I really hope that sites like Ticketfly can make some headway against the monster that is Ticketmaster. But they have their own share of issues (particularly familiar for people in the DC area):
Seth Hurwitz found this out the hard way. Hurwitz is an independent concert promoter responsible for booking the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, which competes with the Live Nation-owned Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater about 60 miles away. After Live Nation announced its merger with Ticketmaster, Hurwitz became so concerned about the new company’s conflicts of interest, he filed a suit alleging that Live Nation Entertainment constitutes an illegal monopoly in the concert industry (the case is pending). Not surprisingly he decided to slip out of his Ticketmaster deal and find a new seat seller. He picked Ticketfly. “They’re not mired down in previous practices and habits,” Hurwitz says. The new arrangement worked pretty well for most of the summer. Ticketfly sold tens of thousands of tickets to shows featuring artists like Phish and Arcade Fire. Then, on July 24, Ticketfly set up a website to give away tickets to the Virgin Mobile FreeFest, starring Pavement, M.I.A., and LCD Soundsystem at Merriweather. Almost immediately after seats went on sale, the 75,000 simultaneous visitors to Ticketfly’s site exposed a bug in a recent tech upgrade. The entire system stalled. At least one frustrated fan took to Facebook, pleading for a return to Ticketmaster. As Andrew Dreskin, Ticketfly’s CEO and cofounder, puts it, “A large-scale concert on sale is, in essence, a denial-of-service attack.” And unfortunately, on July 24, service was denied.