Lack of Transparency in Ranga Shankara Ticket Bookings

Ranga Shankara, as part of this year’s ongoing Theatre Festival, has free platform performances before the 3.30pm and 7.30pm shows, and as an innovation, have introduced two more shows, one at 10pm and the other at 11pm.

Today, online, I saw that tickets to the 10 pm show were s limited to 30 viewers only. The tickets, according to the notice, would be available from 2.30 pm at Ranga Shankara. I could not understand the logic behind restricting the audience to 30, but I accepted that, and Idecided to buy tickets.

So I asked for tickets at the counter at 2.30pm, while buying tickets for tonight (7.30 pm ) and tomorrow (3.30pm AND 7.30 pm) shows.

I was told that I would have to come half an hour before the show to buy tickets.

I found this strange. When I am coming all the way to Ranga Shankara at the time specified to buy tickets, I think I should be able to buy them.

I decided to talk to Arundhati Nag about it, and after the play, I asked her why I could not buy a ticket at the venue at the time specified. Her reply was, “There are only 10 tickets.”

I find this very mystifying. If the tickets were not on sale at the ticket counter, how did the 30 tickets shrink to 10? Were only 10 people allowed for the show in the first place? I would like to understand the process by which this happened.

Arundhati asked me if I would be downstairs, and then got busy with other things. I waited upstairs for 15 minutes, and downstairs for another 15 minutes. I then approached the counter again, and was told the same thing again…I had to come half an hour before the show to buy a ticket.

If no less a person that Arundhati herself mentioned that there were only 10 tickets available, why were these tickets not for sale even two hours after the time mentioned online?

And if these tickets were also sold in the same mysterious fashion that the other 20 were sold, without their ever being available at the counter, what were the odds of my getting a ticket to such a limited-audience showing if I came back to Ranga Shankara half an hour before the show? Even if I came five minutes late, I would not be able to get them. I would have made another trip to Ranga Shankara at 9pm for nothing, and would also have the problem of getting back home at that time. I decided not to take a chance with trying for tickets.

What is the reason for this lack of transparency in the way the tickets are being sold?

I do not want to “know” Important Person A, or B, or C, in order to be able to get tickets at Ranga Shankara. I want as an average, ordinary theatregoer, to be able to get tickets in a completely transparent fashion. If tickets are sold out, that, too, should be publicly announced. I do not like the elitism of saying that I got tickets because of my contacts.

And I find it very strange that Arundhati Nag says 10 tickets are available, but those tickets are not on sale at the counter. Does this mean that unless I have “contacts”, I cannot attend the 10 pm shows?

Though I was very interested in the 10pm show, and I went to Ranga Shankara at the time tickets should have been available, I had to come away without the tickets. I find it very hard to understand why.

Update: the counter opened for the tickets half an hour before the 9.30pm show; only 10 tickets were available, and the first person in the queue bought five. At this, the others in the queue protested, saying that they had come just for this, and were waiting; if they were not to get tickets, they should have been told so. After this, one ticket was given to each person in the queue.

I really cannot understand this kind of artificial scarcity-creation.

Team Ranga Shankara…you need to look into your ticket-vending procedures and put a stop this kind of opacity.

2 Comments so far

  1. kpowerinfinity (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

    This is really unfortunate. I have been trying to find out how to get tickets for the 10 PM show tonight, and it’s just so confusing.

    I hope RS puts their act in order. And I see no reason why the 10 PM show should have only 10 tickets!

  2. Swarna S (unregistered) on October 24th, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

    Wow! I was so keen to attend these shows. Work took me away to Pune. And reading this blog, I am glad I didnt have to go through this.

    Yes, when I read the mails floating about the 10 PM “Other Voices” shows, I did think they were a bit elitist in sounding. But so political, I didnt think.

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