JournalistI am Caty Enders, a journalist with the Guardian. I just launched a new series, This Land Is Your Land, covering the government giveaway of public lands. AMA.
Jun 12th 2017 by Caty_Enders • 29 Questions • 8798 Points
My short bio: I was a freelance writer for outlets like Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Skeptic, and Huffington Post when I was invited to assist a faction of Anonymous that was assisting with the Tunisian revolution. Shortly afterwards Anonymous hackers stole 70,000 e-mails from an "intelligence contracting" firm that had put us under surveillance, thus exposing the Team Themis conspiracy whereby Palantir, HBGary Federal, and other firms with "black propaganda" capabilities had proposed hacking, disinformation, and intimidation of activist groups like Code Pink as well as Wikileaks and even its supporters, including Glenn Greenwald. Although one CEO had to resign, a Congressional investigation was quickly derailed and no one suffered any consequences (despite having planned DOS attacks, the exact thing for which Anonymous participants had been pursued for via heavily armed FBI raids after they took down MasterCard and Paypal websites for a few seconds in protest of their refusal to process donations to Wikileaks).
Thereafter I repurposed my online "think-tank," Project PM, to continue researching these firms and others like them, compiling our research on a wiki called Echelon2.org (since moved). The FBI eventually raided my home and my mom's house, with the search warrant listing our website and group as subjects of interest. Thereafter they threatened to indict my mother if I failed to cooperate; instead, I threatened to "ruin" the life of the lead agent, using the same tactics that HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr had planned to use against activists with the DOJ's blessing. Separately, I vowed to defend myself against any further raids. The two statements were conflated by the DOJ and used to indict me for threatening a federal agent, which actually requires one to make a violent, non-conditional threat, whereas I'd made one non-violent threat and one conditional threat.
Later, I was charged with 11 counts of aggravated identity theft for having copied and pasted a link from one chat room to another that I believed contained more e-mails, but which in fact included credit cards. I faced 22 years for that link alone, in addition to other charges. The DOJ later had to drop those and other charges, and I plead guilty to one count of internet threats, one of interference with a search warrant, and one of accessory after the fact (I called Stratfor, a company that had been hacked, and offered to help redact any e-mails that could put someone in danger). I was also ordered to pay over $800,000 in restitution to Stratfor.
There are several documentaries covering much of this, including Hacker Wars, We Are Legion, and Alex Winter's 18-minute film Relatively Free, as well as some pretty good articles at WhoWhatWhy and The Nation describing the other plots we uncovered and documented.
While imprisoned, I continued writing, doing a column called The Barrett Brown Review of Arts & Letters & Prison that was later picked up by The Intercept, and for which I won the National Magazine Award for commentary/columns in 2016.
I was released November of last year, and am now preparing a new project, called the Pursuance System, by which to build up a cohesive yet agile network of opposition to criminalize institutions while also helping activists and non-profits to cooperate more efficiently. You can read more about it here.
EDIT 5:34 CST I'm going to run down to the store, but will be back in fifteen or twenty minutes to answer more questions.
EDIT Am back, and will continue to answer questions sporadically through the evening.
EDIT 9:00 PM EST I'm going to play some Team Fortress 2 for a bit and relax and whatnot but I'll be back to answer more questions later tonight, and will get to more tomorrow as well.
EDIT 1:53 am EST Well, my Facebook account has suddenly been disabled without explanation, in case anyone's wondering why the link above no longer works.
Are public land giveaways determined by Congress or are their things that state/local governments can do to chip away at these protections?
What does Ticketmaster do with all the pain they harvest from the souls they rip off at the box office?
Huge fan of your writing, Barrett. Your book 'Keep Rootin' for Putin' was ahead of the curve in calling out the bullshit of mainstream pundits. One of the points you make is that internet can be used as a force for good in order to fact-check all the nonsense they spout; all of their contradictory bullshit is now a matter of permant, public record.
How do you think the media landscape has changed since that book came out? with the rise of Breitbart and the like, and the sometimes-justified concerns over "fake news", it doesn't really seem like the media have gotten any more reliable over the past years.
