i think AP posted about it to start a site-wide discussion on the topic.
for me, i've been in local bands for 12+ years and "pay to play" shows are hard...
on one hand, it's generally for shows where you're opening for bigger/national/touring bands. the band needs to at least meet their minimum requirement for them to carry on on the tour, and i assume that most of the pre-sale tickets that opening bands sell actually goes to the touring band and not the venue, although i wouldn't be surprised at all if they didn't take a percentage of pre-sales.
on the other hand, it's hard enough to be a local band and get your friends/family to care enough about your band to pay to watch you play, especially when tickets are 10+ dollars more than just a straight up local show. they most likely don't care about the bigger band you're opening for. my band rarely meets the pre-sale quota. we usually end up buying a couple tickets out of pocket just so we don't look really bad... but the venue is getting the money but not seeing the bodies in the room, so i'm sure they notice that.
on the third hand though, it's so hard to be a local band and build a fanbase when 1. you're not a band that is playing the genres of music that are big in your town's scene. 2. you're not opening for bigger bands who pull a decent crowd in hopes that you might be able to steal some of their fans.
a few weeks ago, my band thought opening for Powerman 5000 would be a good/funny idea. it was Powerman, one other touring band, and then 4 or 5 local bands. the locals each had to sell 20 tickets at 15 dollars a piece. we didn't get a cut of that, of course, and i saw hardly any promotion from either of the touring bands. yet, the majority of the money went straight to them. seems a bit unfair to me.
another venue asked us to sell tickets for a show we're playing, opening for D.I. an oldschool punk rock band who isn't popular at all anymore. why would people want to buy a pre-sale ticket to see them when no one knows them? luckily, i got us out of having to sell tickets to that show.
and when your fans/friends/family say they will "totally buy a ticket!" the majority usually pull out in the last second leaving you stressed out and angry/bummed.
is it worth it in the end to sell pre-sale tickets just to play a show? no.
it should be the venue/promoter/touring band/their manager/booking agent who is doing the majority of the promo for a specific band's show. it should not all be on the poor little local bands who are trying to make money rather than lose money.