Tag Archives: Duran Duran pre-sales

You Coming Round Now?

So, I’m not going to lie.  It has been a couple of days since the presales for Duran Duran’s 2016 North America tour and I’m still reeling.  As you know from Rhonda’s blogs earlier this week, things did not go as planned for many of us.  We hoped for Toronto tickets, for example, and came up empty.  I am not one to give up so I’ll keep checking for decent tickets.  We also know that we have more to look forward to, in terms of presales once we have the Chicago information.  I openly admit that this presale was the least fun for me and I have done many.  I didn’t like not feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing or that I was doing something wrong.  It felt icky.  Negative.  I don’t want to go into 2016 with less than positive thoughts surrounding this tour…so let’s look at the bright side!

First, Duran Duran gave me a tour during the summer!!!!  Yes, they have toured in the summer before but this is the best yet.  In 2012, they did dates in August.  That worked well for me, for the most part, but I started the school year behind.  I don’t like that.  Even though, my students don’t arrive until September 1st, I’m usually back at it, getting ready and organized by mid-August so dates around then are tough for me.  This time, they are coming to the States in July.  I’m open the entire month.  I could literally go to every show (in terms of work, anyway!  Money is a different deal!  Ugh.)  I could pick and choose the shows not based on when I could squeeze the most in but based on what makes the most sense and based on where I WANT to go.  At first, this freedom was almost overwhelming.  I’m really grateful that I won’t have to worry about squeezing in shows and being super exhausted when I return to work.  No, this time, I get to go and just enjoy!!

Speaking of enjoyment, another aspect of this tour that I’m going to just love is the fact that Rhonda and I won’t have to run from show to show.  We will get to sit back and enjoy a city for a day or two before moving on.  It already feels less stressful!!  In October, we would go to show, then immediately start driving to the next one.  It was super exhausting and we couldn’t have as much fun as we would have liked.  No, this time, we get to go to a show, stay overnight in that city, have fun and travel the next day or the day after that.  It is perfect!  We will have FAR more energy and will be able to enjoy ourselves so much more!  The west coast dates that we are hoping to do aren’t as spread out as the Midwest dates we hope to do but they are still WAY better than what we had in October.  No, I have no complaints that way at all.  I will praise how spread out the dates are, for sure!!

Another aspect of this upcoming tour that I’m especially excited about is that Rhonda and I will get to spend a LOT of time together, in the same place, during July.  During most years, we are able to get together about 2-4 times a year for long weekends, on average.  Sometimes, we are together for up to a week and other times, we are together for just a couple of days.  This time, though, we will be together for what will probably add up to almost 2 weeks during that month.  As we reminded each other, the best part of touring is being together!  We will get to see new places and stop at some of our favorite on the road locations!  Our touring traditions will be followed, not once but twice during the month!  Frankly, the world should probably be afraid as we have come up with some crazy ideas on tour like writing a book about fandom or doing a fan convention!! Who knows what we will come up with this time around!!?!?!

One thing that I know that many people are wondering about is meet ups!  Will we have any?  Where will they be?  Ideally, we would LOVE to hold meet ups before every single show.  Obviously, we can’t be at every single show.  (Someone got a winning lottery ticket that you wanna give us?!)  That said, I would love to do one for every single show that we are attending.  Unfortunately, I don’t know that we can.  When we set up meet ups, we always want to do them the right way and we have some great features that we were hoping to include this time around, but many of those ideas will cost us money. Therefore, I suspect that we might be able to do afford just one or two meet ups this time around, if we want to do them well.  I’m bummed about it because we know that we enjoy them.  We like meeting other people going to the show.  It is always a good time to hear people’s fan stories and to get people even MORE excited for a show.  This excitement always seems to make a more energetic and fun show for the people who go to the shows, which feeds the band when they are on stage.  It is a win win!  At least, this is the goal of the meet ups!  I’m sad that it seems like we won’t be able to do as many this time around, but I promise the one(s) we are able to do, we will plan something extra special!!!  As far as when and where they will be, just watch this space!

I guess that is really the point of this blog post.  It is to remind MYSELF to not focus on the less-than-desireable presales or the limits to doing more meet ups but appreciating that we get any tour at all and that we there are so many aspects of this tour that will work so well.  I have to and want to focus on that.  We will make this tour the best it can be!!!

