General Admission Shows

I don’t really have much money for concerts anymore but I’ve been looking at what is available anyway and nearly all of the shows I’ve looked at are General Admission and a couple have had NO reservable seating at all which means that I’ve already ruled out going to see that artist. I appreciate that some people like GA shows and prefer them to the seated show and it is for that reason that I wouldn’t dream of suggesting they’re stopped altogether but I think that there should be SOME seating that is available to be reserved at the time of sale available. Not everyone likes the idea of arriving at a concert venue at dawn to start queueing to get a seat that is anywhere other than the back row and not everyone is able to do so.

In particular, I dislike the GA that refers to standing-only and yes, I know that people want to stand up at rock concerts and I stood up at the Meat Loaf shows I went to in April but it’s the idea of standing only that I hate. The main reason is that you are stood in  a crowd with people possibly pushing and shoving because they want to get closer to the front, you have no personal space. I didn’t even like that sort of thing for 20 minutes on the train home from work, let alone a 2 hour concert. There’s also the fact that if you’re anywhere near the front of a GA area, you’re pretty much stuck there from the time before the show starts until it is over and you’d better pray that you don’t need to use the bathroom.

I realise that the Newbury show is a GA and I am nervous about this but at least we did have the option of purchasing a Golden Circle ticket which I’m hoping will avoid some of the usual GA pitfalls.

Dedication to be admired

According to recent news articles Elton John continued to perform a concert despite being in agonising pain with appendicitis. Unfortunately the pain became too much for him and he was forced to leave the stage halfway through the performance but you’ve got to admire him for having the dedication to try to do the show so that fans aren’t disappointed. You compare this sort of thing to the likes of Justin Beiber who left hundreds of his young fans disappointed because he was two hours late on stage, allegedly because he was throwing a tantrum over video games.

 

Missing Manchester

Two of the six shows that I was supposed to attend in April were rescheduled due to illness within the band. We were told the date of the rescheduled Nottingham show that day so I made arrangements to be able to get up there, not thinking that the following show would also end up being postponed too. It was and was rescheduled for 25th May. I knew as soon as I heard the date that going to that show would be out of the question as I’d already asked a favour to have been able to have made it up to the Nottingham show.
I was so disappointed that for me, one of the shows that I had been looking forward to for several months was as good as cancelled. Not only would I be missing the show but I was reading about plans for a get together in Hard Rock Cafe with other fans too.
I hated to be doing it but I managed to sell the Manchester ticket on to another fan who wanted to go to the show so I didn’t lose out on too much money although that was gobbled up quickly in the additional expenses needed to get up to Nottingham again.

I went through pretty much everything over missing that show. From just simply wishing I could be there to the envy that led to my comment about wishing I’d have gone to Manchester instead of Nottingham. I’m ashamed that I allowed myself to get to that point because it shouldn’t have done. Short of jeopardising my job, there was NO WAY that I was going to that show and the way I dealt with it didn’t succeed in anything other than making matters worse.

 

Newbury

When I first heard that my favourite artist was doing a show at Newbury Racecourse I got quite excited. After all, what fan wouldn’t be excited at another opportunity to see their favourite artist again? My excitement was short lived (for a while) as I found out that getting the time off work could be difficult. I was disappointed, given the fact that I’d be missing the rescheduled Manchester show too but I was a bit more accepting of missing out on this one. I think it was because I still had a small amount of hope that I might be able to go if I could find someone who was willing to swap with me. It turns out that I was right in holding on to that hope because I discovered that someone else at work was looking to swap a shift in that same week.
I had to wait two weeks for an answer because of my time off sick but upon my return I was given the news I was waiting for and I was able to get the day of the show off work.
I was over the moon and bought my ticket as soon as I got in that evening. The standard tickets weren’t badly priced at £35 but I went for the Golden Circle ticket which would give me a better position to see the show that I was going to Newbury for in the first place. They were almost double the price but I stuck it on the credit card that has seen more use this year than ever and began to look forward to the show.
One of the things that was on my mind fairly early on was the outfit I was going to wear. This wasn’t just an arena show, this was Newbury Racecourse and it would be Ladies Day so I thought I’d make the most of the opportunity to dress up. I had a dress in mind and all I needed to buy was some shoes and a fascinator or a hat of some sort (I love hats). It didn’t cross my mind that the dress I was planning to wear wouldn’t fit so now I’m back to the drawing board with that.
I still want a nice dress to wear but so far I haven’t found quite the right one. Everything is either too casual, too short or too black. I’m going to Bristol next week so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I find something there. If not I might have to resign myself to not dressing up.

A change from the t-shirts

With my favourite artist being on tour, it’s inevitable that any good fan would want some merchandise. Of course this sort of stuff is available at the shows but sometimes you want something a little bit more special than the usual t-shirts and hoodies. I couuld always make something myself but I can’t sew to save my life so I’m really rather fortunate that a friend runs her own business making handbags and accessories.

I had seen one of Lucy’s bags when I went to London for The One Show and I was already thinking about how much I’d like one so when I got back I sent her a message and she was more than happy to oblige and she said she’d have it ready for me to collect at the London O2 Arena show.

When I saw it I was delighted, beautifully made and it was just what I was looking for.

bag

If anyone is looking for a lovely handmade gift then I really would recommend seeing what Lucy can do.

Check out her website: http://www.lucy-king.com

Check out her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LucyKingHandbags

The One Show

It was quite short notice which meant that plans had to be made quickly but it ended up being one of the best days out I’ve ever had.
I found out about it on Wednesday morning when a researcher from the BBC TV series, The One Show posted a message on a Facebook page that Meat Loaf was due to appear on the show on 29th march and they were looking for fans to come into the studio in London. Immediately, I sent off my response and got a phone call from the researcher a few moments later. She asked me a few questions about how long I had been a fan of his, how many shows I had been to and whether I was planning on going to any shows this time around. She told me I had a place and asked me if I knew of any others that might be interested in coming.
After I had finished talking to her on the phone, I contacted some of the fans that I thought would be interested in going. It was all so exciting even though I wasn’t 100% sure what they’d be getting us to do. We arranged to meet up before we had to meet at the BBC and this too, was something I was looking forward too. I had only met these people very briefly at the signing last year so it would be great to catch up with them again and get to know them a little bit better.

On the day, I woke up quite early feeling that nervous-excitement that you get when you’re looking forward to doing something and had lunch at my grandma’s house before getting on the train to London. During the train journey there, I got a telephone call from the researcher saying that they’d changed the plan slightly and we wouldn’t be featured but they still wanted us to be in the audience. We were asked not to wear our Meat Loaf shirts so before I met up with the others, I popped into a shop at London Waterloo and bought another top in the sale.

I met up with one fan at one of the underground station and we travelled the rest of the way together to find the others. We met the others in a shopping centre before going along to a bar where we could chat and just relax. Everyone there was so friendly and so easy to talk to and it was interesting to hear their experiences of being a Meat Loaf fan. Eventually the time came to go to the studio and we waited in a large waiting room on the ground floor before being given an outline of the rules and what they expected out of us before we were taken upstairs to the studio. Everything was pretty much ready to go in the studio when we arrived and I was surprised at quite how small the studio was. I thought by now I’d be so nervous that I’d be shaking but I felt quite relaxed, perhaps it was the presence of the other fans who had put me at ease, who knows?

We didn’t get the chance to talk to Meat as they had to tidy up as soon as the show was over but it was such an honour to be there with him, just listening to what he had to say. I made it on camera briefly, even though to begin with I didn’t quite realise I was visible in the shot.

The ultimate fangirl moment

I guess I have been fortunate to have experienced the kind of fangirl moment that many others could only dream about and it was certainly something I’d ever imagined would happen to a fan like me. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t know how to deal with it when it did happen.
I am a self-taught graphic designer and have been experimenting with Photoshop since 2005 in the hope that one day I’d be able to create something that someone would actually like. I’d never really got much response from my art until the last couple of years and the most response came from the Meat Loaf community.

One day in 2011, I was waiting for a file to download and was messing about with Photoshop, trying to create an alternate cover for the charity single ‘Stand In The Storm’. It didn’t take me long to create something, it wasn’t perfect but as I hadn’t spent long on it, I thought I may as well post it online anyway. I got a few comments from other fans saying they liked it but nothing could have prepared me for what happened two days after.

