I have a special drawer where I keep advance tickets for the four musical groups and one theatrical company to which we subscribe. Recently, I searched feverishly for tickets for an upcoming concert by one of the Bay Area's outstanding early-music group Voices of Music. It was a productive search, because it turned up several out-of-date brochures, etc, which I was glad to recycle. But the tickets? Nah...
Fortunately, when I called the organizers, it was explained to me that I had to go online to download the tickets. Where online? She didn't have time then to explain, but she kindly promised to tell the ticket takers to let us in. That worked! We greatly enjoyed the program, including the work of the tenor, Thomas Cooley, in a program of Purcell's vocal and instrumental compositions.(Voices of Music offers a free High Definition online example of its work: go to www.voicesofmusic.org, and check it out.)
This is the second time that I have had so-called "tickets", that are actually simply printouts. I am accustomed to obtaining boarding passes for airline flights this way, but I don't like that system of obtaining "tickets" for artistic events. I am sure it saves printing costs for the organization, but I unrealistically wish that there were an option to receive real tickets.
This year, another organization has begun to require us to print out tickets, and for that concert series I have already printed out the paper tickets. When we attended a recent performance, I handed those clumsy sheets of paper to the ticket collector. I had hardly walked forward more than six paces before she came running towards me, saying "Here are your tickets!". We have reserved seats, and I really didn't want those printouts again: no one was going to attempt to occupy our seats, but obediently, I stuffed those sheets of paper into a pants pocket, anxious to recycle them as soon as we returned home.
There is a special feel about a pasteboard ticket, which I really like: it's a foretaste of future pleasure. Also, they don't take up much space. I can put them in a small envelope, and find them on the day of the performance. I do not look forward to the day when every artistic organization decides to save a few bucks by having subscribers print out "tickets" on those wretched pieces of computer paper.