-A

The Ticketmaster Debacle

I’ve been trying to sort out yesterday in my head.  Let me just put it out there: I’m still trying to figure out what shows we bought tickets for and where we’re sitting.  This isn’t because we’re doing that many shows, it’s because in hindsight – it all feels like a blur. Or maybe it’s more like it feels as though I was hit by a semi-truck (think “lorry” if you’re in the UK) and I’m laying on the highway in a heap as the traffic continues to buzz by, not even noticing that I’m there.

Yeah, that’s about the size of it.

I want to acknowledge a few things:

  1. There were people who had fantastic buying experiences. These people, by and large, were also folks who bought either “Ultimate” or “Gold” level VIP packages. I didn’t see any complaints from anyone who received a front row seat off the bat, and I didn’t really see many complaints from people who wanted gold unless there just weren’t those tickets left.
  2. Ticket buying has very little to do with the band.  The band plays the shows. They deliver on their end.  There is a business side to all of this though, and we must accept and acknowledge that the band has the right (and responsibility) to be in business and make money.
  3. DDHQ, on the other hand, is in fact that business side. Badmouthing DDHQ does very little to solve problems or to draw attention to issues fans had with pre-sales, so we’re just not. I respect that I cannot do their job(s), and I have no idea what it is like to manage a band. Period.
  4. Ticketmaster, however, IS the problem.

For quite a while yesterday morning, I really considered my issues with the pre-sales to be user-error. Maybe I didn’t click fast enough? Maybe I paused a bit too long before deciding to hit “bronze”? Perhaps I was just ticked-off about the price of tickets being so much more expensive than the last tour? Maybe all of the above?? I was, and am, willing to accept that at least part of it was me. I’ve had good luck with tours recently. I have had great seats. That luck can’t last forever. But then I started reading about the experiences of others and realized that some of the same crazy things that happened to me happened to other people. That’s just weird.

What were some of these crazy things? (and I am only listing things that I’ve seen mentioned in multiple places by multiple people)

  • “CAPTCHA” codes not working:  entering the code only to be told it’s not valid and having to do it again and again, or needing to close the window and start all over again, resulting in losing time.
  • No need to first go into DDM using your own user name and password before getting to the tour page, clicking on the gig of your choice and then being transferred over to Ticketmaster: Ultimately what I’m saying is that there was no firewall, so basically as long as one had the password that was sent in the email to fans announcing the pre-sale, you were able to participate in the pre-sale. Part of the reason (most of the reason?) we all join DDM to begin with is so that we have first access to those pre-sale tickets. I cannot tell you how many people have sent messages and told me on Facebook and Twitter that they won’t rejoin DDM next year because it doesn’t seem to help them.
  • Tickets in the process of being paid for disappearing out of carts: error messages pop-up on the screen saying something like “oops, your tickets are no longer available”.  When this happened to me, I thought it was because I had inadvertently taken too long, but then I glanced at the timer – and I had 7 minutes left to complete the transaction I was making for 2 Gold level VIP tickets. Naturally when I went back to get another pair – there were none available. Can’t cry over spilt milk, unless of course there are 50 other cases of this happening to other people – which there were. That’s just wrong.
  • Having to enter the DDM pre-sale password over and over and over again.  Isn’t once really enough??
  • For more than one venue, gold-level tickets were coming up in odd places, like several rows in back of that 6th row where Gold should end. I have been told that in one of the venues – Mandalay Bay in Vegas – where this happened, it’s because the venue’s row numbering “system” skips rows. In other places though, because it happened to other people in other places as well, as I’ve seen on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Lastly, and perhaps the most importantly: when (if) the MAP system comes up (where you can see for yourself what seats are available and choose them yourself), seats are coming up as “available” that have already been purchased. Unfortunately, when this issue was presented to Ticketmaster – they simply said it was “impossible”.  Except that it’s not because multiple people had it happen this morning before the option to use the map system stopped coming up and all you could do was click on “find my seats.” I guess we’ll all see for certain when we get to the shows and someone else has the same (valid) ticket to sit in the same seat as a Duranie, won’t we?

Those are just a few of the issues I saw repeatedly from fans…and comments continue to be posted to our Facebook page even today.  As I’ve said before, I recognize and respect the right of the band to make business decisions that fans don’t necessarily enjoy or understand. It happens and it continues to be a balancing act. We as consumers also “enjoy” the right to choose how and when to participate in the transactional relationship, which is it’s own balancing act.  While it may not be our choice (as fans) for Ticketmaster to be the ticketing service for pre-sales and fan ticket sales – it IS our choice whether or not we choose to participate. That balance is of course knowing that if we choose not to participate, we likely will not see the band on tour. I don’t know very many people willing to miss out on Duran Duran purely to take a stand, and DDHQ is going to do whatever they need to ensure the best profit for the band. That’s business, like it or not.

