My First Signing

It was a year ago that I attended my first album signing in HMV Oxford Street but unlike a lot of fans who meet their favourite celebrity, mine aren’t exactly happy memories.
I think I ought to make it clear from the start that Meat Loaf himself IS NOT TO BLAME. He was as pleasant as I’ve always known him to be. This issue is a combination between my own nerves and some power-mad security guards.

I was a little bit nervous on my way up to London but most of that was down to my worries over finding my way around on the Underground. I had decided to visit a friend who worked in London before I made my way across to HMV. Although I got lost, I was fine and saw my friend for a quick chat before heading back to HMV. At the store, I met another fan who I had arranged to sell wristbands and jewellery items for charity. I’m glad I had arranged to do this because it got me talking to other fans and also distracted me from my own nerves.
We did well selling the charity items but eventually it was time for Meat Loaf to make his appearance. He was wearing a beautiful jacket with sparkly embroidered flowers on the sleeves and I don’t know what it was about seeing him again, in person, that all of a sudden, made those nerves kick in.
I’m not the kind of fan who would ever cause trouble or behave inappropriately and the fans I met at this event were much the same but yet the security team decided to treat us with the same heavy hand as they’d treat the overexcited teenage fans of Justin Bieber.
We had already been told before the event that due to time constraints, only one item would be signed and that’s fair enough and I understand that they might need to remind some people of this. I had a card for Meat and this was in my hand as I approached him, they reminded me very abruptly of the one item rule and when I said that it was a card they snatched this off of me and gave it to one of the assistants. Meanwhile they took the item I had brought with me to have signed and passed it along to Meat. He looked up at me, down at the artwork and back up at me again before saying ‘Thank You’ in a kindly voice. I had wanted to thank him for the honour of having the artwork included in the album but I just couldn’t get the words out. I couldn’t even look him in the eye, I was just staring at the sparkles on his jacket as if they were hypnotising me.
Another security guard practically took the artwork out of Meat’s hands as soon as he had signed his name and gave it back to me, telling me to leave the stage. That was it, my moment with my favourite singer was over.

On the train home all the thoughts were buzzing around in my mind about how I had not made the most of the opportunity and reading the experiences of other fans who’d attended made it harder to accept. I don’t begrudge them their experiences as they were the ones who had made the most of it but it made me more angry with who I was.
Of course going over this and dwelling on it won’t change what happened, it was what it was. A fellow Meat Loaf fan told me today, nerves are a good thing providing you don’t let them turn into fear. She had a very good point and it’s a good way of looking at things for the future.

I’m glad I’m not a Beyonce fan

At times like this I’m glad I’m not a fan of certain artists because it’s near-on impossible to get tickets to see their shows without going on to GetMeIn, SeatWave or eBay.
Beyonce’s tickets went on general sale  the other day and I’ve heard that within an hour they were sold out and there were over 1000 listings on eBay. You can’t be telling me that all these people bought these tickets and within an hour they realised they weren’t going to be able to go? I think people knew that this event would be a popular one so they decided to cash in on it by buying the tickets solely to resell. It’s not just the bigger sellers on eBay doing this, I’ve noticed others who probably wouldn’t do this sort of thing trying to cash in too. The more people who do this means that there are less tickets available for the genuine fans who just want to go and see her who would now be looking at spending £100′s to buy one of these tickets on eBay. Some might say that genuine fans would do anything to be there but sometimes they have no choice, they simply can’t afford to pay those prices.

Although it happens with a lot of artists, it seems to happen on a larger scale with some shows and I think that the ticketing industry needs to do moore to prevent this kind of thing happening. I don’t think that reselling should be banned completely because sometimes you genuinely can’t go to a concert but perhaps the ticketing sites themselves should have a returns system and the secondary sites should be stopped, either that or there should be a maximum amount you can charge over the face value of a ticket.

I’ve seen a couple of people suggest that pre-sales should be more limited and perhaps that’s part of the problem. These people are buying on the pre-sales to resell and I saw it myself with the Meat Loaf tickets. Because there had already been an O2 presale (that a friend helped me get my London ticket through) and the LiveNation pre-sale, there was less available on the general sale. Because I could only manage to get online just an hour and a half into the LiveNation pre-sale, it meant that all the better seats had sold and sure enough, quite a few of them were on the STA’s. Some might say I should be grateful that I’ve managed to get tickets in the first place but that is not necessarily the issue.

A reply from LiveNation

I actually wrote to Livenation the other day asking them why there are so few dates in the south of the UK on an upcoming tour. I didn’t actualy think I’d get a response from them but I heard from them yesterday.
They told me that locations played on tour depend on a number of factors and that includes the availability of the artist and the availability of the venue. This was pretty much the response I was expecting although it’s a pretty lame excuse because they can’t honestly expect me to believe that there are no arenas in the south of the UK that are available between those few weeks in April. In fact I KNOW that’s a lie because I looked at the calendar for some of the venues I know of and they don’t have shows scheduled for every evening within those few weeks. What Livenation really meant was that there is no availability at the arenas that THEY would consider using.

