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Some Things Last A Long Time: A 21st-century Beach House ticket-buying experience

Some Things Last A Long Time: A 21st-century Beach House ticket-buying experience
Credit: Shawn Brackbill

In the olden days, people camped out for concert tickets in a long line snaking around the block from the box office; you could also try your luck calling the 800 number for Ticketmaster.

Then the internet came around and concert-goers went through the paranoia of hitting refresh on their browsers until the designated time to buy arrived—refresh a minute too late and the thousands of seats would somehow be gone. The advent of the Captcha—a random of assortment of numbers, letters, and characters designed to thwart ticket-buying bots—brought typing skills into play.

Today, in 2015, people attempting to buy tickets to a surprise Beach House show at the Ottobar got something of a hybrid between old and new: an internet portal into a long line.

And then, confusion. The whole thing called to mind a 2012 incident involving a Kraftwerk show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (someone even made a damn good Kraftwerk parody song about it! "You will continue to wait/ in a type of Teutonic purgatory/ Life is utterly without meaning").

Just before 10 a.m., when tickets were to go on sale, I went to MissionTix's site and was entered into a digital waiting room. Some had issues getting to that point.

More than 200 users were in the line ahead of me. Minutes later, "the line is paused."

About 10:15 a.m.: "Thank you for your patience, please stand by."

10:25 a.m. The line is moving again. My wait time is said to be 23 minutes.

A friend of mine who, at 10:22 a.m., was told he had a 5-minute wait, enters the virtual ticket-buying place around 10:27 a.m., only to be told the show is sold out.

Another friend gets in two minutes later and is able to buy a pair. A glimmer of hope?

At 10:32 a.m., the main MissionTix page says the show is sold out:

Still, maybe being in the queue means a ticket has been set aside?

10:35:14 a.m.

10:35:41 a.m.

10:35:56 a.m. I am being told to enter the room! Here is what I find: