Thoughts/Ideas on the Ticketing Process

There has to be a better way. I spent a lot of time trying to get info to be sure I was prepared. Then, because there was no information (none that I could find) from PB, it was stressful hoping the non-official information was correct, when there was no time for uncertainty when the magic hour came.

Then I spent 1:54 (starting at 9AM, to get in the queue, until my “chance” to buy tickets came up). I realize that someone, not PB, said the queue order was random, so I guess I could have entered the queue at 9:59 and gotten the same number. But, since there was no direction from PB or See Tickets, I didn’t want to take that chance. I had the luxury of being able to spend two hours this morning, but how many people couldn’t? Granted, I didn’t spend every minute staring at the screen, but still…

Further gripes and suggestions:

1. If See Tickets has the ability to constantly show where you are in the queue, they could show what types of passes are sold out, shortcutting the process. I figured, correctly, that by the time my number (2850) came up TP and Warner would be sold out. It took almost an hour. Someone here said their number was 10,000 - how long did they wait for their 10 minute window to open? 

 2. PB could do a lot better at explaining the process. I have searched my email for notices, as I am signed up for the newsletter. The last one I got was June 2nd, 2021, announcing Rockygrass tickets going on sale. If I didn't feel in my heart that it weren't so I would think they kept us all in the dark on purpose. 

It’s not like those of us for whom this is a near-religious experience can just say “Oh well, no big deal, I’ll just go to some other concert or festival”. I’ve been to over 50 PB festivals, starting in '87. I’ve had many conversations over the years with Craig, Steve, Brian and Laura (now gone). I’m convinced they are caring people who understand the festivarian experience and try really hard to make their festivals as good as possible.

God knows it’s a hard job - floods, covid, issues with the towns, who-knows-what issues with artists and their managers. I was part of “corporate America” for quite awhile, and PB would have an easier job if they adopted that stance. Kudos to them for not doing so. Kudos also for their efforts to foil the unethical, diabolical, should-be-against-the-law scalper industry.

Once the internet came along I thought PB did a great job with their website. I can’t remember when it changed formats ((3-4 years ago?), but I find it difficult to use now, and less informative. Could be just me, I’m not a “native user”, but have been computer literate for decades now.

This is is all meant in good faith, I love the Planet. My festival experiences have been a big part of my life. I have had wonderful, unforgetable times with my family, and made friends I cherish. If anything I’ve said is based on misinformation it was unintentional.

Hope to see you all at a festival soon!

Riley Floyd

For what it’s worth…

I understand there is no great process for getting tickets and I too was stressed with this process am grateful for the 4 day passes I scored with friends.

Throwing out an idea from one other festival experience that I think works great. In addition to going to Telluride bluegrass for 15ish years I have also attended the Newport Folk Fest (in RI). Similar to when Telluride used to have early purchase holiday discounts, a few years ago Newport never old out in the early hours of ticket sales…now it is so difficult to get the coveted ticket. Newport implemented a program where at the festival festivarians can get a ‘early bird membership’. This costs $100 or $200 depending on level and is a charitable donation that goes to provide funds to various music related causes. This membership is limited in number, but provides the members the guaranteed right to purchase tickets to the festival before they go on sale to the general public. It is $100 to be able to buy 2 tix and $200 for 4 tix. The cost is annual and can only be renewed in person at the festival. I know this is on top of the cost of the tickets which are already pricey but allows those who want to pay a little more the ability to avoid the stress and help a good cause in the process. It allows for those that want to attend year after year the ability to do so without being shut out. The membership population is limited (although in 3-4 years isn’t at capacity) and allows for plenty of tickets to be released to the general public via the regular sale.

Regardless…those of us who get to attend Telluride Bluegrass know the reason it is so hard to get tickets is because of the amazing experience…so I will continue to try in every way to get tickets each year as I know the organizers do an amazing job in executing the festival!

I like that idea. The festival operators get the same revenue from a sold out festival, plus the satisfaction of good works from the extra money. Acoustic music has no shortage of good causes (as in the blues world, which I’m also familiar with), since it isn’t now and probably never will be the box office smash that pop groups are.

I think one objection a festival operator might have is that it perpetuates the same old people year after year. And I used “old people” on purpose, because a lot of us, me included, ARE old. We get too old to attend, too poor to afford it, and eventually pass on. There seems to be no shortage of young people at TBF and RG, though (I haven’t been to Folks Fest in years, so I don’t know about that demographic). Lots of them have more money and ability to come to the festivals than us older folks. And, the $100-200 dollars doesn’t seem too high a hurdle. There are other ways to “young up” the crowd anyway. PB seems to work at that in Telluride, but less so at Rockygrass. Lots of young people at both.

I didn’t understand the difference between the “regular” ticket line and the “extras” line. I had one open on my computer and the other on my phone, as did my wife and our friends. The “extras” line which had Town Park, Warner Field, etc. turned out to be muuuch shorter AND had the availability to get regular 4 day passes as well. So while we got shut out of the camping passes we wanted, we got our 4 day tickets for the festival via the “extras” line. Seemed unfair to the thousands of people stuck in the “regular” line who ended up being unable to get 4 day passes.

Maybe next time just one line? Or one line for WF/TP that opens a week earlier so anyone who gets shut out from that still has the opportunity to get regular 4 day passes like everyone else?

For what it’s worth, as soon as we confirm the final list of who’s coming with us we’ll release any extra tickets (likely 1-2) to returned ticket resale.

All the best to everyone, I hope everyone who wants to make it is able to!!

If the Town Park and Warner Field options had been listed up top with the other campgrounds, I would have gotten my Warner Field tickets!! :frowning: Instead, I killed valuable time deciding between the Mary E and Lawson campgrounds because there were plenty of spots available, and I didn’t realize that Extras was also the area to get tickets!? When I scrolled down to see that I could also buy tickets and WAIT what’s this? Warner Field is available? Only to have it sold out by the time that I checked out…. Quite frustrating. In 2021 we shouldn’t be spending an hour in the middle of a work day to be able to buy tickets. 1st world problems, but nothing about this system seemed very well designed to prevent scalping or minimize stress. It appears that one could open as many pages with unique que numbers as desired? Oh well. I’ve definitely had MUCH MUCH worse ticket-buying experiences.

For what it’s worth, I think each individual computer had its own queue number so opening multiple pages on the same computer all would have led to the same spot in line. If you had ten different computers then I guess that would probably have worked.

Each que page that I opened had a unique number and place in line. Maybe they could still track whether a specific computer or IP address made a purchase and block other purchases, but I think that you could open 100 pages and game the lottery?

Instant Runoff Ticketing!! Why not have everybody rank their choices (e.g. Choice 1: Two Town Park Camping Passes, 2: Two Warner Field Passes, etc….), enter your credit card info and agree to charges, and then have a computer lottery spit out your outcome on the big day? No need to wait for a certain hour to enter the que and get screwed if something goes wrong in the checkout line. No stress and the most equitable outcome possible!

Festival promoters might have this objection, but I think there’s more to it in so far as creating an entrenchment of entitlement to access what is ultimately a municipal facility that is being rented. If it were a more “closed private event” that occurred once a year and was somehow greenlighted by the TOT, then fine, but if PB is acting as a quasi steward of public facilities to promote a public event, is it not important to be as open and fair minded as possible in terms of everyone getting a chance?

Likewise, from the perspective of “highest and best use” of a municipal facility by the public at large, how is the additional fee (even though it goes to a good cause) not “regressive” in so far as tilting the scales in favor of those who have the economic wherewithal to gain access over those who are living from paycheck to paycheck?

Having said all of that, I wouldn’t be opposed to a creative way to register one’s presence at a prior year’s festival in order to demonstrate in a minimal way that one isn’t a bot or a scalper. I know some bands have pre-sales that require a registration; ostensibly to weed out scalpers. I’m not sure how they actually go about doing this, but if there’s a way to integrate the prior year physical check-in into such a process for a pre-sale, I’d be an advocate … provided said integration of this component was done fairly as to not tilt in the direction I alluded to in the first paragraph.

I saw that too and was three thousand something at the time I read it. I walked away from my computer for a while and luckily the volume was turned up since I heard a loud alert at about 10:55 or so. I was able to select a single 4-day pass, but was unable to move to the next step to officially add it to my cart … the system said it was sold out. I knew from past experience with other systems that a little time clicking reload at this juncture is time well spent (in light of how much time it would take on the backend to procure an aftermarket ticket) … and luckily it paid off.

But to your quoted sentence: this was the first time I’ve EVER seen a numerical representation of my spot in line in the que. Granted, I haven’t actively sought many tickets over the pandemic … so not sure if this is a new development in general? Still, and more to your point, the number doesn’t actually do much in terms of knowing what’s left and if hanging around will be a waste of time or not. I suspect promoters in general will likely want to keep it this way in so far as compelling fans to hang around to see if they’ll bite on options that might not be their first choice. I’m not suggesting PB has done this, but the entire field of promoters who shape the evolution of this kind of software over time.

Regardless, hope you find a ticket(s)!

This all about money and connections (which is about money). From 2000 to 2011, I was always able to get tickets. This is a mess, I do not even try anymore. The Supreme Court send corporations are people. Corporations now control everything, hopefully some day we will wake up.

Bonnie Raitt’s summer tour has an interesting twist to the ticketing procedure. Sh is making a limited amount of GREAT seats available for a price. But that extra money GOES TO A CHARITY! She’s also making all of her high dollar tickets “in person pick up only” to eliminate the scalpers.

I’m not sure that it’s the perfect solution (it does reward people of means), but at least she’s trying!

By the way, she’s got some absolute fabulous warm=up acts planned. NRBQ starts out her tour, then Lucinda WIlliams (!) takes over for a couple of months, and finally Mavis Staples comes in for the fall run. Can you imagine Bonnie getting any of those artists to join her on stage??? WOW! Here’s hoping I can score tickets for Albuquerque!

You are making me SO JEALOUS. I want all of them at Telluride! How fantastic. Good on Bonnie, she has a big heart, great voice and fabulous social conscience. My type of woman.
Looking forward to seeing you in June

Hey everyone,

Bluegrass Geoff here. I just wanted to chime in and address some of the ticketing issues brought up in this thread.

First off, I am sorry if you had issues or didn’t get what you wanted last Thursday. It is important to remember that many Festivarians rolled over their tickets from 2020 so there were far less tickets than in a “normal” year. We had less than 100 tickets each for Town Park and Warner Field to sell. We tried to warn everyone of this via a “Notes from the Planet” email that went out Wed evening. Here is the link to that email: If you did not receive the newsletter, I highly recommend signing up for it by plugging in your email address at the bottom of If you do social media, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for some good info as well. You can also always call us and talk to a real human or email us with questions. There is also some info as well as the link to the See Tickets page on the TBF ticketing page: In order to let folks know when certain tickets sold out, we had the “Remaining Tickets” showing in See Tickets so if it said there were 2 tickets left, and you were trying to get 4, hopefully you knew why you were getting kicked back when trying to check out. We also made edits to our Facebook post as tickets sold out. Fighting for those last few tickets of each ticket type is frustrating for sure and I am sorry if that happened to you.

As for the Queue-it system, we agree that two queues is a little confusing and are working with See Tickets to have only one queue for the RockyGrass on-sale and beyond. However, we do like how the Queue-it system works as a lottery in real time. Since you get a random number regardless of what time you show up in that hour window, there is no need to start staring at your computer at 9:01. You can wait until 9:58 to get in the queue and get your number. If you are lucky, you could be done buying tickets by 10:05 instead of creating several email aliases, filling out several forms, borrowing your sister’s credit card, and waiting two weeks to find out if you won an old fashioned lottery.

What I like most about this thread is that it shows our Festivarians are passionate about our Festivals and getting their tickets. I just want you to know that we are too, and put a lot of time and effort into trying to make the ticketing process as smooth as possible. While it certainly isn’t perfect, we are striving to improve the ticketing experience with each on-sale.

Thank you for your feedback and your passion.

We very much look forward to seeing you all in June. Be sure to stop by the box office and say hello,
Geoff W. - PB Sales and Box Office Manager

Welp for what it is worth, I took your word for it. Logged on at about 10 minutes shy of cut off time. I choose 1 ticket and got the reply choose less. Humm. So, I logged off at 1 minutes after the cutoff time it said you’re in line. Confusing, so I logged back in now thinking, am I in line twice? I Never knew I was a risk taker, gave me a thrill for what it is worth. No easy way for sure and that is part of the beautiful thing about this Fest. You’re the lucky ones if you got a ticket.

Thanks for all the info. Please bring Ween and the Shit Creek Boys to TBF

I finally started listening to Ween! I really like them and wanna hear more.