Tag Archives: Duran Duran presales

What a Difference a Week Could Make

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and I spent a good part of it with my parents and my niece. We went out to eat and played some games. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I was distracted and frustrated for much of it. Earlier that morning, I received a little email from DuranDuranMusic informing me that Duran Duran has added five shows in September on the West Coast. I read the email and chose not to react…much. After all the timing of these shows is the worst ever. All I did was simply forward it on to Rhonda. I offered her little commentary but part of me hoped that she and our friends would reject these dates. I didn’t want to have to make a decision about whether or not they were feasible. It felt like too much after another insane and tough weeks at work. So, after I forwarded the email, I put the idea aside and went on with my plans.

About 45 minutes into our drive, my phone started to go a little crazy, indicating lots of notifications. At first, I thought it was my niece alerting us to some change in plans but then I realized that it was time for the West Coast to start waking up. Of course, my friends saw the news and were reacting. Not knowing what the initial thoughts were as I couldn’t check my phone as the driver, caused me to stew. What if they want to go? What if they can? Could I make it work at all? What are the rules at work about September time off? Then, I just started getting frustrated. Why couldn’t the band come to the Midwest? If they were playing near me, so much more would be possible and easier. Why do I always have to fly? Why is it always the West Coast? What is that about? Yes, yes, I know it about the money. They must get paid a good amount to play there, I thought to myself. I even recognized that if I am frustrated, imagine what the rest of the country and world feels. They haven’t gotten shows in years! Then, I started to get mad at myself for getting mad. Needless to say, those fifteen minutes of driving were torture and the more time I had the more irritated I became. Sometimes, I am so stupid. Yet, I could not help how I felt.

Finally, the car stopped and I was able to check my messages. Shit. They all wanted to go and could. Of course, they did and could. They have normal jobs–not like mine with all of the dumb rules and regulations. Notice how my frustration moved from the band to the job. Part of me was even mad at my friends, which is the dumbest thing ever. Then, as soon as I thought that, I realized that I didn’t even know why I was mad at them. Of course, they could and should go to as many shows as possible. Why would I stop them from having a good time? No, it has way more to do with how *I* wanted to go but didn’t think I could. I was angry at the situation more than anything else. I wasn’t really mad at my friends, at the band, or even really at work.

As I sat down at restaurant and began to message my friends back, I started to calm down. Maybe I could make something work? I began checking my employee handbook. I started searching for flights in general. I figured that at least I wouldn’t just dismiss the shows outright and that would make me feel better. By the time, my parents and I were driving back, the messages had slowed down as everyone tried to figure out what they could really do after the initial excitement. I had settled into a maybe I could go state of being. Then, on the way home, I started to talk to my parents about the possibilities. I weighed the pros and cons and sought their opinions. As normal, my parents tried not to take sides, preferring me to come to my own conclusions, which sometimes drives me crazy. After all, I can sit with indecisiveness for a long time. Usually, when that happens, it is because I feel guilty. I feel guilty for missing work so early in the year. I finally could admit that this was the underlying issue. Having recognized that, I got a little more frustrated, at both the system that creates and reinforces that, and at myself for letting myself feel that way.

As Sunday night turned to Monday, I concluded that I would ask a couple of colleagues and friends what they think I should do. They did not seem shocked or appalled that I asked the question nor did they seem to think I would be terrible for going. By the time Rhonda messaged me in the middle of the day, I knew that I could and would make Vegas work. Of course, I also wanted reassurance that people actually wanted me to go. Why did I worry about that? First, I wasn’t super awesome the day before, which I was not proud of. Second and more importantly, the last time wasn’t ideal due solely to me. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t like the Vegas trip in February wasn’t fun. I had a good time and the shows were great! I cannot complain there. But Rhonda tried to talk to me and I wasn’t able to articulate well what I was thinking and feeling. I’m sure that it ended up making things worse instead of better. I definitely seemed unfocused and I was to a lot of extent. It has nothing to do with the band or fandom. My head was still in campaign land. Up until that point, I had been able to turn off work when I tour but I couldn’t then. Being in charge created a different reaction in me. More significantly than all that, I was literally exhausted. Now, I know that is a word that gets thrown around often by many people but…the way I’m using it goes beyond I need some sleep. No, my exhaustion ran deep. It is the reason I was sick for over a month. Even today, I feel it as I need significant amount of time to really rest and recover. After all, working two intense full time jobs for months is bound to take its toll. That mini-tour just happened to hit at the worst point of my illness and my exhaustion.

