Online tickets are expensive, but convenient, say Amdavadi theater enthusiasts
It's one of those Sundays when you get to an auditorium to see a play and discover that the show is homemade or that your favorite seat is reserved! Just to avoid this type of situation, many amdavadis, especially working professionals and students, now prefer to reserve their theater. Tickets Online even if that means paying more. Sometimes, prices exceed about 12% of the basic price of the ticket due to GST and Internet handling charges.
This is what we found out when we reached one of the oldest theatre venues near Law Garden a few minutes ahead of the midweek prime time show. Even if you have booked your ticket online, you have to get a printed copy at the ticket window. “I got three Tickets booked in advance online and it cost me Rs1,020. I would have got them for Rs900 here but jya sudhi tamey aavo, badhu khallas thai jae chhey . (It is sold before the day of the show arrives), says Parth Vyas, who had to pay an extra 40 Rs per ticket.
Booking online saves time, transportation costs and my seat is insured, says Mitali Shah, a theater enthusiast. It is smarter to book online well in advance if a play stars a Bollywood celebrity or a popular star.
Although many young people book online, many theater enthusiasts prefer to visit the place, see the possibility of sitting and then deciding. Being online is profitable for organizers, since it saves the printing of tickets and the cost of labor. Aditi Desai, theater director
‘Online Tickets cost 3% more’
Event organisers want people to buy Tickets online so that they get a rough idea of the audience that is likely to be there. They also offer early bird discounts. “We use payment gateway of another company and pay 2% of the ticket cost to them. We also have to pay payment processing companies and bear our expenses on our ticketing software. Over that we put our profit of 1% (Internet handling charges). Generally the ticket sells at 3% higher cost. It can either be incurred by the organiser or the buyer,” says Amit Panchal of an online portal in Ahmedabad.
Sanjay Galsar, theatre artist, says, “Given the popularity Gujarati plays enjoy, there should be a discount on bulk bookings online and the fee by a certain portal should be high in case of cancellations, let’s say over 10%. I book a lot of movie Tickets online and have seen that I had to shell out Rs20-30 extra over spot buy. Certain portals also provide package deals but the number of play Tickets sold online here is very little as compared to movies or events.”
Most of the online booking portals in Ahmedabad charge between 3 and 5% more than I know and most of the time it is by GST or entertainment tax that is charged when the transaction starts on the device. Abhinay banker, actor, playwright
Cool directors with booking tickets both online and offline
The price of a ticket is influenced by several factors, such as whether it is a day of the week or a weekend, a show in primetime or otherwise. Buying a ticket in person is good, but in case the place is far from where you live or work, people choose to book online even at a comparatively higher price because it saves time and gas costs. Actor Abhinay banker says: Online booking portals in Ahmedabad charge an additional 3 to 5% and a GST tax or additional entertainment tax is imposed when one begins the transaction.
Some believe it is mutually beneficial to partner with online portals, as it also guarantees guaranteed ticket sales. Known personality of the theater. Aditi Desai says,“When we sell Tickets online, we close the bookings an hour before the play is staged, so that those arriving impromptu can be seated accordingly. While youngsters tend to book online, theatre enthusiasts between 40-50 years prefer to visit the venue and then decide.”
For now Tickets sales going online is cost effective for organisers as it saves the ticket printing cost, the manpower cost and the like.