Summerfest Sort of Addresses Scalping at the BMO Harris Pavilion

Here's the 2013 lineup for the BMO Harris Pavilion

May. 3, 2013
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If Summerfest's free-with-reserved-tickets seating at the new BMO Harris Pavilion felt a little too good to be true last year, it kind of was. Last summer the stage was besieged by scalpers, who scooped up many of the reserved "blue circle" seats, which could be secured on Ticketmaster for a small convenience fee, and sold them at great markups on sites like Craigslist and StubHub. Some concertgoers ended up paying upwards of $100 for tickets that were ostensibly supposed to be free, while some at several shows reported many empty seats in the stage's blue circle sections, perhaps as a result of scalpers not receiving their asking price.

This year it seems like Summerfest is addressing the problem, at least sort of. The festival will still be selling best-available blue circle seats in advance through Ticketmaster, this time for a $5 fee instead of a $3 one, but this time roughly half of the seats will be reserved for day-of-show onsite release—similar to what the festival used to do for Marcus Amphitheater lawn seats in its more generous days. Starting at 2 p.m. for most shows, fans can snag up a free pair of best-available blue circle seats while supplies last. Though it won't eradicate scalping altogether, it's a reasonable compromise, and it gives dedicated fans a backup opportunity to secure the tickets they want. It's a much fairer system.

Summerfest announced these changes this morning, when it released this year's lineup of BMO Harris Pavilion headliners, which is listed below.
June 26    8:00 pm    Foreigner with special guest Bad Boy
June 27    8:00 pm    Billy Idol with special guest Cherry Pie
June 28    8:00 pm    LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip with special guest Terry Sims
June 29    2:00 pm    The Zombies
                 8:00 pm    Dispatch with special guest The Ballroom Thieves
June 30    8:00 pm    Alice Cooper with special guest No Quarter (Led Zeppelin Tribute)
July 2    8:00 pm    Styx with special guest Connor Christian with Southern Gothic
July 3    2:00 pm    Cody Simpson with special guest Ryan Beatty
             8:00 pm    The Go-Go’s with special guest Streetlife with Warren Wiegratz
July 4    8:00 pm    Barenaked Ladies with special guest Vicci Martinez
July 5    8:00 pm    Lewis Black
July 6    8:00 pm    Gavin DeGraw with special guest Nikhil Korula Band
July 7    8:00 pm    Jimmy Eat World with special guest Super Happy Fun Club


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