Belasco Theatre Tells Ticketholders To Cough Up Extra $20 To Watch The Pharcyde
Last night The Pharcyde and Souls of Mischief played to an apparently sold-out house at The Belasco Theatre downtown, but angry ticketholders said they were told to cough up an extra $20 if they wanted to pick up their tickets—in effect, doubling the ticket price.
Some ticketholders waited in line that didn't move for three or four hours in the cold hoping to get in anyway. Some ticketholders left, but some of those who did wait said they didn't get into the show until midnight. They've detailed their complaints on Twitter, Facebook and Yelp. We've never heard of an infuriating practice like this, so we called The Belasco for a comment. We haven't heard back, but we'll update this post if we do.
Yelp user Sean I. detailed what happened to his party last night:
I bought three tickets for me and my friends online, and expected to be able to hit the Will Call, avoid a massive line, and walk in (as most PAYING CUSTOMERS do). The show started at 8PM. We arrived, parked, and got in the (huge) line that wrapped around the corner of Hill St., and wasn't moving at all. I asked the guy at the front door if there was a separate line for will call, and he told me no, but said if I slipped him $20/person he would let us to the front of the line. $20? I already payed $20 for my ticket! This guy had to be high!
I waited in line from 8:00 PM until midnight. MID. NIGHT. It was a nice cold 45 degree night, and felt just great standing outside wondering if I was ever going to get inside.
Some people, you see, were in fact able to get in earlier than me. That's because, rather than adequately staff their will-call window, the Belasco has an "express" line. This express line works as a normal will-call line at a respectable venue: it gets you into the venue. The catch is it costs an additional $20. In summary, this venue is a big scam at which no artist who respects their fans would play. They purposely keep paying customers out of the venue in order to con them into paying an additional $20 just to get through the front door. I never even saw the inside because, after 3 hours in the cold with no updates other than sales pitches for the rip-off express lane, I gave up and left, as did a lot of other people -- which the venue is cool with because, hey, they got our money.
The Pharcyde and other performers fielded complaints from angry fans and promised to do something about it. Dizzy Dustin of Ugly Duckling wrote an apology to fans on Facebook:
We would like to apologize for last nights madness! This had nothing to do with The Pharcyde, Souls of Mischief (official FB page) or UD. The turn out was huge, a sold out show and the line to get in was bonkers. The Belasco decided to charge people another $20 to get in the fast lane to enter the club. You know that's not our style and we're currently looking in to how we can make good. Thanks for all your support and we hope to see everybody real soon. Special thanks to The Pharcyde for letting us be a part of this special occasion.