Tegan and Sara hit back at “unethical” resellers with pay-what-you-can ticket experiment in San Francisco

Fans could get seats if they made donations to the band’s charity foundation

Yesterday, Tegan and Sara conducted a pay-what-you-can “experiment” to help their “real fans” get into their San Francisco concert after hundreds of tickets ended up on secondary platforms.

The Quin sisters made a statement on social media the afternoon of Tuesday (October 1), hours before their sold-out show at the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco, California. The band are on the Hey, I’m Just Like You tour in support of their album of the same name, which was released last Friday (September 27).

“It has come to our attention that significant numbers of tickets to our show tonight in San Francisco were unethically gobbled up by secondary ticketing platforms during our tour on sale in July,” Tegan and Sara wrote.

“While the show tonight is technically sold out, many of these tickets are now being flooded back into the market for re-sale. Because there is little time to sell and we never ask our fans to go to secondary sites, this will likely result in empty seats tonight in the Sydney Goldstein Theater.”

“Our goal is to ensure that our real fans are in each and every seat, and to prevent secondary platforms from hurting our show,” it continued. “As an experiment, tonight in San Francisco we will be offering rush seating for all open seats, at approximately 8:15 p.m.”

Fans who made pay-what-you-can cash donations at the door to The Tegan and Sara Foundation – the band’s charity which supports LGBTQ+ girls and women – could get access to empty seats on a first-come-first-serve basis. After analysing secondary ticketing platforms, the band said, they’d estimated that more than 200 empty seats would be up for grabs in San Francisco. Read the full statement below:

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It has come to our attention that significant numbers of tickets to our show tonight in San Francisco were unethically gobbled up by secondary ticketing platforms during our tour onsale in July. While the show tonight is technically sold out, many of these tickets are now being flooded back into the market for re-sale. Because there is little time to sell and we never ask our fans to go to secondary sites, this will likely result in empty seats tonight in the Sydney Goldstein Theater. Our goal is to ensure that our real fans are in each and every seat, and to prevent secondary platforms from hurting our show. As an experiment, tonight in San Francisco we will be offering rush seating for all open seats, at approximately 8:15pm. This means that we will allow any empty seats to be available on a "first come first serve” basis in return for a “pay what you can” cash donation at the door to The Tegan and Sara Foundation, which works to support LGBTQ+ girls and women. After analyzing the secondary sites, we estimate we may have over 200 seats to fill at the last minute tonight. We would ask you to line up at the venue in the evening for the chance to be admitted into the show at 8:15pm, but note we can’t guarantee seat availability. We will be continuing to work on this frustrating problem this week and will keep everyone posted on rush seating and ticket availability to upcoming shows. We can’t wait to see you! xo Tegan and Sara

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Fans responded positively to the experiment on social media. Some shared their own experiences with scalpers at other Tegan & Sara shows, while others called for the Quins to do the same for other cities.

Billboard reports that representatives for Tegan and Sara have said that they may implement the pay-what-you-can scheme in their next few shows. Many of the duo’s upcoming shows in North America are sold out.

Tegan and Sara will bring the Hey, I’m Just Like You tour to the UK next month. They will play Brighton’s Theatre Royal on November 16 and Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London the next day, and wrap up at Albert Hall in Manchester on November 19.

“A very special tour that is like nothing we’ve ever done before,” the duo said of the Hey, I’m Just Like You shows. “We’ll read stories from our memoir High School, perform new and classic songs, show archived video footage and of course go on tangents galore.”