Anyway, what the US government has done to you is a travesty and I wish you the best.
Also, go on Chapo
Hey! Thanks for the question. It depends on how public land is designated in the first place. If the land is national (e.g. National Forests, National Parks, BLM land), it’s under federal/Congressional purview. State and local governments can and do lobby Congress, however, for changes in the protections for land within their borders. For example, Utah state government has pushed pretty hard for the reversal of Bears Ears National Monument. We also just published a story on county governments advocating for the removal of National Monument protections so that uranium mining can be expanded around the Grand Canyon. There’s also a lot of public land under state control, of course, though our series is largely looking at national public land. State land is more vulnerable to being sold off, as we saw with Elliott State Forest in Oregon this spring. About 70% of national public land transferred to the states in the form of land grants has been sold off and privatized. But chipping away at public land protections doesn’t seem hugely popular in Western constituencies. When legislation/resolutions come up at the state level to support land transfer, they generally get hammered down by local opposition. Does that answer your question?
So funny story- there's this machine we kept in the back, right, called the Hate Engine. We have these siphons right underneath the desk that suck up all the complaints to add to the Hate Engine, and the Engine converts that hate into more money, which is why they keep adding service fees. More fees = more money = more hate = more more money.
Seriously though, nobody paid me to be a fan of Ticketmaster's practices. This whole ticket monopoly situation is kind of fucked right now. Best lesson I learned at the job was to always buy from the venue directly when I can.
Unfortunately, the mainstream press didn't really have the gravity or the integrity of action to prevent other, even worse outlets from popping up. Had the New York Times not continued to employ Thomas Friedman even after it became clear that he was less than worthless in terms of explaining world politics, they would have more room to make their own case. Same thing with the Washington Post and Charles Krauthammer, who, as I showed in an old Vanity Fair online piece, was wrong about every U.S. military engagement since Kosovo. Those aren't the only problems with these respectable national outlets, of course, but they're very telling regarding the cowardice of editors and publishers who continued to promote incompetent commentators simply because they've made some vague name for themselves.
And of course WaPo's failed attempt to identify some website that could sort out "fake news" is indicative of the chief fact of our press culture - that much of how it operates is haphazard at best, and that falsehoods can creep in to any outlets, regardless of pedigree, if its operators lose track of basic principles such as hiring competent people and firing incompetent ones. Personal relationships, inertia, ambition, and that sort of things are the chief problems facing our political press, rather than corporate interference or anything else of that sort.
Here's an incomplete case against Friedman; a more comprehensive argument as to why he represents a crisis of ethics within the legacy press may be seen in my free book, Keep Rootin' for Putin (the title of which is taken from an actual Friedman column from 2000). column
In one of your recent D Magazine articles you noted "But most of all, I realized that journalism will not be enough to save this country." - can you elaborate on that Barrett? and also what does this mean about the future of your journalism? Thanks!
Hm, interesting. It sounds like they might have an inholding in the forest. Sometimes small sections of private land can cut off huge quantities of public land and prevent access. If it's mixed use land—even if a timber or oil or gas company has leased it—the public should still have access. They shouldn't be allowed to deliberately obstruct public right of way. If you want to send me more info, we can look into it: [first name].[last name]@theguardian.com. Many thanks!
Is this situation unique to the US? Wondering what other people in other countries would think about this situation -- like would people in the UK think this is bonkers?
Also, check the websites of your local free Alt-Newsweeklies and magazines (the free ones that have local stories and culture, like The Village Voice) they almost all have deals with all of the local venues (it's how they survive) and you can get fee-free tickets!
Hey Barrett, mod of /r/WikiLeaks here.
Any thoughts on the work WikiLeaks has done, past or present?
How do you see leaks, whistleblowing, and hacks shaping the future of governments and companies?
Do you still plan on leaving the US in the near future?
Thanks for doing this AMA.
US public land is pretty darn unique in its breadth and accessibility. The whole National/State dynamic creates issues that are largely American. But rolling back protections on public land isn't unique at all. You'll find it all over the third world. If you visit Zimbabwe, for example, you'll find aggressive mining around National Parks leaving toxic methane clouds that you can drive through for hours. What I keep hearing from from big game hunters that are fighting land transfer in the US is that America's public lands are like nothing else on earth—they've traveled the globe to hunt and now they're fighting like hell back at home because nothing compares to what we have here. Ours to lose sort of thing.
