What I Learnt From… Having A Spare Ticket

Last night I went to go see The Killers play at Manchester Arena.

I love seeing them live, so bought a pair of tickets I think on pre-order.  It was that long ago I’ve actually forgotten.

For a number of reasons, people who were supposed to be going couldn’t and I was even unable to give the ticket away before heading to Manchester.  It was interesting that people have told me, in the past, to say “yes” more.  Yet I must have asked over 15 people if they would like a free concert ticket and lifts to and from the venue and couldn’t find anyone.

I’d resolved that I would go and I’d give my spare away to anyone who wanted it or sell it to a tout to make some money back.  So I got to the Arena and stood, and looked, and learnt some interesting things.

I saw a guy asking for a ticket so went to go speak to him, pretending I was just walking past.  I’d put him at certainly being retirement age.  He told me a story that he usually gets tickets for free because he writes concert reviews, but that he hadn’t been given a ticket for this one and only had £5 to buy a ticket with.  He was unkempt and his clothes were dirty and he had a small broken suitcase lying dumped on the floor at his feet.

I was dubious.  The story just didn’t add up.  I thought he was actually a homeless person who’d got some money and was wanting somewhere warm to spend part of the night.  I guess the decision was whether I would have been comfortable sitting next to him for 4 hours, and I wasn’t.  The tickets were in my name of anything had gone wrong and wouldn’t just have been me that had to sit next to him, it was someone else too.  I don’t think I’ve ever consciously judged someone in the way that quickly before.

But then I decided to put the boot on the other foot, subconsciously, and if I couldn’t find anyone looking for a ticket, I would ask a stranger if they would like to go.  Maybe fortunately, I don’t know, but it’s amazing how few people walk through a station on their own in the evening!

That left me with only the option to sell the ticket to a tout.  I stood there and watched them “at work”.  I saw people walk up to them and walk away, shaking their heads, presumably as they were told how much the tout was trying to sell for.  It crossed my mind that I could sell both my tickets for a little more than face value and see whether I could a ticket for The War On Drugs who were also playing in Manchester last night, but I wanted to go see The Killers and my ticket was for a seat, making it useless to a group.

I huffed and puffed and realised that I couldn’t bring myself to sell a spare ticket to a tout.  For what I expected them to offer me, I couldn’t bring myself to let them make so much profit out of something I’d already bought by selling it to someone who really wanted to go to the show.  I shouldn’t have cared about that – I just have been bothered about recouping some money, but it just didn’t feel right to me.

There’s a cliche to add to this post about not winning the raffle if you don’t buy a ticket, but I can’t quite work it out.  I didn’t realise that having a spare one would give so many opportunities and decision, though.


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