As a fan, it IS disheartening when things happen that make fandom feel more like work than fun. Days like yesterday tend to make me forget how I feel when I’m standing up and screaming in front of the band. In my craziest moments I may have even wondered if I should just stay home and not bother. I’ll just say this and leave it for the rest of you to ponder: when the time comes for these gigs to happen and you walk into the venue, handing your ticket to the agent to scan and then excitedly walking with purpose to your seat, sitting down and staring at the darkened stage with growing anticipation as you see that the clock ticks ever closer to the moment Simon walks out and begins singing “Paper Gods”, are you really going to even think twice about the ticket buying process to get there? Are you going to be thinking about how Ticketmaster asked you to re-enter the CAPTCHA code four times before it worked? When the band starts playing Planet Earth, Rio or Pressure Off, are you going to let any of that enter your mind?

That, my friends, is why Ticketmaster stays in business.

-R

Duran Duran Paper God 2016 Presales

There is no way for me to put this lightly: I really hate pre-sale days, particularly when they begin (for me) before it is light outside. I got my coffee, sat down and prepared to do battle.

To be honest, I am still trying to absorb what happened to me this morning…and I’m trying not to be angry with the ticketing system, and be thankful that unlike many I have seen on Twitter and Facebook today, I do have tickets. I am seeing the band come July.

I hope they’ll be ready.  <wink>

I read a lot of comments and responses this morning. As always, the responses run the spectrum from elation, “I got front row to Philly!” all the way to comments from people who seem to have lost not just a battle, but an entire war. “Pre-sales were a DISASTER“.  Or even better, “@DailyDuranie it’s bad business for a band to piss off fan club members. 6 shows, 3 with not a single tix pulling up, other 3 shit seats

My own experiences ran raggedly like a dog, from one end to the other of the entire spectrum. One show we ended up with nothing because the seats we pulled for Bronze seemed more like regular seats from back in the 17th row. Why pay VIP on top of that? It didn’t make sense to me…and definitely not to our head purchaser for that show, Amanda. We’ll try again later for those. We bought the 16th row seats offered for another out of sheer desperation after having a set of third row seats in my cart that I was in the middle of paying for when a window popped up on Ticketmaster informing me that my tickets were now unavailable. WTF?!? Fine. I didn’t need those Gold VIP tickets on my credit card anyway! Bronze it is, even though I am not sure I feel good about spending so much on tickets so far back. After falling to the ground in defeat, tired and breathless….Amanda and I got up, shook the dust off, tended to some gaping wounds, and went back in for another round with a brand new strategy that is going to involve selling kidneys (anyone need a slightly used one?? Let me know).

Our next battle proved every bit as nasty as the first, but I soon realized that I didn’t even need to bother going in and logging into my DDM account to get to the Ticketmaster pre-sales. I just needed to know the pre-sale password. Fabulous, except that meant that everyone else on the planet who knew that password could do the same. That fan letter was shared about a zillion times online, any scalper worth their salt could get in with ease, and Ticketmaster did not hold up their end of the agreement by not bothering to uphold the DDM firewall. Some say it didn’t work, but it did for me each time I bought tickets during this particular pre-sale at 10am my time.  What a mess. Amanda had tickets in her cart only to have them suddenly removed. (and I read this many more times over the course of the morning on Twitter) We bought gold at one show only to end up in 6th row, but we did have success at our final show, where we ended up with 2nd row center. I am not complaining about those results.

I know this shattered feeling…trampled but still breathing….

Thankfully pre-sales were over and I could live to see another day. But then I realized I still had to blog today.  Really?!?  Shattered doesn’t even begin to describe my exhaustion right now, and I still have a college tour to take this afternoon with my son!!  (Going from fan back to mom in less than an hour…)

I’d be very interested to read what types of experiences others had this morning, keeping in mind that this is purely about the process.  I have no doubts that despite the mess with ticket buying, once we are at the show it will be a great time. The band delivers on their end. It’s the rest of the insanity I am interested in reading. Share your tales of the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ll compile them into something readable tomorrow!

-R