He was checking out the Village Voice, seeing who was playing where
Pulled his head up out the paper, pushing out a single tear
Five words like a beacon of light in the mist
Ministry Live At The Ritz
I was an early supporter of Wikileaks, and continue to support the leaking of files from any state or other institution that engages in criminal activity on a large scale.
I have no doubt that leaking, as well as hacking by various ideologically-motivated groups, will become more common in the coming years.
Yes, I will not remain in the United States after my term of probation is up. Most likely I will move to Berlin or Iceland, at which point I'll revoke my citizenship.
Will you only be covering these kinds of misdeeds as committed by Republicans, or will you be taking an objective look at figures like Democrat Harry Reid, who has been working hard to keep an archaic law on the books allowing the mining industry to take mineral resources out of federal lands without paying a dime in federal royalties, ever?
What "insider tips" do you have to get good tickets? Can I bribe a Ticketmaster employee for good seats?? :-)
Welcome back! 1. Where is my pizza recipe? 2. How is the bobcat?
Thanks—you're totally right to point out that mismanagement of national lands happens on both sides of the aisle. We haven't covered Reid and the General Mining Law. This is going to sound like a lame answer, but I mean it sincerely: I appreciate you bringing it up, and I'll be looking into it. EDIT: TBC, I'll be looking into the Reid/General Mining Law story. We're definitely covering land mismanagement on both sides of the aisle.
It doesn't really work that way anymore, unfortunately, at least according to my experience. A lot of it's the usual "get in early and get lucky".
With casino tickets specifically, though, there is the VIP angle to consider. Good casinos reward their players really well, and for us in particular we had presales a day before public sales just for our players. Also, depending on circumstances we'd sometimes get tickets back from our VIP folks for sale if they just weren't doing the numbers they expected, which would lead to some last minute openings- usually in the primo seats too, just because the VIPs get the good stuff to keep them coming back.
The FBI took it. Sorry.
That sounds like you just implied you are just hitting on Republicans.
The best deal I ever got on a ticket was actually not long ago. A few months actually, for an event happening next week. Ticketmaster ran an "official exchange" program (stubhub essentially) for the event since all the wristbands are registered to names and a lot of people got screwed over by other sites since they were relying on the original purchaser to send them the ticket once they got it.
Anyways, someone fucked up... Hard. The seller accidentally fat fingered the price and typed 55.55$ instead of 555.50$ (facevalue was 800$). The seller was supposed to have a 24hr period that he could change the pricing, but I bought the ticket before that could happen. I was so shocked by my luck I even called Ticketmaster to make sure it wasn't fake and was told that I was good to go and all tickets are garunteed.
Fast forward to the next day. I receive a call from Ticketmaster and they asked me to give the ticket back. I honestly was a bit pissed at this point because I and already been told that I was good to go and they'd handle the situation. I asked the guy why they suddenly changed their minds and he explained everything I said in the first paragraph. My response was that it seemed like they owed that man a ticket but mine was already garunteed and I didn't see how this was my problem since in multiple places on their website it said it was garunteed and that all purchases were final. I know this because I read everything I could about it the previous night. After telling him this he said he'd talk to his manager and figure it out.
Gotta call 4 hours later saying I could keep the ticket and that they'd be giving that guy a ticket back as well... I felt like an asshole but fuck Ticketmaster even more
Hey, thanks for pointing that out. Edited for clarity. I hit on tall/dark/handsome Republicans and Dems equally (kidding).
Hey man, you did nothing wrong there. More power to you.
It's very indicative that they don't receive adequate coverage. The problem is that many journalists and editors have only heard of Bilderberg in the context of what they assume to be wacky conspiracy theories. Although some of the theories about the extent of Bilderberg's importance are clearly wrong, that doesn't change the fact that this is a meeting of influential figures from around the world which is closed to the public, and is thus of legitimate interest. But, again, many journalists are fools and/or cowards.
