Million-Dollar Grateful Dead Ticket a Reseller Tactic

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Photo of Grateful Dead in the 1960s.

While the $1 million dollar-plus asking price for a three-day pass to the Grateful Dead's sold-out Fare Thee Well concerts at Chicago's Soldier Field is attracting a lot of attention, StubHub spokesman Glenn Lehrman tells Billboard that such a price is not unusual for hot shows on StubHub. "We get a bunch of these every week," he says of the million dollar price tag. "These aren't legitimate asking prices."

Instead, ticket resellers just post tickets at such an exorbitant price to sort of hold a place at StubHub for a particular ticket, with little expectation of selling at the StubHub asking price.  "Normally, when a seller thinks they have a sale on another site, they'll change the list price of a ticket to something that won't sell on StubHub," Lehrman explains, "so that if the other sale falls through, they don't have to relist the ticket, just change the price."

That said, the vast demand-versus-supply disparity for Fare The Well, which sold out Saturday in less than an hour,  is sure to command top dollar on the secondary market. Nearly 500,000 fans were queued up to buy tickets when the virtual box office opened at 10 a.m. CST, with only about 100,000 tickets of the entire 210,000 manifest up for sale. The rest of the capacity was filled through mail order and VIP sales.


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