Dear PoP – Serious Problems at 9:30 Club Will Call Last Night

“Dear PoP,

So I ordered two tickets separately from to the Yelle concert at 9:30 Club. One came in the mail. The other they told me I had to get from will call. Right now, I’ve been waiting 45 minutes to get into the Will Call window at 9:30 club for the concert. This is ridiculous considering what I paid. The only excuse is poor mismanagement of the will call windows. This is completely unacceptable.

I’d also like to add that we did get through the line in enough time to see Yelle (who was absolutely amazing). Yelle started late and I suspect management asked them to do so because of the line. If that was the case, I very much appreciate that.”

I can imagine this was super frustrating at the moment. Personally I’ve never had problems before. Have others had bad experiences with 9:30 Club’s will call pick up? How long does it normally take to get your ticket(s)? Is 45 minutes wait time for Will Call unreasonable?

72 Comment

  • Really?

  • i’ve never had problems with 930 will call, and have been to a few dozen shows over the years. sometimes there has been a line for will, if it is a popular show. but in my experience, never anything to complain about.

  • It’s weird, I’ve never seen will call like that. Usually it’s an easy breeze through. They also divided the lines weird, it was A-Q and then R-Z. The A-Q line was much longer, my friend in the other line had less of an issue.

  • Never had problems with will call at 9:30 before. Wonder what caused the holdup? Was there just nobody at the window for a long time?

  • 9:30 club is an incredible venue. Maybe they screwed up one time and if so, they’re still excellent. It is a shame that such a wonderful place is getting publicly called out for one crappy incident. In the past week or so this blog has definitely seemed like the NW DC suggestion/complaint box.

    • I agree- despite my comment below, 9:30 is an amazing place, and I consider myself lucky to get such great bands nearby to my house. Wouldn’t ever complain about the venue to a significant degree…just this particular set of clientele.

    • Agreed – everyone around me has been really whiney the past week or two, maybe there’s something in the water?

      My suggestion to the OP is to contact the club’s management and ask what the issue was – I had to stand outside in the freezing cold for over an hour to get into a show at State Theatre (it wasn’t even will call, I already had the tickets)– when I sent them an email the following day telling them what my experience was like, they responded pretty promptly and owned up to the various difficulties they had handling the lines for the show. Sh** happens, and it made me feel better that they responded so quickly.

    • Agreed. The OP had a one-off bad experience, and she drew a singular conclusion about the cause and directly blamed management of the club. Maybe that is exactly where the blame ought to lay (but maybe it isn’t … sometimes computers crash, you know?), but if so, a more reasonable response than to put the story out to POP’s readership for no other purpose than a public scolding(while in line, apparently) would be to ask club management about what the hold-up was and why it took so long. Give them an opportunity to explain and maybe make it up to you with a free beer or something. Or confirm that they asked the artist to delay so no one missed any of the show (which would have PO’d me had I been waiting inside). OP doesn’t ask if anybody else experienced the same (last night or ever) or for any sort of explanation. Just puts it out there for public consumption that management really screwed up this one time. What’s the point?

  • I was at that concert too, and yes the will call line was long, as was the resulting entrance line. However, I found it moved fast. My friends and I got there around 9:45, and made it in by about 10:15- however 3 of us waited in the entrance line while the other two collected the will call tickets and then joined us when we were nearly at the entrance. I’ve been there only a couple times before, but I was surprised.

    I also noticed a ridiculous amount of really drunk/high teenage or college aged girls…one of them kept trying to start shit with my friends and me, and even pulled my hair and shrieked at the top of her lungs purely to be obnoxious. I was kind of floored, because that is not what I expected at a Yelle concert…the other shows I have been to at 9:30, such as Gogol Bordello, had surprisingly better behaved fans. WTF. I definitely understand people are going to be drunk and high at concerts, but going out of your way to try to pick a fight with someone who clearly wants nothing to do with you was a bit strange.

  • Wait, people still pay money to go see bands perform live?

    Is it 1995 again?

  • Never had a problem.
    Couple tips: stop by 930 club and buy your tickets at the window when they go on sale. fast, easy and no extra fees like delivery charges.

    Also if you do will call. go early and pickup your tickets. You don’t have to go in, grab your tix and head to velvet lounge or any other close bar.

    There is a reason why 930 club is one of the top venues in the country. Sound, atmosphere, and convenience.

  • first world problems.

    • Ha! I was going to say that! Good reminder to keep lousy breaks in perspective. PS–why isn’t the OP complaining to management at the 9:30 club instead?