Have you been visiting these places as part of your reporting? Places you would recommend to make sure to check out now... in case!
Interesting! I also worked at a box office at a casino that used Ticketmaster, but we absolutely had control over some of the good seats to an extent. Couldn't be super obvious about it and wouldn't do it on super popular shows. But we held tickets for so many different things - media, community (tribe), artist, giveaways, VIP, business council, etc. with so many good seats on hold, if the community seats weren't selling well it was super easy to just swap out the community holds and get someone tickets in the first 5 rows. We also had the ability to go in and snag tickets before the presale/on sale although that was a huge no no and fire-worthy so people didn't do it very often. I'm also curious if your VIPs were crabs about it haha! I remember so many people feeling so entitled to tix in the first 10 rows, who were not anywhere near our highest level of play. Fun to read your answers though! Thanks for doing this!
Yeah no problem!
We had a bunch of those holds too, definitely. It wasn't at all uncommon to get a handful of holds back here or there, but just as often we would use up all the holds and sell out.
Each pursuance has a variety of security options by which to minimize the problem of hostile parties, aside from the conventional encryption tools; chief of all, one can set their pursuance to be opaque to those who aren't members. The structure itself of the average pursuance, which grows on the margins, is far more difficult to effectively infiltrate than the IRC chat rooms that Anon used, which anyone can just drop into for the most part (and did).
Granting status is actually a big part of the system. Everyone is equal when they join the system in the sense that they all have equal rights to create pursuances and apply to join others; at the same time, everyone who creates a pursuance has the right to define how it functions, which will often includes divisions of labor and even hierarchies. Anyone who dislikes that sort of thing can create a pursuance, give full rights to other participants, and attract others who prefer that method. And pursuances of very different organizing principles can still collaborate with each other to the extent that each one agrees to do so.
More info on the exact technical aspects, including what security is involved, will be put out before the minimum viable product is released.
A friend wants to know if you are single. She has a thing for nerdy ex-cons. Are you single?
Cool! Yeah, it's a largely underreported area. I didn't know until recently about PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) that counties who have public land within their borders receive. In some places, that can make up several million dollars for a county's annual budget.
There has been a lot of rhetoric from Congress and elsewhere that public lands are being over-regulated and mismanaged from "bureaucrats from DC," but day-to-day land mgmt operations, including permitting and planning really comes from actions, decisions and monitoring at field offices out West, from people that live in local communities - have you spoken to local federal agency staff in the West about their perspectives or thoughts or how this is affecting them?
Why don't you care about people abusing the system
- That's good to know, but I didn't ask whether you were planning to lead investigations. I asked why you were focusing your tool-building on tools for organizing humans into roles, rather than tools for better intelligence analysis or fact finding.
- What tools do you intend to provide in the pursuance kit, aside from pre-existing comms tools bundled for fast deployment?
- The roles-based organization of pursuances sounds like something that could benefit from smart contracts. Are you implementing anything like smart contracts to enforce roles and task completion? If not, why?
- How do you expect to prevent a slow degradation of competence and quality as the network extends outward from yourself, without specific task and analysis oriented tools, or are there some in development that you've neglected to mention at this time?
Hey! It's a really good point—land management agencies employ people on the ground, and the managers, biologists, rangers, agents, what have you live in the communities where they work. We'd definitely like to publish more stories from people actually working for these federal agencies. One piece along these lines is on my story list, but I think those voices should be in more stories—not just the higher ups who work in the major branches. Thanks for question!
Yeah, we used the old-school DOS-ass TMWin99. When I was training people I always said it's like using a program written in Swahili or something- you can learn a phrase or two and learn your way around to do some basic stuff, but beyond that it's really tough to figure out unless you've been doing it forever. It's a lot of rote memorization and repetition, which takes new guys a while to figure out.
That's being determined by our more technical core people; I know very little about blockchains other than what I've read in magazines.
How would you get the two sides to start communicating? I know people like to play the blame game, but it's the fault of who's in charge of both parties
Media is here to sway people's opinions reporting on things without facts. When did the media take such a bad turn?
