So the general ticket sales for ROLLING STONES started this morning. It’s been 7 years since Jagger, Richards & co visited Sweden (the last time they were supposed to play here, they had to cancel all gigs because Keith Richards fell out of a freaking coconut-tree!)
It’s just a band that I always wanted to see but the few times they’ve been in Sweden, I’ve either been too young, or too broke, I wasn’t in the country or they cancelled… So THIS time, it was time to get those much anticipated tickets!
As always, there’s a bit of an adrenaline-rush when tickets for something go on sale. It’s a race, it’s exciting and nerve wracking, cause you KNOW that thousands of people all over the country are waiting, just like you, for THAT very second when the sale begins, to get their hands on those precious tickets!
In my case, it was extremely bad timing.
I had to be at the doctor’s this morning, and since you never know when you’ll be able to get another appointment, I couldn’t cancel it. But it was at 8.55 AM and the ticket sales were supposed to start at 9.00…….
I had plan A, B and C ready in my mind.
Plan A was to show up VERY early and hope I would get called right away. I would be out the door just in time for the ticket sales.
Plan B was to “go to the bathroom” in case they were late calling my name, and get those tickets using my smartphone. What are they gonna do, tell me I can’t go do the loo? :)
And plan C was to just either not show up at all or simply tell them to let somebody else go before me.
Either way, I wasn’t about to miss this opportunity!
I was lucky. I got there early, got out after less than 10 minutes and went to my car to get in the virtual waiting line for those tickets…!
It said that I was in line and when it was my turn, the page would refresh and let me choose my tix. After 10 minutes, there was still nothing. Totally dead. I thought I had missed my chance.
I called my friend Mari to ask her if it looked the same on her PC and she confirmed that it did. It looked stuck, but she told me to hang in there, it was the same for every single major ticket sale. I know that but patience is not my strong side when it comes to things like this. :)
So, I put the smartphone on the passenger seat and drove off, figured that maybe I would have better luck trying from my PC.
Then, in the middle of traffic, I saw that the page had updated! And it told me to choose my preferred seats/tickets!
I pulled up to the side of the road and stopped so that I could finish my purchase.
And I got my tickets! The day was saved!! Ten minutes later, the 60,000 capacity arena, was SOLD OUT!
It’s 2014. The bands and artists that wrote music history won’t be around much longer. This is the last chance to see legends – real, true superstars in every sense of the word. They wrote the book. Everything that came after them did just that – came after them.
[John Lennon & Mick Jagger]
It’s the real deal, simply something as close to music royalty as you will ever get.
[Jimi Hendrix & Keith Richards]
I’m glad I got to see Tina Turner and Paul McCartney, and I’m so glad that I got to meet Beatles-producer George Martin.
Stones and Elton John are on the road this year. I’ll try to get good tickets for Elton as well. It’s a privilege I’m not missing out on. :-)
[Me, front row, Tina Turner at Ullevi, Gothenburg, August 5, 2000]
Okay, well I’m not quite done bitchin’ yet…! :P
So the Black Sabbath tickets went on sale this morning. I went from happy and excited to pissed off and disappointed.
That “Early Entry“-package shit is probably the worst idea promoters have EVER come up with. Thanks for being total assholes, LiveNation!
The development is pretty sad, the way I look at it. It’s like squeezing the last penny out of fans – to the point where it’s gone way beyond tasteless.
Back in the day, fans used to wait for their idols to show up at the stage door – in rain or snow, any kind of weather, for hours, sometimes days. I know, cause I used to be one of them. But it was FREE. And your autograph was precious just cause you knew what you had to go through to GET it.
Now fans have to pay for that “privilege”. If you’ve got a REALLY fat wallet and nothing better to do with your hard earned bucks, you can PAY to get that autograph and breathe the same air as Ozzy for a few minutes. How much is that worth to ya?
I love Ozzy, don’t get me wrong.This is a general thing that somebody (and I hope that the fucker gets rolled in tar and feathers!) came up with a few years ago, that’s escalated to enormous and ridiculous proportions.