So the more I thought about making Vegas work, the more it made sense to me. Is it the best thing to do for work? No. Do I already give a lot? Yes. More than many. More than most. I cannot feel bad about taking a day. One day. I deserve a chance for a do over, right? I think so. Then, of course, Rhonda and I managed to get tickets on Wednesday through the typical, “I hate Ticketmaster” process. I took it as another sign that it is meant to be. Finally, reading about our friend fighting in the hospital, reminded me that life is short. I’m not going to regret missing a day of work, but I might miss a chance to be in my happy place with my friends.

-A

Nothing’s Going to Bring Me Down

There are days, and then there are DAYS. This is one of the latter. It might even be one of those weeks!

They can drag me to the gates of hell now

As I’ve exclaimed many times while in the privacy of my own home, “I am not a webmaster!!” When technical abilities were being passed out, I got in the wrong line. (The universe only knows what “special” skill I ended up with instead!) I’d been getting some sort of PHP warning on this site for months and ignored it. When I finally clicked on it to find out more information, our server host said we didn’t “need” the upgrade. Well, turns out – we did. The site never went down, but we also couldn’t update as necessary. I was growing nervous that one day, I’d be woken up at 4am by a concerned Amanda telling me that the site wouldn’t load.

So today was the day to figure out how to upgrade (and why). I’m still not exactly sure I understand, but the fix was a five-minute thing. From what I can tell – I didn’t break anything in the process. I even loaded a plug-in for compatibility testing on the backend, and even forced the site to break to see if I could fix it. (one click to correct it!) So that’s the kind of maintenance crap no one sees. It makes me feel a little better when I find out that I’m not nearly as incompetent as I think I might be with this stuff.

Then again, there’s still the issue of archiving. After nearly nine years of blogging (yes, nine) – we have a lot of posts. I am pretty sure the place needs a good spring/summer cleaning. (also a massive site overhaul in time for the next whatever-the-music-they-are-currently-working-on-is-going-to-be). As soon as my youngest is out of school and my mom, who is arriving tonight for a two-week visit, is back home – that’s the next project. I’ll have to take the site down to do it, but I’ll warn everyone first!

I’m not running away (yet, anyway)

Meanwhile, presales are tomorrow! I’m still trying to figure out the logistics. I have a reasonable idea of what shows I want to do (A & I are both going to Vegas, but after that – I’m on my own and I’m not entirely positive of what I’m doing), but whether I’m going to attempt to break my bank and buy gold or just do regular tickets to some – who really knows?! It’s going to be an adventure tomorrow morning. My poor mother has never seen a DD presale day. Chances are, after hearing me attempt to go through the process, she’ll want to wash my mouth out with soap!!

Honestly, right now I’m trying not to stress. I’m taking the attitude that whatever will be, will be. As long as I get in the venue(s), that’s enough. I have a couple of other, more pressing personal family things going on at the moment, and while I don’t want to miss the chance to hang with friends – I’m more worried about the other life stuff. I hate being “that” person to say that, but it’s true. Someday, I’ll write a book about all of it and then you’ll know what I mean. <big grin here> Nonetheless, I’ll see everyone in Vegas for sure, and possibly one or two of the others. For those shows though, I don’t think I’ll be trying for anything but just regular tickets. Probably. Unless I win the lottery by tomorrow morning.

It’s funny—I ran into Dom after the last shows in Vegas, and he asked me where I’d sat because I’m usually closer to the front. On one hand, I guess he’s right, and on the other – I think that was probably a sign that maybe, just maybe, I’ve been to one too many shows over the years! Joking aside, I get the feeling these guys have no idea how much it costs to sit near the front at their shows. Granted, I’m usually a bit closer than I was in February, but that’s Vegas (and Lady Luck, apparently!) for you. Our seats weren’t that great last time. We still had a fantastic time, though.

