PILSEN — As expected, the last-minute Smashing Pumpkins Black Wednesday show announced Monday sold out in minutes after tickets went on sale at noon that day.
But some die-hard Pumpkins fans were shocked at how high demand drove up ticket prices from scalpers, resellers and services like StubHub.
Face value for tickets to the "intimate ... one-of-a-kind" show was $51 per ticket when the tickets went on sale Monday through Thalia Hall's website.
"If you are selling 2 tickets to this show at double the face value or more you obviously only bought them with the intention of selling them for a profit," Bucktown resident Megan Swidler wrote in a community Craigslist post Tuesday decrying scalpers. "With such a limited number of tickets available you stole the opportunity for real fans to get to enjoy the show."
Swidler is one of many Pumpkins fans who was desperate for a glimpse of the band's latest incarnation.
She said the short time between the announcement of the show and the show date — announced Monday, and happening Wednesday — proves that "anyone selling the tickets on Craigslist for $200 or $300 apiece ... had no intention of ever going to this concert."
"If the show is six months from now, and it turns out [ticketholders] can't go anymore, then I get it," she said. But in this case, "the whole process from on sale to the show is three days. For me to see all of these postings, it was really sad and really frustrating."
Swidler, 30, a graduate nursing student at UIC who works at a Wicker Park hospital, said she's been into the Pumpkins since she fell in love with the band's sophomore album, "Siamese Dream," in "third and fourth grade."
"I'm always aware that people sell [tickets] for profit. I've done it myself. I've sold for 20 dollars over face [value] — justified [as] beer money. Normally people are happy to buy that."
But the rare chance too see a Pumpkins performance riled up fans about the markup in this case.
"I had a couple of people reply to my ad like 'right on, so frustrating,'" she said, adding that she's gotten "all positive reactions" to her post.
Wednesday's show, starting at 8 p.m. at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St., will feature original Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan joined by James Iha-replacement Jeff Schroeder, Mark Stoermer of The Killers on bass and Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine on drums.
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