Category Archives: Artist Arena

Blame the Machines

Remember the good ole days when DDM would have presales and tickets for one city would go on sale at like 10am and another city would go on sale at like noon?? You’d stress to the point of nausea for one show, secure the tickets, breathe a huge sigh of relief, want to start drinking but realize it’s not even noon where you are yet, then post your excitement to the message boards and realize you’ve got another show to do.  Then the nausea would kick in again, you’d make the sale and this time, you’d definitely start drinking?! Yeah, me too and yet typically I wasn’t even the one buying the tickets!!

Apparently though, there aren’t a lot of people who buy more tickets to more than one show, or at least one city, that have presales on the same day, because if there are – I certainly am not hearing the outcries of injustice.  For what I think is either the second or third time now, Amanda and I are facing this issue next week.  Presales for both the Atlanta and Portsmouth shows begin next Wednesday at 9am *my* time.  (That would be noon for you east coasters out there)  Sure, one of us could buy tickets to one show and one could do the other.  Definitely and if we were both members, that would be fine.  So, that’s one reason to stay a DDM member, and I accept that responsibility. I’m not really complaining about that because it was my choice to end my membership and I accept those consequences.

I do still have a point coming here though, so read on. What about the folks who are DDM members and want tickets to more than one show that have presales happening at the same time?  For example, let’s pretend that Amanda is going to these shows alone. She wants to buy a ticket to both Atlanta and Portsmouth.  She wants good seats, and to her, good seats mean near the front.  I recognize “good” means different things to different people and that there are some amongst you that want the best sound possible.  It’s not necessary for you to see up Simon LeBon’s nose in order to have a great show experience, and hey – that’s cool by me.  In this case though, Amanda wants near or at the front – although I’m pretty sure it’s not up Simon’s nose she wants to see. (No offense to Simon of course)  Due to the fact both shows go on sale at the same time, and to the best of our knowledge at this moment there is no way to put a seat in her shopping basket for one show, then go and get another seat for a different show and add that to her basket and then checkout – she’s got to do two separate transactions.  That takes valuable time.  This happened to us last year in fact and it made a ginormous difference in where our seats were located.  The first show had great seats, the second show we ended up with seats about 30 rows back and I ended up selling them.  That’s right, I sold them.  The fact is, the system is stupid.  Artist Arena isn’t a tiny business ran by yet another hamster in a dark basement in the worst part of Gotham. It’s a company that does ticketing for more than one band out there, yet the antiquated ticketing engine is enough to make me slam my head into the wall repeatedly, hoping for a good blackout as a source of relief from the madness.

To put it simply: if one is going to create a ticketing agency so that bands can offer tickets “directly” to their fans…one should probably invest in a proper shopping cart engine so that multiple shows can be purchased in one transaction.  Furthermore, if such an engine is already truly in place, one should make certain that the fans they are taking money from are well-aware of how to properly utilize said shopping cart…or else space each and every presale apart so that this problem simply cannot happen.  I daresay that Artist Arena is not only “open for business” during the hours of noon to 3pm EDT, so it is reasonable to assume that presales could be spaced out appropriately.  Again, this comes down to simple, proper customer service.  You’ve got several thousand fans willing and ready to plop down decent sums of money to see more than one show.  Why not make sure those fans are properly taken care of?  Service=Loyalty=Sales.


In fairness, since writing this blog I’ve learned that there is now an option in the Artist Arena shopping cart to “add more”.  I don’t know if this option has always been there (I know that we never saw it when we were getting tickets, but that doesn’t we couldn’t have missed it while in our seconds of “presale anxiety”.), but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to set the record straight.  Our blog isn’t about having an ax to grind, and the last thing I want to do is create more trouble in the world with my words. While I still feel that it would far easier for presales to be spaced out, having the ability to buy tickets for more than one show at a time is a step in the right direction.

 I myself haven’t yet tried the “add more” function – but I’ve been told that it sometimes does not work correctly.  I suppose that I’ll find out for myself next week!  I hope this helps other gluttonous fans out there like myself that need tickets for more than one show at a time!  

No Early Entry GA Ever???

Yesterday, the Daily Duranie heard from a couple of different people that, on this summer US tour, there will no early entry included with ANY VIP package. We don’t know that this is completely true but the people we heard from had apparently contacted Artist Arena and received that information. That said, we don’t exactly what was asked and what exactly the response was. We did not see the exchange of emails. Anyway, we tweeted about this yesterday and there was quite the response on twitter. In fact, the reaction ranged from annoyed to outraged. I didn’t see one tweet that was excited about this notion. The other day, though, I did see some people think it was a good idea. After all, shouldn’t all fans have a chance to get to the front and not just the ones that have more money that they can spend on tickets as long as they are waiting in line to be in the front. While that is a valid point, people’s negative reactions to this news were more focused on why should people VIP then and what is the point of the fan club AT ALL.

