I want to vent about the Beastie Boys concert at the Orange Peel. Tickets went on sale online and sold out fast. The server wasn't prepared for the traffic. I have yet to talk to an Ashevillean who was even able to open the page. The Web site claims people just need to be more aggressive, but there are Internet companies with all the latest tech gear, buying up mass amounts of tickets and then scalping the tickets for huge profits — none of which go to the band, the venue or the local economy. I just looked up tickets for the band TOOL. Tickets that sold for $44 are now selling from $80 to over $400.
The Orange Peel really wants to be seen as a social network, and I love that concept. But when Asheville finally sees big names, who visit not just for the gig but also for the vibe, we locals can't get in! This happened two years ago with the Smashing Pumpkins — and they played nine shows! I know the Beastie Boys concert would have sold out in a single day if the only way to buy tickets was to go to the Orange Peel and buy them. The Orange Peel would have to pay employees to work the ticket counter. But in the long run, it would give traveling bands a bigger dose of the Asheville vibe and make the Orange Peel more rooted in the social club it aims to be.
— Matt Stivers
Arts & Entertainment Editor Rebecca Sulock responds: Regarding the frustration many Ashevilleans felt over not getting tickets to the Orange Peel show, the venue did not set the terms for how many tickets would be released at the box office for this show. The Orange Peel did pay employees to work the ticket counter on the day tickets went on sale, but they did not decide how many tickets were to be sold there. This show had strict processes to guard against scalping: Ticket buyers had to be present at will-call with ID, wherein they were ushered directly into the venue.