I’m not the only one feeling this way

Like many of you, my bank account is not without limits. I saw more than one fan comment about the expense of the tickets yesterday, and I just want to commiserate. They ARE expensive. Most tickets are these days, and at least in my case – it stops me from going to see a lot of bands. I have to really love them to be willing to spend money on tickets. On the other hand, I’ve discovered quite a few really good, but far less popular local bands over the past few years as a result. I still see a lot of live shows, but maybe not as many bands that other people recognize. I save my budget for a few very favorite, or I buy super cheap seats.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Duran Duran and I love going to the shows, but I’m not going to be paying $1000 a ticket just to say I was in the front row. More power to those of you who are able to continually do it without thinking of the cost. I’ve had my turn up there a few times – it was great while it lasted.

A bit of a warning from me: the next couple of weeks may or may not be spotty for me – blogging wise. I am going to do what I can when I can. If anyone out there (ha!) has something they’d like to guest blog about, send it to our gmail (dailyduranie at gmail dot com) – we will gladly post and give you plenty of credit for contributing!

-R

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

To Learn From…

On Wednesday, Rhonda blogged about how we were on the verge of completing another presale.  In this case, the presale was for two shows out in California near Rhonda’s.  After it was over, we sat back and acknowledged that we did well.  At the same time, some of our readers added their thoughts about presales on our Facebook page and how the fan club has not helped them when purchasing good tickets.  The two conversations led me to do some thinking  about what I think we have really learned over the course of this crazy journey through our Duran Duran fandom.  We learned how to do a presale well.

Duran Duran Music Membership:

On Facebook, a few people commented that they have not had good luck attempting to get tickets through the fan club’s presales.  For them, they received better seats through the regular ticket outlet.  I have heard the same from many others over the course of my life buying concert tickets.  In most cases, when I am going to see someone OTHER than Duran, I just buy the tickets when they go on sale through whatever ticketing outlet.  In some cases, those tickets have been what I would call “good”.  At other times, I got sucky tickets.  Yet, out of those times I got “good” tickets, I have rarely gotten seats within the first ten rows of the center section.  I have never been really up close through those purchases.  For every band besides Duran, that works for me.

When I buy Duran Duran tickets, I do like to be as close as possible.  In my experience, the best chance to do that is to get VIP tickets through the fan club’s presales.  I’m not doubting that others have gotten seats within the first five rows through the regular ticket outlet sale.  I just have not.  Instead, when I have wanted those kind of seats and not used the fan club presale, I have had to buy through sites like eBay or StubHub, often paying just as much as the VIP presale would have been.  Thus, for me, being a member of DDM is worth it.  After all, all one needs is the silver membership to buy presale tickets.

Research Matters:

That headline makes me sound like the dorky teacher I am, but I definitely think it is true.  What does research entail?  Typically, when I research, I look for venue maps first and foremost.  I have a printed copy when I do a presale so that I know where the seats are that pop up.  I can recognize if they are good seats or not.  I also like to look at pictures of the  actual venue, if possible to get a good idea of how far sections are, what kind of view is offered on the sides, etc.  At times, I check out other shows at the same venue to see how the ticket purchasing process works so that I’m prepared.  Doing my homework makes me more confident when purchasing.

Have a Plan:

The times that presales have been less than successful are when I am indecisive.  For example, sometimes, I pulled up tickets, couldn’t decide if they were good enough or not and opted to try for better.  Nine times out of ten, the second attempt would be way worse.  Instead, what I should have done is have a cut off.  An example might be how many rows back I am willing to go for the price or how far to the right or the left.  When I stick to the plan, the presale goes quicker and with more successful results.  Rhonda and I had a plan this week and it worked well.  One more word of caution, though, is really think through your plan.  Really make sure that you are comfortable with the cost and seat location.  If not, you might find yourself with buyer’s remorse and that is no fun.  It may result in trying to find better seats later for potentially more money or spending money that doesn’t seem worth it.

