My Experience of General Admission

This weekend I had my first experience of a General Admission standing show which I had up until recentely refused to do but given the fact that this may have been my last chance to see my favourite singer in concert in this country, how could I say no.

The idea with General Admission is that there is no reservable seating so it’s a case of First-Come-First-Served to get the best spots for the show and because of that, we pretty much went to the stage area as soon as we arrived. My friends and I had purchased Golden Circle tickets so that gave us an additional advantage and thankfully we arrived early enough to secure a space at the very front which would mean a great view of the show. The downside of this is that once you’ve got your space, you don’t really want to give it up but thankfully the other fans at the barrier were friendly and we held each others spaces if needed. It seeemed strange waiting in the rain for a concert but it didn’t seem to drag as much as I thought it would. About an hour before the concert the Golden Circle started to fill up and it was at that point that I realised that I was pretty much stuck where I was unless I wanted to end up at the back of this area. There wasn’t the pushing and shoving that I imagined through the concert although you definately have less personal space than you would at a seated show and that made it more difficult to bend down to pick up the camera batteries from my bag when they ran out during the show. The only occasion when there was any pushing was after the show finished and people were starting to file out of the Golden Circle Area. A rather rude individual decided to push his way to the front in the hope of getting a guitar pick and shoved me out of the way but ended up being the recipient of a rather sharp elbow in the ribs in return. He didn’t get a guitar pick either!

Would I do a General Admission show again? I’d still avoid it if I could and there’s probably only one artist that I’d be willing to do it for and at the moment it’s unlikely that I will ever get the chance to see him again.

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.

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.

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.

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.