Ask anyone who has worked at for more than a couple of days, and he or she will say that we’re steeped in tradition. Whether it’s Operator #521 stripping off his clothes and belting out “Like A Virgin” whenever he gets a new date for Madonna, or Operator #518 whipping out a can of DayGlo and spraying the words to “Truckin'” on the walls of the squash court every time he sees a new schedule for The Dead, we love our traditions. In fact, we’ve accumulated hundreds of traditions since those bleak days of the Great Depression when our founder, Festus Pollstar, launched this company in 1931.

Traditions are important to all the members of the workforce as we go about our daily duties collecting dates for Van Halen and looking for shows by Cyndi Lauper, for the practice of customs and rituals helps us ward off the dangers, both real and imagined, that face us each day as we labor to maintain the largest third-party concert database known to man.

Needless to say, we immediately fell back upon our traditions as soon as we heard the news that we had lost one of our own.

It happened this past Friday while we were researching Jimmy Buffett dates. Without a word of warning, Concert Server #3442, which we always called “Herbie,” suffered a severe hemorrhage when one of its data pipelines accidentally became clogged with the list of bands on this year’s Vans Warped Tour. Even though our staff of crack technicians were all over stricken the server the moment its parallel processors began to rupture, poor old Herbie, weakened by the years of selflessly dishing out dates for David Byrne, Fleetwood Mac and Metallica, uttered its last date – the Eagles in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on July 12 – and then went gentle into that final power-down.

But years of tradition helped ease the pain of losing our beloved server. We held the traditional wake, where we joined with Herbie’s personal technician, Samuel, who we always affectionately refer to as Tech #419, and reminisced about the “good ol’ days.” Like when Herbie accidentally vaporized Operator #419 while he was entering dates for The Allman Brothers Band, or that time back in the fall of 2000 when the server took it upon itself to “fix” the Florida election results. Sure, we were grief-stricken, but thanks to our traditions, we made it through our time of loss and despair.

Of course, we held the traditional funeral for our much-loved server. We lowered it into the ground while the band played the traditional memorial salute – Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody.” Then we gathered around the grave to pay the traditional final respects and say goodbye to Concert Server #3442, aka Herbie.

Then, after we had said the traditional final farewells, we completed one, last tradition. We kicked Herbie’s personal technician, Tech#419, into the grave to land on top of Herbie, and then we filled in the hole.

Actually, that was our second-from-last tradition. The last tradition is to post a want ad for a new server technician. Hmmm. They seem to be getting harder and harder to find these days.