Sigh... (types in a string of code to release print flag and start all over!)
Such a good question. I think this is actually really a good issue for bipartisan communication—people on both sides of the aisle want to protect public lands for mixed use. Both sides need to listen to the needs of people with different political persuasions who actually want the same thing: to protect public lands for us and our kids. We ran this really good piece from Elliott Woods looking at ranchers' response to land transfer. I think he got at some really important points around how ranchers have felt marginalized and diminished.
If the media is going to do a good job, outlets need to spend more time reporting in the communities they're trying to cover. It's hard with budget cuts across the industry—but the only way to do it right is to invest in on-the-ground reporting. We're trying to do that with this series.
Yeah, coding's never been my strong suit. Glad you figured out a way to pick it up quickly though, that shit gets complex.
I haven't decided on the exact form it will take or who will be in charge of day-to-day operations. I'll be involved to consult and give some direction where needed, but I don't plan on overseeing it myself at this point.
What's the problem in giving land back to the states to take care of? Seems like it's a 6 to one, half a dozen to the other scenario??
Used to work with Ticketmaster too, but at a venue. I actually sort of enjoyed TMWin99. Autypes ftw.
Thank you immensely for your work, your courage, and your humor. I am genuinely grateful for the tireless, dogged journalism you've conducted over the years.
What do you think will be the fate of Trump? Your colleague at the Intercept, Jeremy Scahill, often asks if it'll be "Impeachment? Resignation? Or a Heart-attack?"
What do you think will happen to this newest alleged whistleblower, Reality Leigh Winner? Do you think Trump will try to make an example of her?
In the past, you've been labeled an anarchist--as cited in the criminal case against you. Do you label yourself similarly? Does this effect your work?
Again, thank you for all you do. '
Hey! Thanks for your question. The objection from sportsmen's groups has been that national land transferred to the states historically has been sold of %70 of the time. States also typically limit access more than the federal government does. That Field and Stream graphic is an interesting read.
What books about COIN and political repression (past and present) and about useful countermeasures and "security culture" would you recommend, if any ?
Hey, thanks for the question! It seems like public lands are infinitely more bipartisan than climate change. Constituents on both sides of the aisle think that public lands are a good thing—so the prospect of land transfer seems to unite user groups that don’t normally agree, like ranchers, hunters, conservationists, cyclists, etc.. Unlike climate change, which seems to be divisive, keeping public land public seems like a universal—apart from a small number of industry-funded politicians who are pressing very hard. The idea of losing physical access to public land seems to resonate with most Americans.
We still sold in house, we just used an in-house ticketing system that worked in tandem with the room reservation system before (I think it was called Showgate) and switched to all Ticketmaster in tandem with a major remodel about two years back. The difference in show quality was noticeable- we were getting good shows before, but we jumped from D-listers on average to B-listers. No Taylor Swift or Metallica or whatever, but still a lot bigger draws that pulled in a lot more sales. I'm willing to bet a lot of them got on board because their agents or record labels or whatever work exclusively through Ticketmaster. Like it or not, they opened doors.
The Burglary and The Devil's Chessboard. Most of all, read anything by Peter Dale Scott, the former diplomat and Berkley professor who carefully documented a great deal of the amorphous security culture from the early '60s to recent years, mostly in regards to JFK and Southeast Asian drug running by CIA affiliates.
Who's been leading the cause to taking over federal lands... certain folks who have joined the trump admin but have been working at this for a while?
Might as well get the obvious out of the way - what's your best and worst customer experience stories?
Best is kinda hard, just because I'm usually pretty happy when a customer is just a normal dude. One that comes to mind is this blind guy that called us every once in awhile to have us read the show schedule to him. He usually called when it was slow so I didn't really mind taking the time to talk, and he was extremely friendly and liked to share stories about shows he'd seen. Normally people who share stories get dull, but I loved talking to him.
Worst is a lot easier- this one guy came up a year or so before we remodeled, when the seat plan was a bunch of tables and booths. The booths seated 4, but there was one at the perfect spot that seated 8. It was the owner's booth, as in The Owner Of The Casino Sits Here So Do Not Fucking Sell This To Anyone.
