UPDATE (Tuesday, 1:20 p.m.): FPSF jefe Omar Afra wrote in urging anyone using Craigslist for festival tickets to use caution, saying FPSF has dealt with a steady stream of complaints about counterfeit passes in its five-year existence. Obviously, not only would bogus wristbands not get you into the festival, they're nonrefundable too.
Less than a week before the festival, passes for Free Press Summer Fest are easily available on Craigslist. Dozens of ads have appeared on the online bazaar at houston.craigslist.org/tia in the past week or so, offering both general-admission and Fancy Pants passes at or below the current market price.
Scrolling through these ads, the average price appears to be in the $140-$160 range, though a few sellers have gone as low as $120 or $130. As of Tuesday night, the cost of a general-admission pass was $168.50 plus taxes and service fees, which amounts to a little more than $195 total. Fancy Pants passes, currently $225.50 through FPSF, are running between $190-$220 on Craigslist.
FPSF sold out last year, and how long the buyer's market will remain is up in the air. According to spokesman Mills-McCoin, the festival's Media Manager, passes could be gone in the next day or two.
"It's going to be close," he says. "Sold out by Wednesday is very possible."
Of the sellers who listed a reason for unloading their passes, "no longer able to attend" seemed to be the most popular. As per usual Craigslist practices, many sellers have indicated that their prices are negotiable, and many are accepting cash only. Others are offering bulk discounts.
Craigslist does not have a means to track how many of these sales have gone through.
Some sellers were offering added value with their tickets. This guy threw in a stuffed lion with the four FPSF passes he was selling for $200 apiece, provided the buyer bought all four.
By comparison, the bidding tickets for Jay Z and Beyonce's "On the Run" tour stop July 18 at Minute Maid Park starts at around $175 and goes up to $400 for floor seats. Live Nation's top listed ticket price there is $251, but if you enter this raffle sponsored by the dance-team moms at Willowridge High School, you might win a chance to see the "'03 Bonnie and Clyde" duo at just three tickets for ten bucks.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.