They also told me that they look at the attendance of shows and the distance travelled when deciding on where an artist should play. Therefore by buying tickets to these northern places, I’ve actually shown them that some people will travel regardless and really not helping to convince them that they should have scheduled more dates in the south.

I mentioned this on my Facebook and was pretty much told that the only one who would lose out by my boycotting of northern shows would be me. After all, what difference does one measly fan make to a big company like Livenation?

Because I mentioned that I was going to six shows on this particular tour they did thank me for being such a dedicated fan? Yeah right, they’re thanking me for giving them a fair sum of my hard earned cash. What do they care about the kind of fan that I actually am?

Ticket Update

I eventually managed to sell my ticket for the Sheffield concert although not on eBay or the likes of GetMeIn. The only reason I managed to sell it was because I made a post on Facebook asking how hard it was to sell. I sold it to another fan who had helped me get my London ticket, who I’ve met at an earlier concert and at a signing so I know it’s going to someone who will appreciate it.

I found out about where my Nottingham seat was located and let’s just say that I’m a little bit disappointed with it. I’m on the outside edge of the second block back which isn’t great. I kind of regret not looking sooner at alternative tickets really because now I think I might end up stuck with the one I have.

I don’t think I’m a very lucky person when it comes to getting tickets.

Was it the right decision?

It was a couple of weeks ago that I managed to get a better ticket for Meat Loaf’s Sheffield concert but I’m beginning to wonder if I made the right decision?
Whilst it’s always great to be closer to the stage, I’ve now got the additional worry of selling my spare ticket and that is not proving to be easy.
I’m hardly asking an extortionate amont of money and on eBay and the fanclub I’ve actually listed it at LESS than face value as it’s better to get £54 for it and lose £10 rather than lose £64 because I’ve priced it too high but other than a timewaster, I’ve had no luck in shifting it. It’s in a front centre block, just 22 rows from the stage so you’d think it would sell but I think that because it’s a single ticket and it’s for Sheffield rather than London, Manchester or Cardiff, it’s harder to sell.
The experience has put me off of looking for a better Nottingham ticket even though I’m in Block FBA because I don’t want the thought that I might have thrown another £60 down the drain.

Ticket Resellers

I’ve read a lot lately about Secondary Ticket Sites lately, you know the ones. They claim to be ‘For The Fans’ when in reality they’re just as much for the touts as they are for the fans.
I looked at TicketMaster’s GetMeIn website the day LiveNation launched their presale for tickets to see Meat Loaf on his ‘Last at Bat’ tour and there were already countless listings for tickets at well above face value. Now I can’t believe that there’d be that many real fans who genuinely bought tickets and discovered they couldn’t go that soon.
Whilst I know that there will always be people who buy to resell, I think there is more that could be done to prevent fans being ripped off.

The other thing that seems to have been a more recent addition to TicketMaster is the Platinum Tickets. These tickets are priced at about £375 each and all you get for stumping up that kind of cash is a seat which is not even located in the front row. In Meat Loaf’s case, this ticket is MORE EXPENSIVE than his Meet and Greet package. For £75 less you will have a good seat, a selection of merchandise and a meeting with the man himself. I know what I’d be doing if I had £300 to spare.

Upcoming Concerts

I’m quite glad I didn’t go mad and buy the mac computer because it has meant that I’ve been able to get to several Meat Loaf concerts in April and as it’s suppsed to be his last big tour of the UK, there was no other option BUT to make the most of it.

Ideally I’d have liked to have had the onsale date off work so I could take time to look around the various ticket sites to get the best seats but there wasn’t much notice to be able to do that so I had to do what I could in my break at work. I’ve never been more thankful to have an iPad because that would have meant carrying my laptop on the train which would have made things more difficult.

I already knew I had my o2 ticket as a friend had got that for me on the presale but now it was down to me. Rather than risk a worse ticket, I took what was given to me and I figured that I could have a look to see if I could get anything closer nearer the time. So far I’ve not done too badly and have managed to better two of the shows.

So this is what I ended up with:

London 02 – Block A2, Row L
Birmingham LG Arena – Block B, Row A (Meet and Greet Package)
Nottingham Capital FM Arena – Block FBA, Row L
Manchester MEN Arena – Block D, Row B
Manchester MEN Arena – Block F, Row M (SOLD)
Sheffield Motorpoint Arena – Block C, Row 7
Sheffield Motorpoint Arena – Block B, Row 22 (SOLD)
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena – Block 2, Row 1 (Meet and Greet Package)

I might also have a Block C, Row 5 ticket for Sheffield but I’m not going to sell my Row 7 Seat until I have the ticket in hand.