Presale Week and Evaluation!

I survived presale week!  For me, it was an absolutely crazy one!  It is hard to imagine that just five day ago, no one knew where or when Duran Duran was going to tour outside of a couple random shows.  This week, we added 11 dates in the UK and a date in Germany to the previously known superbowl thing in Dallas, the Coachella festival in California and the iTunes festival in London.  In typical Duran fashion, these UK dates were put up early Tuesday morning with fan community presales beginning the next morning.  Gotta love the pressure of being forced to decide what shows to do in mere HOURS after an announcement.  There was LITTLE time to evaluate choices, discuss with friends, talk to work, anything…Now, this has been how it has been done in Duranland for so long that no one was really surprised and there were little complaints from my observations.  How sad is that?!  We are so used to being treated so poorly that we don’t even pay attention to the lack of consideration.  Clearly, in this case like so many before, the band’s management decided to announce the tour ONLY when they had to.  They put out the information only DAYS before the shows went on sale to the public.  Someone really should explain to me why they can’t give the information further in advance.  They obviously had this information before Tuesday morning.  Why wait?  I swear, sometimes, I feel like we are all being watched and they SO enjoy watching us all run around like crazy people trying to come up with a plan quickly!

As Rhonda mentioned earlier in the week, we decided to do Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and London with friends joining us for three out of the four after much discussion, evaluation, quick budgeting figuring and more.  In all seriousness, I think we all aged about 3 years in just Tuesday alone!  Much of that discussion always includes buying the tickets.  Who is going to buy?  What kind of tickets should we try for?  Should we go with DDM or whatever the hell it is calling itself today?  Should we wait for the regular sale?  I’ll be honest here in saying that I have done the DDM presales more often than not and have almost always been pleased by the seats I have received.  Typically, they have been better than the seats I got through regular sales on places like Ticketmaster.  I also have to confess that the presales have usually gone smoothly for me, with being able to purchase the tickets of my choice within minutes.  I figured that this tour would be no different.  Of course, this time we knew that some other company was taking care of the tickets, which meant changes.

This presale definitely was different than previous ones.  In some ways, it was absolutely better and in other ways, not so much.  As Rhonda mentioned yesterday, part of the changes involved the VIP packages so I won’t get into those.  Yet, despite the changes in packages, it was still having to click on the package of your choice for the city of your choice.  Now, this time, most of the shows went on sale at the exact same time.  I have to wonder if that is a good idea!  Is it really smart to have all of these Duranies trying to get tickets at the same time?!  Will the system be able to handle that?  Maybe it could for 9 or 11 shows this time around but will it be able to handle 25 shows in the US?  I shudder to think about what those presales might be like.  My assessment is that this is a mistake.  For one thing, it is very difficult for people who are buying for more than one show.  Usually, I’m the one to buy the concert tickets as Rhonda picks up the hotel rooms.  That wasn’t possible this time as both of us had to buy tickets at the same time in order to get the seats of our choice.  Ugh.  Then, there was the little glitch in their system….

My little group of four felt pretty confident going into Wednesday morning’s presale.  After all, we had a solid plan with different people buying for different shows and we are experienced Duranies.  We have all done this before.  Maybe we were too confident.  Maybe we couldn’t process the possibility that it wouldn’t go our way after having to make these decisions so damn quickly.  Perhaps, the fact that we had to buy tickets at 2 in the MORNING didn’t help.  It could have been a combination of all of the above or it could have been that their system sucks.  So, I’m supposed to be buying for Birmingham.  No problem.  My friend is buying for Nottingham at the same time.  Her order goes through right away.  Yes.  We are in business.  I’m not, though.  It wouldn’t accept my card.  I tried a different card.  No luck there.  I tried my friend’s card that just worked for the Nottingham order.  No luck.  Then, Rhonda tried and had the same problem.  Much cursing continued.  We tried for a half hour and somehow, we were able to purchase the tickets of our choice.  Of course, we weren’t out of the woods yet.  We had to buy for Liverpool and London.  Oh boy…

Liverpool went fairly smoothly.  London, on the other hand, did not.  We got seats but they were just okay.  Now, I will openly admit that we are spoiled Duranies when it comes to how far back is acceptable for Duran shows.  It does not matter how far back I am for other bands but it absolutely does matter for Duran.  Obviously, part of the reason I usually go with the fan community presale is that I usually get seats in the 6th to 11th row.  Anything less than that is painful.  (See what I mean?  Absolutely spoiled we are!)  So, Rhonda and I, in our infinite wisdom, decide to try for London seats through the regular sale in order to see if we could do better.  This meant, of course, that we were up AGAIN in the middle of the night to buy tickets.  Guess what?  We didn’t have any luck there either.  Great.  Joy.  What do we do?  Go for a different package on DDM.  Guess how that went?  Like it did the first time.  The stupid system wouldn’t take our order at first.  Then, it said that they were sold out and back to not taking our order.  Eventually, we got it to go through.  Ugh.  (By the way, if you are interested in buying our extra tickets for London, they are in Block 101, row T, seats 24 and 25.  Feel free to email us:  dailyduranie@gmail.com.)

Now, I’m utterly exhausted and part of me feels like I have already done the tour!  Would I use the fan community for the next show(s) I go to?  Unfortunately, the answer is going to be yes.  I hate the lack of time between the announcement and the presale.  I thought selling all of the shows at the same time was completely unfair to those of us wanting to buy more than one show.  I wouldn’t doubt that the system was overloaded, which caused the problems we had in buying our tickets.  I would suspect the US presales to be WAY worse.  That said, I did appreciate the fact that we now know exactly where we are sitting, which did not happen with the old system.  I also am completely thrilled with where I will be for these shows!!!  They weren’t cheap but I already know that this is a tour of a lifetime for me.  I have never traveled outside of the US for shows before.  I have never been able to.  I love the people I’m going with and cannot wait to meet people across the pond!  I believe that these new songs are going to be amazing live!  I look forward to seeing how fans there are the same/different than the fans here and so much more now that I survived presale hell 2011!

-A

2 thoughts on “Presale Week and Evaluation!”

  1. My advice to the US Duranies who are going to be trying to buy presale tickets:

    1. Make certain that you are VERY familiar with the artistarena.com website.

    2. Be sure to create your account BEFORE the presale starts. You won't have time to do it later, and make sure you're logged in before the sale begins.

    3. When you are frantically trying to locate the show of your choosing and the package you want to buy – take the second to make doubly sure you're clicking on the right link, or else you could end up with Platinum seats when you really want regular presale, or vice-versa.

    4. Be prepared with more than one credit card if possible. That way, you can just go back and try another card number.

    5. You only have 6 minutes to complete a transaction and they aren't kidding. If you're trying to buy gold or platinum package tickets and you don't know what t-shirt size to buy for yourself or the group you're going with, you'd better guess and guess quickly. Once they say that your session has timed out, you have to logout and start all over again to get it to work. Same thing could happen if you have trouble with your credit card…just saying.

    6. If you don't like the first pick of tickets they give you (keep in mind that in the experience I had – they aren't *always* selling the best seats first. It's random), you have to click “remove” (for EACH TICKET) from your shopping cart before you can go back and try for another “quick pick”. It's annoying and a time waster, but it's the way the site was working.

    7. Have plenty of wine with you. Both for celebrating after a successful purchase AND to calm you down if your experience is closer to what we had! (but in the end, we are thrilled with our tickets.)

    Good luck! – R

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