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Caveat emptor: scalpers hurting Columbia arts groups

Secondary ticket sales causing trouble

[caption id="attachment_47097" align="aligncenter" width="899"] Columbia's Koger Center for the Arts at the University of South Carolina.[/caption]

"Buyer beware" is good advice that increasing numbers of Columbia arts patrons wish they'd heeded, according to new reporting from The Post and Courier Columbia.

Beyond the pain of inflated prices felt by some audience members, performing arts groups also suffer from the secondary ticketing market (commonly, and perhaps insensitively, known as scalping). That certainly gets The Hub's interest, so we in turn direct you to Jessica Holdman's reporting for the P&C Columbia here (subscription possibly required). We support local journalism ourselves and don't wish to take away from said work by sharing more than the general scope. We will, however, leave you with these thoughts: The Hub was formerly employed by one of the affected arts groups and was, in fact, in charge of its ticketing operations for 12 years. Always, always, verify the source of any tickets you buy. Problems like these are neither new nor uncommon in large cities, but are new(er) to Columbia (obviously) and other South Carolina markets. If you plan to attend an event, first check with the presenting venue or group for how or where to purchase. Only if an event is sold out should you consider the secondary market. Despite what ticketing policies say, the vast majority of official ticketing operations are willing to work with you on a solution to lost or stolen tickets that are purchased from them, for which they have records. As the story accurately states, they can do no such thing when you buy from (random website). Thanks for coming to our HUB Talk.  

Jason Rapp

Everyone’s a critic (but some get paid)

And by the way there's an arts critic job opening

(in Charleston)

[caption id="attachment_35561" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Dog paws typing on a laptop computer. It is not possible to over-use this image.[/caption]
Good morning. Said job posting came to The Hub's inbox yesterday as a forward with a link and simple suggestion that it could be good Hub content. That is a regular part of our day and, though often mundane, please don't interpret that as a complaint. Reader interaction via submissions and tips helps make this thing happen, and we're grateful. But this isn't a link-dump kind of place, and we try to add #content and context. (Plus we enjoy it.) So let's all pause for a moment and think about what this post is. A consequential daily newspaper in a pretty nice location is looking for an arts critic. Pardon the momentary lapse in decorum, but how cool is that? In The Hub's former life, we worked at a performing arts organization that was frequently subjected to arts critics' observations, praises and admonitions alike. If you've not "been there," it's the mixed bag you can imagine. But agree or disagree with them, it's a valuable part of the arts ecosystem... which is why we're all here. Give thanks that this posting is actually a thing in the age of shrinking newsrooms that hit arts and entertainment writers (though we offer that those aren't the same things) first and hardest. The Hub applauds added arts coverage and yearns for more. Just as we beg for more coverage, the arts beg for more engagement. And good critics drive it. They get the conversation started. This isn't a job for anybody, and the listing gives a nod in that direction with a curt, "This is not an entry level position." Good critics have wit, wisdom, sharp senses, and the knowledge to make informed opinions. (Just keep in mind they are merely those.) They get you thinking, get you talking, and then get you there for your own critique. But you just won't be paid for it. Go here to learn more. The Hub can't wait to see who's chosen.