A Dynamic Benefit

Though a number of sports teams and arts organizations have seen some success with their forays into dynamic ticketing, it is yet to be tested at length in the concert world. An upcoming Wilco concert at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art should change that.

Mass MoCa, promoter Higher Ground Presents and Wilco are testing out a “pay-what-you-wish” auction for the entire 1,000-cap show, from which proceeds will benefit the museum.

But there is a catch. While the top 500 bids will win tickets to the July 31 event, the rest will be picked through a random lottery.

“It’s an experiment, which we hope proves to be more civilized, more fair, and more fun than the standard mode of ticket sales,” Mass MoCa Director Joseph Thompson said. “We hope it brings Mass MoCa the strong charitable support which is at the heart of this special evening.”

Though Mass MoCa is urging fans to bid high, there is the chance that some patrons could get lucky and score tickets to the show for a song.

Still, that’s simply part of the fun for the museum, which sees the random lottery as a way to bring “luck” into the purchasing process, rather than asking patrons to queue online or over the phone in hopes of getting to the front of the line in time to secure tickets.

“Perhaps this methodology will only be relevant to small venue performances, where tickets will be scarce,” Thompson said. “Perhaps the charitable component is a necessary ingredient. Or perhaps this modified auction has broader applications. It’s a true experiment, and we’ll learn a lot as the bids come in.”

The online auction for Wilco runs April 13-16.