I am not a novice when it comes to buying tickets through Duran’s fan club. I have done it many, many, many times. In fact, when Rhonda and I are planning a tour, I’m usually the one to buy tickets and she deals with the hotels. It works out well. Going into the Chicago presale I was worried. I knew that the venue is very small (3600) and definitely one of the smallest on this tour. I also remembered trying to get tickets there in 2007 when Duran was playing at the Christmas show. I was not successful that day. I had to wonder if the venue just simply doesn’t give the fan club that many tickets to sell. As I got ready, I acknowledged the difference between Artist Arena and DDM of the past. Now, Artist Arena lists all of the shows in order of which they will be taking place whereas back in the day each show was separated. They don’t put the ones going on sale at the top so that they are easy to find. Nope, that would be too helpful or something. Chicago is towards the end of the tour so not only did I have to keep hitting refresh while waiting for the tickets to go on sale but I had to get to the second page. An additional step. Not nice. Of course, then, you have pick out your show from the list and the right kind of tickets (regular or VIP). Nothing is really separated so I always fear that I’m going to hit the wrong button and realize it too late. Luckily for me and my cousin-in-law who is going with me, I was successful with getting our tickets. Unfortunately, it seems like a ton of people weren’t. In fact, I was surprised at how many people didn’t get tickets. On top of that, it seemed like a lot of people didn’t get great seats. The best seats I have seen so far for VIP is 2nd row in the pit. I lucked out with 4th but a lot of VIPs are in the 5th or 6th row. Ouch. The best I have seen for the regular seats is 16th row, but most are a lot further back. This is definitely a change from how things used to be. It used to be that VIP meant you would be in rows 1-5. Then, there were tiers for regular seats with good regular seats in Tier 1 meant rows 6-15. This seems totally random now. That’s not cool. Of course, there is one good thing that people really like. We know exactly where we are sitting.
After the Chicago presale which lasted all of three minutes as it appeared to be sold out by 10:03, I got more coffee and tried to relax before the California shows went on sale. I decided to phone in some help, which, in this case, was my mother. I figured she could sit at one computer, refresh and get 2 tickets in the basket for one show while I finished the other one. She arrived at 11:30 and I tried to show her what it was going to be like. By 5 minutes to, we were both sitting at computers and ready to go. My mom, at that point, declared that this was horribly stressful!!! Tell me something I don’t know, Mom! She got anxious even though she isn’t going to any of the shows. Too funny! Once again, though, I cursed the idea that multiple shows would go on sale at the same time. Does that even make any sense? Do Duranies just go to one show?! Don’t some Duranies travel? In this case, it is even more dumb since they are close together, geographically. Frankly, they are hurting their business by doing it this way. It isn’t a way to encourage people to go to multiple shows and if they still do, many will have to find alternative means of buying tickets. Soon enough, though, the clock flipped to 12:00 and I was ready to buy. The Valley Center tickets I was buying for worked out easily and Rhonda has great seats! My mom, on the other hand, was struggling because there were multiple ticket prices to choose from. By the time I got over to the other computer and picked the best I could, the seats were bad. 🙁 We did the best we could. Not fun.
The rest of the afternoon was spent checking out the boards, twitter and facebook to hear about how other people did. A lot of people struggled and did not get what they wanted. Not good. It seems that many people received weird error messages or were told to click on some link while attempting to buy Chicago. WTH? Definitely not good, especially when the tickets went that fast. While I was having difficulty buying tickets for multiple shows, others were having problems with the two ticket limit. While I get that you don’t want to have people buy a whole bunch of tickets, 2 is pretty tight, especially for larger venues. That sucks for those people who want to go together but can’t now. Another thing that came up a few times was the prices. The Chicago tickets were exactly what I had expected based on the price listed on ticketmaster and the additional cost of VIP. Valley Center, on the other hand, seemed a lot more expensive than what ticketmaster plus VIP should have cost. I heard the same was true for Cleveland. That’s definitely not good. Other people commented that the ticket prices, overall, seemed high. I have to agree. I wonder what is up with that. The Montreal presale was taking place at the same time the Amex one was, according to some people. Hmm…
It seems that it was a standard presale in that there were some happy campers, like me, but many who weren’t. It definitely seems to me that there are many things that Artist Arena could do to make the experience better and easier for us. Last night, I checked to see how the presales were coming along. Did DDM sell anything out? If so, which ones? It appears that they have sold out both the regular tickets and the VIP tickets for the following shows: Everett, Washington, Saratoga, California, Atlanta, Georgia and Chicago, Illinois. Hmm…Saratoga and Atlanta were the only shows for a very long time. Is it possible that a lot of people decided to go to those shows because they were the only ones available? Makes sense to me. This leaves just Everett and Chicago. It seems to be that Chicago didn’t have many tickets available. I wonder if this is the same situation for Everett. Artist Arena did sell out some more regular tickets for the following shows: Portland, Vegas, Grand Prairie, Colorado, Philadelphia and Atlantic City. There are tickets still available for those shows, just not with DDM and Artist Arena. I have to admit that I’m a little surprised that there hasn’t been more sold out. I wonder why. Is it the bad economy? Is it that people are sick of DDM and their presales? I hope that the shows do end up selling well, no matter where or how the tickets get purchased.
For me, I’m thrilled to be going and do not regret my choice to go VIP. I don’t think now is not the time to put off a good concert experience or wait for them to come back. We have to enjoy them while we can. They won’t be around forever and seeing all of the postponed dates reminded me of that.