This guy comes up one day dressed like he was late to his job as an extra for Tom Cruise's character in Tropic Thunder (only with hair) and asks for the owner's booth for a show. I told him no, I'm sorry, we can't sell that booth, and he drops a $100 bill on the countertop like he just unlocked the keys to the kingdom. I told him no again, then he started getting all kinds of huffy with me, trying to bargain and stuff. Eventually he goes "look, just get me your manager", so I turn around to my manager (who's standing right behind me talking to his boss and heard the whole thing) and ask if he can help. The guy tries the same shit again with my manager like five times and eventually, while I'm standing right there, points at me and goes "Come on, I'm trying to show him what it's like to have money."
Obviously not a guest that flung shit at me or threatened me or anything, but that one's really stuck with me. Casinos get a lot of entitled guests, it comes with the VIP rewards program, but that was fucking insulting.
Absolutely. I almost always agree to interviews if a large enough audience can be reached.
"One that comes to mind is this blind guy that called us" -> ".. liked to share stories about shows he'd seen."
i feel terrible but was he always blind or..?
Why do you still wear Oxford button down shirts and those silly assed Roper cowboy boots? Aren't you concerned that folks will mistake you for a deranged Texas oilman?
What other people/organizations do you feel are doing the most to fight against the transfer of federal land? Is there anyone or any organizations that you feel could do the greatest amount of good with our support?
Tropic Thunder is still one of the greatest movies of the past few decades
What was your favorite book you read while in Prison? Favorite book of all time?
Hey, thanks for this! On my way out, but this is a question that I answered more fully in a few other responses. In brief: Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership have made a huge impact this spring
It's hard to really narrow them down to a particular favorite, but I very much enjoyed the series of George Orwell's notes, articles, and letters, which someone sent me a volume of and which I eventually obtained in full.
What do you think of the DNC Leaks?
I'm in favor of any leaks that reveal corruption within institutions.
Hey Barrett, 2 questions.
1) I always thought it was ballsy of you to plead guilty while staring down the possibility of 100+ years in prison. Were you aware at the time that your sentence was likely going to be much shorter?
2) Is Leiderman as awesome as his "chicken-shit assholes" rant belies?
What actually happened was, I faced over 100 years worth of charges but refused to agree to the original plea bargain they proposed, which would have me plead guilty to one count of identity theft and whatnot and maybe do three or four years. I would not plea to anything involving fraud or deception, and I would not help them set a precedent whereby people could be prosecuted for linking to public information.
Then my lawyers filed a motion to dismiss those charges, noting that they were misusing the statutes, that I clearly had no intent of committing fraud, etc, and they had to drop their own charges or else face possibility of being sued under a little-known provision whereby defendants of obviously fallacious charges can seek compensation, etc. That being done, I was willing to plea to whatever other nonsense they needed to save face, as the alternative was to go to trial in a system where the FBI can and does lie without consequences, and with a Dallas jury.
oh, even if it's true, you really shouldn't say things like that on the internet. That just encourages even more people to be assholes acting entitled to something.
Do you think Anonymous still has any political/social relevance in 2017, and if not what would it take (if anything) for it to become relevant again?
EDIT: I see someone asked a similar question, I'll clarify a bit: I sit firmly on the "no it does not" side of the first part, more curious what you, as someone who was around that scene in its brightest hours, think could bring it back to its former glory.
I said it in the other response to this, it doesn't really change what I offer (I'm always out to find people the best seats possible), just the level of customer service I provide. For assholes, it's pretty much just "polite and to the point" to get it over with faster.
I don't, frankly. That could change, but as I told someone else, what's needed now is something that can expand and serve as a serious counter against the powerful without burning out in a flash of chaos and disagreement. The pursuance system will be a mechanism for conducting civic affairs in such a way that everyone has the same clearly-defined rights to operate, to invent, to rise according to their talents and dedication; although Anonymous was allegedly something along those lines, the reality is that some people controlled the mediums, such as IRC servers, where much of the important work was conducted. That's just one of several fatal flaws Anonymous had - the conflict between its stated nature and its actual nature, and a lack of a mechanism for settling disagreements.
paid less in service fees buying it in person ($2.50 per as of the time I left)
BO wasn't service-fee-free? I've always figured box office was always the baseline "inconvenient" option to justify "convenience fees" for all the rest. Where I am it is-- no fees on buying at the venue.
