Lin-Manuel Miranda wants to make it easier to get ‘Hamilton’ tickets (and also Springsteen tickets, Radiohead tickets…)

Ticket bots are smarter and faster than you, but maybe there is hope.
Ticket bots are smarter and faster than you, but maybe there is hope.

We’ve had some fun poking at the Hamilton hype, mostly because we’re jealous we can’t see it. Plus, we have no way of knowing whether it lives up to its reputation without paying so much money for scalped tickets that we’d have to buy into the hype (it’s like Schrödinger’s musical). But for all his exposure, Lin-Manuel Miranda seems like genuinely a good human who knows that it sucks you can’t get tickets to his groundbreaking show.

Part of the reason for that is because everyone in the whole world wants to see it and the human actors can’t physically do more shows per week without bending the laws of physics; but one of the bigger problems is the scalper ticket bots who scoop up tickets to every hot show, from Hamilton to Springsteen, as soon as they become available, before you, Jane Q. Showfan, even navigate the captcha on the Ticketmaster site. The shitty ticketing systems that let bots lock out regular fans have been the bane of the average showgoer for years. But Miranda has a solution, and wants you to help make it happen. 

In an op-ed in the Times today, Miranda advocates for a bill before the state legislature that would target the bots and make it (slightly, but not that much tbh) easier to get tickets without facing huge scalper markups on resale sites like Stubhub. Beyond Hamilton, this is the shit you have to deal with whenever you try to get tickets to any hot-ticket item, from Springsteen to the LCD Soundsystem’s (pseudo) farewell show at MSG, which then show up on resale sites for triple or quadruple the cost.  It’s such a major issue, the state’s attorney general released a whole report about this a few months back.

Miranda writes:

The problem will persist until we strengthen the existing law and make this recurrent illegal behavior a felony. In late April, [state attorney general Eric] Schneiderman proposed a bill to address rampant illegal use of bots.

In response, the full State Senate unanimously passed a bill making it illegal for ticket brokers to knowingly resell or offer to resell tickets purchased using bots and requiring ticket resale platforms like StubHub to post the price they paid for tickets on their platform so that consumers can easily see the markup price. Most important, since brokers don’t seem dissuaded by fines, the bill creates criminal penalties, including imprisonment, for repeat offenders.

The New York Assembly is discussing these measures for a similar bill sponsored by Marcos Crespo, a Democratic assemblyman from the Bronx. The Assembly should pass the bill and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo can sign it into law.

Miranda wants you to write your state representatives (find them here) to advocate passing the bill. But even if it does get past, you might still not be able to see Hamilton with the OG star: Miranda’s last day in the show will be July 9; re-sale tickets are already going for $12,000.

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