    • and where do you live?

      • The difference is: rolling with the punches (I don’t think this incident even qualifies as a “punch”) vs. writing in to a blog about it and wanting to know what to do, or should I have done, or how on earth could this be?

  • wah wah wah, i had to wait in line! but i still got what i came for! i just like to complain!

  • I wasn’t there last night, but I go to my fair share of shows at the 9:30 Club and from what I can tell, the place is exceptionally well run in all aspects. I’m sure there are problems from time to time for any number of reasons, some of which are probably out of their control.

    I went there one time during the summer and it was like an inferno inside – turns out the a/c was bothering the lead singer’s throat so he made them turn it off. (He admitted as much when the band came on stage.)

  • Been to a million (okay, maybe more like a hundred) shows there over the years, and never once had a problem. Of course, we do have a tradition of going early, easily picking up tickets at will-call, and heading over to Duffy’s for a pint or seven.

    And the staff has always been incredibly helpful and professional. Which is saying something compared to experiences at similar venues in other cities.

  • God, am I taking crazy pills?
    Someone better dial whine-one-one. We have an emomergency and the OP needs a whambulance. STAT.

  • I’m going to assume the OP was drunk when s/he emailed PoP.

    Because otherwise, this would be EXTREMELY EMBARRASSING.

  • “SERIOUS PROBLEMS”? Talk about sensationalism. I’ll show you a serious problem…

    PoP, do you even screen these posts anymore, or if I just write you with an asenine question or complain will it post directly to the blog?

    • why is everyone saying the poster is whining? If I have to pick up tix at will call and get there early enough to catch the opening act and then miss them completely and nearly miss the headliner and sober up while I’m waiting in line, yes, that is a f’ing problem. 45 minutes is ridiculous. I’ve only ever had to wait 10, tops. obviously, it happens. if it happens again, maybe there’s a problem, but a reasonable person can only chalk it up to a bad night.

      • “This is ridiculous considering what I paid. The only excuse is poor mismanagement of the will call windows. This is completely unacceptable.”

        How can you read those sentences and say the poster isn’t whining? Look, you go out in the world to do stuff and sometimes you get stuck waiting in a line. Maybe at a music venue, maybe at the airport, maybe in the supermarket. The reasonable, civilized response is not to pipe up and say that it’s completely unacceptable and blame management. Throwing in the bit about “considering the price I paid” is just absurd; as if you paid a premium to receive snafu-free service, or they’re deliberately giving you half-ass service because maybe they think you didn’t pay enough to get good service. Give me a break.

      • “a reasonable person can only chalk it up to a bad night”.

        Yes. Nail on head. A reasonable person would just shrug it off. A whiner goes and complains about it to a whole gaggle of strangers, hoping (one assumes) for a “there, there, it’ll be OK” or some other such pacification or commiseration.

        Grow up. What will you do when something *really* hard hits you?

      • Steve, I think the problem occurred in the attempt to turn the OP’s frustration into a discussion thread. For some reason, the OP felt it newsworthy that he had to stand outside the 9:30 Club for an unacceptable period of time, even though this did not result in him missing any part of the show. PoP then turned that newsflash into questions about the will call at 9:30 Club and will call generally. However, most of the responses have focused on the OP as opposed to the questions posed by PoP. Next time, the OP might consider posting this kind of observation to his or her Facebook or Twitter account, as opposed to sending it to the neighborhood listserv where it’s likely to be ridiculed.

        • And to answer PoP’s questions:
          1) I have never had a bad experience at 9:30’s will call because I have never used it. I buy my tix in advance and get them shipped or emailed to me.
          2) Not applicable (see 1)).
          3) 45 minutes waiting at will call is only unreasonable if it causes me to miss the show I am going to see or ruins my plan to show up extra early to get a good spot to watch the show from.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          One day a sociologist will get a PHd defending their thesis explaining a theory about this post and the strong reactions to it.

          My take away is simply that there are a ton of 9:30 club fans (myself included.)

          • Thanks for posting. I think waiting in a 45 minute line to go to something that you’re paying a lot for is unacceptable. In the age of 10-15 dollar surcharges for printing tickets out online, will call should be moving more smoothly. Otherwise, it just looks like extortion to make people pay the “processing charge” of using their own ink and paper.

            Its not whining to point out how ridiculously managed something is.