It appears that there are going to be some general admission shows during this US tour. Clearly, Biloxi is one of them that has at least a section of general admission. I know that the Memphis show and the Chicago show also have sections with general admission. Thus, this issue will keep coming up over and over again. Here is the thing: Many Duranies are willing and able to pay the money to be up front. For a general admission show, the way that people have been able to be up front is by having early access or to be able to enter before the rest of the crowd. Now, if they have no longer have this option, why would people be willing to pay for VIP? As Rhonda mentioned the other day, VIP or the “enhanced merchandise bundle” is still available. This means that for VIP price, all you get is stuff. Merchandise. Is this merch worth the price? Obviously, everyone has to decide this for themselves. Interestingly enough, I have heard complaints about what is offered as well. I have heard people complaining about how the t-shirts don’t fit well, the tote bags are poor quality, and that the package includes items that are useless like the laminate. Perhaps, then, for some fans, it is worth it. For others, it might be worth it if the bundle was changed, updated. I do wonder how they decide what should be included in these packages. Why would they think that people want laminates? Back in 2005-2007, the laminates, at least, indicated what shows you VIPed at. Not anymore. Now, they just list the year. Who cares? The t-shirt I got for VIPing last year had VIP 2011 on the back. Again, it only mentioned the year. It did not even include the name of the tour and the locations. Lame. Perhaps, DDM, Artist Arena and DDHQ would benefit from taking a survey about this merch bundle. It seems, based on people’s reactions yesterday, that most people wouldn’t VIP for just the merch. The stuff simply isn’t good enough for what it costs. Of course, many fans want a step beyond that. Many began to wonder why they bother to be members of DDM at all.

Why do/did people join DuranDuranMusic? It obviously costs money. What do people think they get or should get with their membership? They think, and rightly so, that they should get something above and beyond the rest of the general public. Most Duranies I have heard from say that they joined the fan club to get information and for tickets. Yes, obviously, DDM offers a couple of other things like Katy Kafes, contests, and a message board but I don’t ever hear those referred to as a reason to join or a reason to stay. Now, we have talked frequently about information or, more often, the lack of information from DDM. Yet, some people continue to stay. I have. Is it because of those message boards? No way. It is truly because of the tickets. I like to go to Duran shows. I am willing to travel and I’m willing to pay for a membership that guarantees tickets to shows I want to go to. I am often willing and able to pay money, serious money for me, to not only have tickets but GOOD tickets. I’m probably not the only one, in the same spot. If the membership lacks the ability to buy these GOOD seats or access to good seats, why should I continue to pay my money? Wouldn’t I be better off to buy through public sales or through sites like ebay or stub hub? Based on yesterday’s response on twitter, I know that I’m not the only one thinking this.

The bigger issue, beyond money, is customer service, is respect, is being treated well. I bet that most of us thought, believed, expected to be treated special when we joined. To me, this is the opposite. We are being treated like naive people who will just buy whatever because it has the Duran Duran fan club attached to it. I hate to thell them that I am not one of those fans. I expect more and better and I doubt I’m the only one. Will I continue to be a member? I honestly don’t know. I’m going to be watching the rest of the presales to see what is offered, GA or not. If it is a show that I plan to go to and it is GA, I can definitely say that there is NO way that I would pay for VIP without early access. They would have to offer something more than the merch bundle for me to even consider it. Maybe then, I would start to feel respected again. I think I have given up hope of feeling special, though, which is the saddest thing of all.


The air of desperation

So the update on the presale is this: people who jumped at tickets got them, and currently they are showing the presale as completely sold out on DDM (Artist Arena).

Is that really a surprise to anyone though?  I think the bigger surprise would have been for the presale to have been dead as far as actual sales go.  That would have shocked the pants off of me this morning!  To be fair, until that day comes, and presales have no activity, the “Duran Duran Machine” will never react to our complaints, concerns or suggestions.  It’s truly a shame that a system which is so incredibly flawed and stupid will remain in place purely because of the stench of desperation that clouds the Duranie airspace.  Naturally this is a case of demand and supply.  Supply is low, demand is high, and customer service is at an all-time low.

Truly, we have no one but ourselves to thank for this.  As long as we keep buying, things will never change…and most likely, they will get worse.  Not long ago I wondered how the lack of information flow could get worse. Well, finding out the ticket prices, what they included and STILL not being sure where tickets would be located (meaning price bracket to seat location) until the moment of sale seems fairly worse.  Not knowing if more shows will be added, how long they are touring, or where they’ll be going also seems worse.  So, I won’t even venture to guess how it could get worse from this point.  I don’t want to give anyone any ideas!!

Oh, make no mistake – Amanda and I don’t blame anyone for buying tickets.  That isn’t the point, and we don’t judge anyone but ourselves here.  That air of desperation?  It’s as thick here in my house as it is in Wisconsin, Washington, or even North Carolina.  The trouble is that it doesn’t smell nearly as badly once you’ve got second or third row tickets in your hot little hand, does it? It’s the curse of being a Duranie.  I just have to point out that if we don’t like the system the way it is – we’re doing no one, not ourselves, not anyone, a favor by continuing to buy. Until that changes – we can expect for presales to stay exactly as they are.  It’s shame, but it’s reality.