Those who charge stupid crazy amounts of money for very little, have no shame whatsoever.
I wish that fans would just collectively go on strike and say enough is enough.
Fuck you! We’re not playing along with this shit.
I’ve been so angry for the past two days. And I’m even one of those “privileged” ones who CAN pull some strings and get in on the guest list if I want to. People even ask me howcome I don’t just do that. But to me, a concert experience is the greatest thing in the world, if it meets certain criteria.
That criteria, usually, is getting in the front row, get that closeness where you can see every expression on the artists’ faces, every little detail and just be a part of the indescribable energy that goes between the crowd and the band.
Being as short as I am, I could never do that if I was ANYWHERE else in the arena than right at the barricades.
If I’m on the guest list I can usually forget that for concerts of this size.
The second the door opens – it’s the law of the jungle. You have ONE thought in mind: RUN!
Get to barricades asap. Nothing else exists for those two minutes until you get to your front spot. (Then you’ll have to spend two hours fighting to KEEP it, but that’s a different story. I’m used to it, it’s fine).
So, by the time they’ve found my name on the guest list, the front row is fully populated already, and that was that. There is just no TIME for any guest lists.
I’m not into standing way in the back looking cool. Well, I am if it’s a band I don’t really care about too much, but for bands that I REALLY want to see (Priest, Whitesnake, Sabbath…) I’m not taking any risks. I’m buying a ticket just like everybody else.
But now, even THAT option has been taken away. Because paying a fucking FORTUNE for that front row spot is NOT an option.
I’d rather not go at ALL. Screw that.
I COULD pay for it, I’m travelling all over the globe for concerts so yeah, I guess I could afford it, but I’m just NOT doing it. Just out of pure principle. They can take that “Early entry experience” and shove it up their greedy asses.
[Forget about THIS if you haven’t won the lottery recently]
The whole thing pisses me off. Concerts are supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be an experience for everybody. The standing crowd are usually those who can’t afford the expensive VIP seats – or those who, just like me, are the hardcore fans who WANT to experience the show. The kind of people who are making the superstars who they ARE.
And let’s face it, Black Sabbath is, or at least WAS before they became rich, WORKING CLASS. Their FANS are working class, mostly. Charging these fucking fees is the same as getting the rich assholes in the front and the less financially fortunate fans, way in the back. What is that doing to the fan-hierarchy and the experience for the BAND? Or has it gone to the sad point where they just don’t care, as long as they get their fat check?
When I looked at the so called “VIP Early Entry package” – what they are charging for is just the plain fact that they are opening the doors a bit earlier for the rich people and keeping them closed for the other fans! That’s IT. And that DOOR is the difference between a “regular” ticket for 700 DKK and the VIP crap for 1500 DKK! That’s a pretty damn expensive door.
Cause all that other shit that they are trying to market as something “special” is just junk.
A “tour laminate“. What the fuck is that?! It’s not good for anything. It’s not good for backstage entry, it’s not good for anything other than just plain decoration. And that piece of plastic doesn’t cost them a whole lot. You can do it yourself in any office with a laminating machine and a color-printer!
Then there’s some “tour gift” whatever that is. Unless it’s a leather jacket with custom artwork on the back, it’s sure as hell not worth 1500 DKK! And the last thing you get is “event management staff present“. Uh, wtf?! Isn’t there ALWAYS “staff” present? What are they good for (other than being gatekeepers)?
Seriously, people are expected to scoop up the cash for basically NOTHING! For something that has been a normal part of going to a show since the fifties. The doors open and people get in! End of story. Who gets in first is up to the fans themselves.
But now we are made to feel like absolute bitches – OWNED by the Live Nation PIMPS. It’s become simple prostitution.
The prostitutes are the artists. The whoremongers are the fans who are paying for the “special services”. And the pimp is the promoter. Nice.
So this is where we’re at now. It’s just so frikkin’ SAD.