            Whining is when people incessantly bitch about drivers from certain states being worse than drivers from other places and how unfair the world is to bike riders. Thats whining. This is just taking a concrete example of terrible customer service and sharing it with the world.

            Is yelp also just whining? I found this very useful.

    • I’m the Anonymous at 2:15, and I want to apologize for the PoP complaint. Still my favorite blog out there.

  • So basically, you show up 45 minutes before the show starts, when basically EVERYONE ELSE is, and you’re surprised there’s a wait?

    It might surprise you to know that many times, you have to wait to get in somewhere, even if you ALREADY HAVE YOUR TICKET.

    Do you think they should have a staff of 20 on hand to make sure nobody ever has to wait? You’d be complaining about the tickets being $10 more then.

    • A 45 minute wait at 9:30 is pretty unheard of at 9:30 Club. It’s not that large of a venue and will call pretty much consists of comparing an ID to a pre-printed listed. Not sure what caused the delay last night, as that’s almost never the case, but to blast the person for showing up 45 minutes prior to the headliner’s set is pretty ridiculous. I’ve been to plenty of shows at 9:30 where the bulk of the crowd doesn’t get there until just before the headliner goes on, and they still tend to handle it pretty expediently. No one is saying that some sort of wait should be expected, it’s the 45 minute part that’s pretty out of whack given the size of the venue and the usual rate of entry.

  • @Grumpy, was that the Tim and Eric show?

  • This is why i send my man servant to all music venues in my stead,As a mogul i simply can’t wait..

  • Dear PoP,

    Dan, I’m sick of all the whining commenters do on your blog, but it’s like a car wreck; I can’t seem to look away! Any advice from you and the PoP commentariat on what I should do?

    • Ha ha ha ha ha!! That was frickin’ hilarious!!!

    • Exactly! I used to truly enjoy this blog and the information provided on neighborhood businesses, homes, activities, etc. I am so frustrated that it seems to have become a clearinghouse for whiny, passive-aggressive folks to vent about their petty problems.

      I have told myself day in and day out that I will stop coming here because of what this blog has become, but I can’t! It truly is like watching a car-wreck, or better yet, a bus hitting a bicyclist with a a dog and and a baguette in it’s front basket.

      So props to you PoP! You obviously know how to keep the page views up!

  • The next time I have to wait in a line, I’m going to bellow “Don’t you know who I AM? I have an iphone with PoP’s email pre-programmed, and I’m NOT afraid to use it!”

  • For the record, the door line at 10:30 was the longest I’ve seen at 9.30, and there was a good 10 or 15 minutes when no one was being let in at all. Once the line started moving, it was quick as usual.

    There was some kind of issue last night for sure, but showing up at 10:30 and still having time for a drink before the opening act came on… can’t complain about that.

  • Yelle only started late because of the setup. It was a double show night, so stage crew had disassemble and load out Atmosphere’s and his 4 opener’s gear. Then set up Yelle and her opener. And then there’s the crowd from the Atmosphere show who decided to crowd both merch at the end of the show.

    Cant say much on the will call issue.

  • There was a another show last night immediately before Yelle
    getting cleaned up and reset from that probably had something to do with it. Yelle was great.

    Btw ‘poor mismanagement’ = great management right?

    So I think the whiner was actually trying to compliment the club

    • Yeah, I remember having to wait a while for them to recover from an earlier show when I saw LA Roux last November. At least the weather’s warmer this time of year!

  • 9:30 club is the best venue in DC hands down. It is consistently well run and provides a top notch experience (especially when compared when many of the other venues in town). This “problem” was hardly anything in the scheme of things.

  • this thread caused me so much stress i had a heart attack and died.

  • I have been to over 100 venues in the United States and toured up and down the east coast with many bands. If you have tickets at will call you should plan to get to a show at least 1 hour before doors. If not its your own damn fault you were getting in late.

  • Really, please stop your whinny antics. It’s not like Yelle pulled an Axl Rose and did not go on stage until 2am, or not show up at all.

  • More than likely the hold up was all the drunk and dysfunctional teenage girls, not management.

  • french hipsters are le worst

  • There has not been a comment regarding the reason why there were so many patrons outside of the venue that night. There were two shows in progress. The first was scheduled at 5pm. The second at 11pm. The 5 o’clock doors opened for a dj collective ‘Atmosphere.” Those patrons were exiting the venue when Yelle was lining up. SO naturally there were intoxicated people around and naturally lines would seem excessive. And also keep in mind that both shows were sold out.

Comments are closed.