I got a couple of messages on Facebook telling me to go to the MLUKFC (Meat Loaf UK Fan Club). The first thought that popped into my mind was what I had done or said and nervously went to the forum. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. My message (and the artwork) was quoted by Meat Loaf himself. He said that it was really good and he asked if he could use it in the CD booklet. I was speechless and it took me 10 minutes before I could even type a response. I was pleased but the realistic part of me told me not to pin too many hopes on it because it may not even possible to use the image. However Meat Loaf did not disappoint and sure enough my artwork was included in the cover booklet for Hell In A Handbasket and there with the rest of the album credits was my name. It was a strange feeling, I couldn’t quite believe that it was me and even now when I look at the cover, I still can’t quite believe it.

I know how fortunate I am to have had this honour as it’s not something that happens all the time and I can not accurately put into words the amount of gratitude that I owe to Meat for allowing this to happen.

A new look at appreciation

Once again and less than a couple of days after walking on stage late in London, he has done the same in Nottingham disappointing his fans once again. Not only that but there’s now complaints from people who had purchased the M&G packages saying that they only got about 20 seconds with the star and didn’t even get to speak to him and that’s got me thinking about my own fangirling.
To some, a Meet and Greet package may seem like a waste of money and perhaps for some of Bieber’s fans it was but I’ve attended one of Meat Loaf’s M&Gs before and thought it was worth every penny that I spent on it and I’m thinking that is entirely down to the artist. Meat Loaf is a hard worker who puts everything he can into giving his fans the best that he can and I fully believe that he genuinely cares about us. At the Meet and Greet, I was extremely nervous and I really felt as if Meat was trying his best to put me at ease and make conversation with me and I’m grateful to him for that. So many others would have just posed for the photo and moved on when faced with the fan that has no idea what to say.

It’s strange how reading about another group of fans experiences has made me realise how lucky I am to be a Meat Loaf fan and how much I appreciate him being the kind of artist he is.

That’s how you treat your fans

It’s been in the news that Justin Bieber’s fans are upset with him because he didn’t arrive on stage for his concert until 10:23PM, meaning that some fans didn’t even get to see their idol as they had to leave to make sure they could get the last trains home.
What makes this worse is that up until this afternoon there was no apology from Bieber. If he had any decency and his excuse was as genuine as he says then he should have apologised to the fans that were still at the show and then followed it up with an official apology on his website and social networking sites.
It’s the young fans in particular that I feel sorry for. These tickets could have been their birthday or christmas present or they might have saved their pocket money to buy them and they will have been looking forward to seeing their idol for as long as they’ve known that he was going on tour. To then have to leave before he even makes his appearance on stage must have been so upsetting for them.

Bieber could do well to remember that his fans put him where he is and also have the power to take that away again if he doesn’t respect them.

Ticketmaster

I couldn’t very well have a blog about concerts and things relating to being a fan without devoting a post to those lovely little treasures known as TicketMaster. They’re the ones that we fans turn to when we hear that our favourite artist is going on tour in the hope that they’ll give us the tickets to that much anticipated concert. You’d think a company that makes the dreams of us fans come true would be appreciated and perhaps that would be the case if they actually cared about those fans as opposed to their own profits.

I have of course had use for TicketMaster’s services when I found out that my favourite artist would be going on tour and for every ticket that they sold they slapped a £6 service charge and a £3.25 charge for Standard Delivery (a normal white envelope with a standard franked postmark). You’d think that an eTicket would save you some money on this as you’re not paying for them to actually print the ticket and send it out to you but I still had to pay £2.95 to TicketMaster for the pleasure of using my electricity, ink and paper to print my own ticket.
I don’t honestly believe that all of this money goes towards the costs of sending out the tickets and the only reason for these kind of charges is GREED.

So what happens if you end up with a ticket that you can no longer use? You could sell it on eBay but how do you know that the person bidding on your ticket isn’t just a timewaster? You could sell it on GetMeIn which is ‘For The Fans’ and is backed by a ‘Fan Guard Guarantee’ but even then you can’t escape from TicketMaster’s greed because GetMeIn is a Ticketmaster company and if you manage to sell your ticket, they’ll sting you for more fees. That’s really encouraging people to list their tickets at a fair price isn’t it and the fan that has purchased your ticket will also have to give TicketMaster a fee.