Did you trip the soap? Trip report?
The $2.50 "facilities fee" was a very recent change. A month ago you'd have been right on the money. Dunno the thought process behind it.
You mean, did I drop the soap?
Did you primarily do business in sports or theater sales where you were located? Always wondered what these jobs entailed, to be honest.
Why was there a stuffed leopard on your wall in We Are Legion?
Our venue did music and comedians mostly. Before we renovated a few years back we'd have amateur MMA live, which was interesting, but also tricky to handle since the theater wasn't designed for that sort of setup (since all the seats are on one side and whatnot).
The stage was actually enormous, which gives a lot of room for some of the real showmen that have come through (Alice Cooper, Empire of the Sun, and KISS come to mind) to work with cool set designs.
My dad is a prolific hunter and I've had it since I was a kid.
In person it was free, $3 extra per over the phone. Recently they added a $2.50 fee on top of that to everything, no clue why. Still dirt cheap in person.
I really don't know anything from the legal side of things, but from a sales side we can't really do much about it beyond saying "hey don't scalp around us". Once you bought a ticket from us, we were hands-off: what you do with it after that is up to you. When people asked me I would always always always recommend against buying from them since I only ever saw it when it went south and someone got scammed, but that's as much influence as we had on it. We're not just gonna not sell to someone, no matter what we think they might do with the tickets.
Was the turnover at the box office as bad as it was everywhere else at the GSR? Also, how did you feel about the horrible management?
Turnover at the box office isn't as bad as something like the front desk, which was nonstop and dealt with complaints and was high-visibility. As far as management, I liked my direct superiors a lot, but more than a couple steps up the chain I didn't really hear from anyone. That could be a whole lot worse, but it wasn't great either.
Hey there fellow Reno area guy. What happened to the prop airplane from Hello Hollywood, Hello?
It's still there, dude. Saw it a few days ago when we ate backstage for my little going away party.
So how did GSR feel after Amy Schumer spent the first 15 minutes of her act talking shit about the venue?
For background: she was originally booked for their Grand Theater, which is one of the best venues in town. Then they decided to do renovations on the theater and they moved her to a convention room with ziptied dining chairs and a temporary stage.
I can't speak for anyone but myself of course but man, I think she can go fuck herself. Heard from one of my bosses at the time that she was being an asshole to the people working at wardrobe and all that too.
I'm sure she's probably nice to some people but that was a pretty dickish thing to say.
Before tickets go on sale to the public, what percentage of tickets are already sold off?
It varies wildly depending on the show, location, venue, all sorts of stuff like that. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that super popular acts sell out instantly.
From the angle of this specific venue, the casino and presales are what take the lion's share. Casino gets a couple hundred tickets at various price levels to offer their players based on their play rate (and I've seen players with an average daily wager rate from the single digits to the thousands), sometimes five or six hundred if it's a big show. Beyond that, our presales were pretty open so a lot of times the a good chunk of the front half would go before the on sale. At a guess, that means about thirty percent of a theater seating about 2500-2700.
So I read that the whole idea of Ticketmaster is to throw extra fees on and take the pressure off of the artist or venue. For example. Better for your favorite singer to charge $50 a ticket with Ticketmaster throwing on $20 in fees as compared to $65 for the ticket and $5 for the fees. Their whole model is to take the ire of the fans off of the artist/venue. That is why they don't have competition. Have you heard this, do you know if it is true?
I have heard that, yeah, but it wasn't really true for our venue (max fee total outside of online was $5.50) so I don't really know how accurate it is, sorry.
What hours of the day did you work?
How many hours did you work per week?
Swing/night shift for three years, then morning for the last year. Given that my new job is normal business hours, I'm glad I had time to adapt.
I was part time, but for awhile we were really understaffed, so I did more hours including a lot of overtime pretty frequently.