Tag Archives: Depeche Mode presales

Duran Does It Better!

Over the years, Rhonda and I have written many, many blogs covering Duran Duran presales, concert tickets and VIP packages.  In some (okay..maybe…many cases), these posts have been critical of some aspect of Duran Duran concert buying details.  Likewise, many fans have also expressed frustration over the process during the last ten years or so.  I remember a LOT of complaining (with good reason) about the use of Ticketmaster, for example.  Ticket prices have also been a big discussion over the years as have VIP packages and what they include.  Many Duranies express frustration that meet and greets are no longer a part of any VIP package.  Others wish that they got more for the money, in terms of either merchandise or parties or whatnot.

Usually, when the topic of fan clubs and presales happen in the world of social media, I hear fans discuss how this band or that band does it better because…These fans offer alternative methods to how Duran sells their concert tickets.  As time has gone by and ticket prices continued to increase, I had to wonder if these fans weren’t right.  Maybe Duran Duran needs to learn from other bands?!  Then, this week forced me to rethink this.

Rhonda blogged earlier this week about Depeche Mode’s method of presales where fans chose their city to buy tickets for and move up in line based on how many albums they purchase, how often they post on social media, etc.  She expressed extremely valid concerns about this system.  I agreed with many of her points but still planned on participating in the presale.  Depeche is one of my favorite bands and I always try to see them when I can.  That said, I don’t travel to see them so the idea of picking one city worked for me.  I did not do much else to improve my spot in line.  I purchased one album and that was it.  My schedule did not allow for more, even if I had wanted to do more.

Soon enough, the presale date rolled around and I found out that I was in the second group.  Okay.  I could live with that.  The presale time came around and I was prepared to buy ticket for a few friends and myself.  I asked for the 4 tickets and I got somewhere around the 20th row.  The ticket price?  With fees, they ran about $175.  Uh.  No thanks.  I do not mind spending money for concert tickets (that’s pretty obvious with Duran, right?).  I do have a problem of spending a lot of money for not great seats.  I thought I could do better.  Later in the day, when I had a bit more time, I decided to search on the map to see what was still available for the fan presale and for how much.

I’m posting the map here to explain what I discovered:

First, let me tell that I have seen Depeche Mode here (Chicago) many times.  Most recently, I had row M in section 104 back in 2013.  Those seats cost $119.  This time, I found that row M in section 103 was a VIP seat.  In fact, row MM in section 204 was also considered VIP.  How much are those VIP tickets and what do fans get for them?

***FRONT ROW PACKAGE*** 
– One (1) Front Row reserved ticket 
– Priority check-in and entrance 
– Pre-show hospitality with specially selected hot/cold appetizers, dessert, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks 
– Hospitality room featuring themed décor, photo backdrop and playing your favorite Depeche Mode music 
– Crowd-free merchandise shopping (where available) 
– Merchandise item designed and created exclusively for package purchasers 
– Collectible laminate to remember your evening 
– Onsite check-in staff 

***HOSPITALITY PACKAGE*** 
– One (1) Premium reserved ticket 
– Priority check-in and entrance 
– Pre-show hospitality with specially selected hot/cold appetizers, dessert, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks 
– Hospitality room featuring themed décor, photo backdrop and playing your favorite Depeche Mode music 
– Crowd-free merchandise shopping (where available) 
– Merchandise item designed and created exclusively for package purchasers 
– Collectible laminate to remember your evening 
– Onsite check-in staff 

***GOLD HOT SEAT PACKAGE*** 
– One (1) Premium reserved ticket 
– Merchandise item designed and created exclusively for package purchasers 
– Collectible laminate to remember your evening 

***SILVER HOT SEAT PACKAGE*** 
– One (1) premium Price Level 2 reserved ticket 
– Merchandise item designed and created exclusively for package purchasers 
– Collectible laminate to remember your evening

Right away, I noticed that none of these VIP packages include meet and greets.  I also realized that most of them do not describe what a premium seat means.  I think back to Duran’s VIP packages during this Paper Gods tour and I know that Ultimate had front row.  Gold packages included seats in rows 2 through 6.  DDHQ made it clear where the seats could be, at least in terms of rows.  Depeche doesn’t give any information.  Now, how much are these?  Some of the seats I found were:  Section 103 Row M for $585, Section 102 Row A for $950, Section 204 Row MM for $300.  Wow.  Yesterday, I saw prices for the Hollywood Bowl.  Prices for the front sections there ranged from $865 to $1495 through Ticketmaster.  These are not prices through a ticket broker.

Now, I’m sure that some of you are saying that Duran tickets are expensive.  Sure, they are.  The tickets for next weekend, for example, cost about $350 for second row center with some merchandise.  The Hollywood Bowl show cost $445 for us in October of 2015.  This price included second row center seats, merchandise and a party.  Depeche is clearly charging twice that for their packages there.

