they were GOOD. Not because they lived in the same po-dunk town as me. Your basis for supporting local music just because it is here makes absolutely no sense to me.

    I guess it is so you can say you are part of a “scene”.


  12. Lances

    Hey Folks,

    I am a Hoosier and a 10+ veteran of seeing Phish shows.

    All the rants and raves about not getting tickets for this show are a bit short sighted. In looking at this issue from 5,000 feet, one will determine that the demand far out weighed the supply. And no. There was no conspiracy in making scertain that you were the one that went ticketless. You’re just one the many tens of thousands of folks that went without.

    As far as The (PFKaP)’s blurbs, I do see some truth to them. About 8 years ago, I found myself prostrating myself to this band. I always had to make sure I looked “right” aka – wearing the rare tye dye, tight patchies, etc, knew the right people – aka the folks that knew the inside info, and had an extensive knowledge of meanings of all of their songs and the last time the played. I could go on and on.

    If any of you folks find yourself the way I did, there’s nothing wrong with it. Its just like real life, but yet you decided to create a whole other society built in with its own cliches, terminologies, philosophies, etc. In essence folks, its all the same. Don’t rain on other peoples’ parade.

    Take it easy,

    BTW: Please email me with your thoughts and comments.

  13. Piffy!

    Hey, Trey, sorry to offend, but wasnt it you who said they wanted to Boycott Ticketmaster?

    Its funny that you say “I’ll spend my money where I want” after saying you want to “Boycott Ticketmaster!!!”. Guess what, paying money for a ticket is giving money to Ticketmaster. Great Boycott.

    I’m glad you like the band. Have a great time at the show.

    And, yes, it is good to be me. Glad you were able to notice.

  14. Jason

    That’s a bummer, but at the same time it’s a little funny too.
    If you guys were such big phans of the band, why didn’t you get tickets through the fan club?

  15. Cottle

    The “fan club” that you refer to was a CHANCE to get tickets, not a guarantee. Many of the people waiting in line at the box office were there because they had already attempted to get tickets through the lottery, and were denied. If all we had to do was call the fan club and get tickets, why would anyone be waiting in the cold all night?
    And yes…it’s all a scam. Ticketmaster is totally in bed with ticketsnow…anyone who doesn’t beleive it is either a fool, or an employee of one of the two companies, or both.

  16. Piffy!

    I heard Tre Anawhositwhatsis is giving out free bottles of Oxycondine to the first one thousand people wearing Carl Mumpower masks to the show.

  17. phanofasheville

    wow, a lot of anger on here… wait, phish are “hacks?”. you must not be a musician yourself to claim this… i’ll be the first to say that good and bad/value judgments, when it comes to art, are a subjective matter of tastes…to each their own.
    PFKaP, stay heady brah, way to Out-local that guy, you showed him! self-righteous much?
    i don’t think your sweet sweet blog will prevent any fans of this band from enjoying phish… “OH WOW, I GET IT NOW…THANK YOU GUY ON LOCAL PAPER MESSAGE BOARD…I’m wasting my money…”

    ::rolls eyes::

    get over yoursevles

  18. Piffy!

    My only point that all of you are berating me on, is that the people who were crying about “Boycotting Ticketmaster” are the same people willing to spend hundreds on tickets for a band that shows very little loyalty to their fans. If you want to convolute that into being self-righteous, that is certainly your choice, but it doesnt stand to reason.

    I dont mind Phish, personally, either way. I bet downtown will be very fun those days with all the hippie folks and used-to-be hippie folks flooding downtown.

    But if people are going to get up in arms about having to pay through the nose for a show, they might do well to stand by their convictions and not give their hard-earned(?) money to the same businesses they claim are “ripping them off”.

    I’m not sure how to make that any clearer for those who take any constructive criticism as an afront to their “religion” of choice: “Phishism”.

    Personally, I dont complain about a business “ripping me off” and then turn around and give them my money.

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