Dear Mr. Menconi,
I have a few points to make with regards to your recent article on the concert ticketing issues surrounding Wilco's upcoming show at the Durham P.A.C.
Most importantly, and despite the implications therein, let me say unequivocally that Wilco have never participated in nor profited from the secondary ticket market. Unfortunately there are many people, firms and organizations utilizing that market as part of their business plan; some of them in the employ of those responsible for ticketing thousands of venues across the country and around the world. I'm not implying that happened here, but it is something that anyone purchasing a concert ticket needs to be aware of, as you rightly point out in your story. Wilco does take measures, where possible, to minimize the number of tickets that wind up in the hands of resellers, but we have found that without resorting to costly, intrusive, time-consuming security measures, it's impossible to eliminate that market completely.
Specifically regarding Wilco's show in Durham, the actual number of tickets available to the public for this 2700 capacity show was 2566 tickets -- not the misleading 1000 ticket number cited by promoter Frank Heath in your article. That total includes 837 tickets sold via the Ticketmaster public onsale, 449 tickets sold via phone / box office public onsale, 270 tickets sold via the presale at www.wilcoworld.net (available to anyone who logs into the site and requests a password), 250 tickets made available to Duke University ID holders (of which 69 were purchased by students; the balance folded back into the public onsale allotment) and 939 tickets sold via a presale run by the venue. (Note that the 900+ ticket venue presale was not approved by the band or anyone in their organization, but that's another story for another time). The entire purpose of our presales is to better control the ticketing and to offer the band's fans at least one way to buy tickets with significantly lower ticketing fees.
So there you have it. Despite the fact that sometimes Wilco tickets wind up in wrong, greedy hands, the band continue their efforts to keep ticket prices reasonable and to give those who actually buy the tickets and attend the shows real value for their money by putting on the best performance possible every night in every venue.
Thanks for your time.