After seeing all of this, I have to admit that I’m glad that *my* favorite band is not Depeche Mode.  I couldn’t afford to go to many shows, especially VIP, that’s for sure.  The presale process would already limit where to get tickets and the price guarantees that it is just one city.  Perhaps, their team assumes that fans are only going to one show so maybe they will go all out for that one concert, in terms of tickets.  I don’t know.

Later this morning, I will attempt again to get tickets through the public sale.  I will not be buying VIP tickets, but I will try to get the best tickets I can for a price I can feel comfortable with.  Thankfully, I don’t feel the need to see Depeche up close.  This little experience taught me that Duran does the whole concert ticket thing pretty well, in comparison.  Yep, I’ve said it before and I’ll say.  Duran does it better.

-A

Another Way to Presale

Believe it or not, I try to pay attention to a few other bands/artists out there besides Duran Duran.  While nothing compares to my love and dedication to Duran, I am a fan of other bands.  I just don’t spend anywhere near the same amount of time and money on them.  My fan status is much more casual fan as opposed to the intense fandom of Duran.  One of those other bands that I’m a fan of is Depeche Mode.  It has always ranked within my top five bands.  I own every album of theirs and do try to see them live when I can.  Right now, Depeche is preparing for a flurry of activity.

Depeche’s latest album, Spirit, is due out on March 17th but they have already released a single.  “Where’s the Revolution?” came out this winter and is definitely getting fans’ attention.  If that was not enough, the band has a tour planned for this summer in Europe and more dates coming up in the U.S.

Now, we all know how Duran typically does their pre-sales.  A show is announced on the band’s social media and official website.  That announcement includes information about how much the tickets are, what kind of VIP packages are available and a date and time for the upcoming pre-sale.  Usually, that pre-sale takes place within a couple of days.  At the time of the sale, fans usually have a code that they use to buy tickets.  From there, it is a first come, first serve system.  All fans who are part of the fan club have an equal chance of getting whatever tickets the fan club had, theoretically.

Over the history of this blog, the topic of pre-sales has come up often.  Fans, including ourselves, have, at times, complained and within reason.  Some of us didn’t and don’t like the use of Ticketmaster.  What is or is not included in VIP packages has often been discussed along with the value of the concert tickets, in general.  Many have expressed frustration over what tickets are even available to fans through these pre-sales.  I could go on but you get the drift.  To summarize, many Duranies are not certain about how Duran chooses to run their pre-sales.  Thus, I’m always looking for how other bands do it to see if there really is an alternative.

This week, I learned about how Depeche Mode is going to run their pre-sales.  According to the article on diffuser.fm, this is their plan:

In order to head off scalpers at the pass, they’ve opened what they’re referring to as a “digital waiting room” where fans can get first dibs on tickets.

“Depeche Mode are coming back to North America,” the band writes. “And this time, they’re doing something different. Before scalpers and bots, true fans would line up at the box office for days to get tickets. This is the same thing, but online. Claim your spot in line by signing up below, and the higher your spot, the better your access to tickets during the fan pre-sale. End up at the very front of the line for your city and you’ll be invited to meet the band before the show.”

When I learned about this, I followed the directions to sign up.  Interestingly enough, the site asked me to confirm the location of the show I would go to.  Their website goes on to say:  “When we announce the tour dates, we’ll send you your exact spot in line for the city closest to your preferred location. Your spot will determine when you will get access to the fan ticket presale, but it isn’t final until signups end. By purchasing the new album, sharing on social media and generating sign-ups through your link, you can improve your spot.”  Clearly then, you can move up in line based on what you do to help promote the new album and tour.  Fascinating.

Apparently then, I will receive a code, which will give me access to the fan presale but the time that the code will become valid will be decided by my virtual place in line.   From what I read, the line stops changing 48 hours before the pre-sale starts.

I find this system really interesting.  It seems to me that they are hoping that by using this method, they will get more people to buy the new album and promote the album and tour.  As someone who writes a blog each and every day about a band, I love the idea of that work being recognized and rewarded with better concert tickets.  I wonder, though, if this system would even recognize something like a fan blog.  Will the system only acknowledge certain fan actions and behaviors that can be easily “read” and calculated by technology?

Another element of this pre-sale system that I question is the idea of having to give a location.  For me, this works for Depeche Mode.  I won’t travel to see them.  Thus, if I go to a Depeche concert, it is likely to be in Chicago or Minneapolis.  If this was for Duran Duran, though, I would travel, if dates work out better, but the chosen location has to be determined immediately to get in line.  Also, what happens if fans want to go to more than one show? Do they rely on other friends put other locations down?  Does this just end up encouraging going to only one show?

All in all, I find some of this idea fascinating and potentially positive for fans.  On the other hand, it limits fans to one city without knowing any of the dates.  It will be interesting to see how this works in real time.  What do the rest of you think?

-A