So…. the Van Halen presale-tickets went on sale today. My GOD…. I didn’t realize what a MESS it is to get hold of tickets to the big arena-shows in the US. Oh, boy.
Here in Europe, or in Sweden at least, it’s plain and simple. A release date is announced. On that day and that time, it’s the law of the jungle that applies – whoever comes first grabs the best tickets.
And when it’s sold out – it¨s sold out. But you can, of course, always buy them unbelievably overpriced somewhere online at any time before the show. Even on the day of the show. So – you never have to panic. It’s all cool and it’s fair.
In the US it’s a freaking nightmare trying to figure out who gets what.
You get all these different “exclusive pre-sales”, all of them starting on different dates, different time zones, you need passwords and special links. Then of course, to make things even more confusing, there are the various VIP-packages and whatever else…..
It stressed me out so much I almost lost it. I REALLY – and I mean R-E-A-L-L-Y wanted a GOOD ticket to one of the Van Halen-shows (in this case the Madison Square Garden-show).
If I’m going to get on a plane and travel across the Atlantic, I really don’t feel like sitting in the nosebleed-section, thank you very much.
When the first tickets went on sale today, it turned out it was just for American Express-holders. I didn’t realize that. I can’t recall seeing that information anywhere before – cause if I had known, I would have asked around to see if anyone HAD an American Express that I could use for this.
I made a test just to see what kind of seats I would get, and got one on the floor, 5th row… that I couldn’t buy..!. My temper got the best of me at that point.
A few hours later, Live Nation finally revealed the password for THEIR presale (sigh…) So, I went back to Ticketmaster, ready to purchase one of THOSE tix…. Nope. Presale on Friday – when I’ll be on a PLANE all day on my way to ATHENS, Greece for the Firewind-show! Gah!!
And then, the day after THAT – tickets for “the general public”…..
Seriously, what’s the deal?? Why not just get those tickets on sale and get it over with! Thousands of anxious fans out there are DYING to get their hands on those tickets, why all these meaningless “VIP” this and VIP-that -games?!
You know that even the so called “VIP”-seats are going to suck, because the REAL good seats are already reserved for the “important” people. I’ve never been front row at any arena-show in the USA except for the VH1 Rock Honors show in Las Vegas in 2006 – because I was “TV-audience”, chosen by VH1.
I’ll never forget my very first concert-experience in the States (big arena-show). It was AC/DC playing at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, NY (I think it’s called the Pepsi arena nowadays). I was looking forward to standing in front of Angus jumping and screaming my guts out. You know, the way it’s supposed to be at a rock concert.
When I walked into the arena that night, I thought it was a joke. There were CHAIRS on the floor, in front of the stage….. WTF?! I wasn’t there to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra, I was there to see a ROCK BAND.
Over here, there are no chairs in front of the stage at rock-shows. I guess it’s a matter of reserving the “Best seats in the house” for celebrities, girlfriends, friends, radio stations, journalists, whoever. As a FAN you never get a chance at those really good seats – forget it. You’re lucky if you end up on the 5th row – and of course you’ll have to pay two months worth of rent for the ticket.
Very frustrating for someone like me who’s used to getting good tickets simply by being prepared: Logged in, links and everything else that I need, my credit card and all that in my hand…. That’s how I got a ticket for the Golden Circle for the Black Sabbath concert in Malmo this summer (if it happens, now with the shocking news we heard yesterday…. who cares about the show, I hope Tony gets well). I got the best spot in the house all over Europe all summer to see Ozzy for instance!
And then you get all this crap as soon as you want to see a band you love in the US.American Express, Live Nation, passwords, codes, special links, different sales-dates, Facebook-pages (“Like”, “RSVP”, share to get a presale code…!) VIP-packages blah blah – and in the end, you’ll end up with nothing. A seat somewhere way UP or way in the BACK. Take a pick.
Am I pissed off? You bet I am. I think the system blows. It would be a lot easier for everybody if we all could go to a great show under the same circumstances.
But maybe that’s just me…