Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Handling charges

I've noticed for a long time that when you order tickets for a concert or play over the Internet you don't pay just the ticket price.  Something else is added:  a "handling charge," presumably for the insult of ordering tickets or the inconvenience of the organization having to maintain a website for dolts like you, or possibly to cover the cost of the oxygen you are likely to consume at the venue.

So I ordered two $20 tickets for Tanglewood, and received a $17 handling charge.  Why not just charge $57 in the first place?  There are no good tickets for sitting in the shed, since there is no way you could actually watch the orchestra play because of the configuration of the shed.  You actually watch the live performance on enormous television monitors, which is much better.  The camera or cameras zoom in on the performers, shifting the focus from time to time: first the violinists sawing away, then the horns perhaps, then the soloist.  It's a wonderful experience:  the coolness of a breeze,  the clarity of the music heard in the night air, and of course the excellence of the performers and the beauty of the music.  I've never heard a bad performance, although the weather is not always clement. Sometimes umbrellas, raincoats, or even blankets come in handy.

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