Little Things Make a Difference:

Sometimes, what seems like a little thing is really a BIG thing (no pun intended!).  This week, two shows went on sale at the same time.  Because there are two of us, one person could buy for one show while the other could buy for the other.  It helps to be able to split up, if necessary.

Another little thing that makes a difference is being able to buy tickets in the best place possible.  I took my lunch this week at home in order to buy from my house.  I had my personal computer and better wifi.  Whenever I have tried to buy from work, it never goes well.

Read All with a Sense of Humor:

That pretty much includes my entire advice to buying presale tickets.  Some, I hope, actually appreciated these tips.  Heck, if you have another tip or ten, please SHARE with me.  I would love to know everything I could in order to have the best results possible for any future presales.  That said, I’m sure that some of you are irritated  by this entire post.  Maybe you think I’m rubbing my presale “success” in your face.  If that is how it comes across, that isn’t my intention.  AT.  ALL.  Trust me when I say that I just wanted to be silly and act like presale results were so super important that they needed advice and helpful hints.  The reality is that I’m super lucky to be able to do any presale or go to any show.  I’m lucky that I have had the success that I have had.  I’m more than fortunate to have any tickets at all and to have shows to look forward to with my best friend.  At the end of the day, that is what is most important.

-A

Time for Temptation: It is Presale Time!

It is that time again.  Agua Caliente Presales!  While this one may not affect most of you, those who are planning to attend the shows in Palm Springs at Agua Caliente in March are beginning the countdown to clicking “buy tickets” later this morning, myself and Amanda included.

You’d think we’d get used to it. The jittery nerves, the lack of sleep, the feeling of nausea deep in the pits of our stomachs….  you would think that would all be old hat by now. I’m willing myself to shake it off, say it’s no big deal and take whatever tickets I can get…but my inner self-talk is saying “OMG what if you aren’t able to pull up any? What if they use…gasp… TICKETMASTER?!?!  What if the only seats you can get are last row? (hasn’t happened since my very first Duran Duran concert at then-existing Universal Amphitheater)”  The words go on and on…

and my jitters take over.

The fact is, the jitters last for a matter of minutes, and then we’re on to the planning, plotting, and anticipatory stage of the pre-concert process. Next to the few moments where I am buzzing like a bee, trying to remain seated when the lights go down and the entrance music begins just before the band takes the stage, I live for pre-planning.  That moment when they walk out, though? It is triumphant, and the feeling is so addictive that I can’t stop myself from the next presale. Hence, here I am today, counting down the minutes until alarm strikes, ever so patiently.

I’m getting ahead of myself though. First, I must manage the presale and buy the tickets. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve told myself that it doesn’t matter where we sit, as long as we’re in the venue. I will continue to keep up that mantra until the confirmation for the ticket sale arrives in my inbox. I’m just thrilled to have the opportunity to do this again, particularly when I didn’t think I would, quite this soon.

As excited as I am, I know many friends who either cannot buy because the Agua Caliente presales are so close to Christmas, or live in parts of the world that the band rarely visits. It does seem unfair. I have to acknowledge that unfairness, even if I cannot do anything about it on my own. I wish I could offer some sort of explanation—the only thing that comes to mind is that the reasons must be purely financial.

I’ll end here with what I tweeted earlier, “May the presale gods be with us all today.”  Good luck everyone!

-R

Some Days Are Strange to Number

Some days, some things just make me laugh.  Sometimes, the laughter happens right away.  Other times, there needs to be some space between the event and the giggles.  Tuesday morning was one of those days…

I arrived at work/school early on Tuesday.  I had much to do, including copying four handouts to start a brand new unit for my US History kiddos.  As I mindlessly stood by the copier at 7 am, I thought through my game plan.  I had to find a colleague to cover me at 9 am so that I could buy tickets to the National Harbor Duran shows.  Once my class was covered, I could seek a quiet classroom to refresh my DDM and/or Ticketmaster page frequently as I anxiously waited for tickets to go on sale.  Then, I would quickly type in the password and seek the tickets of my choice.  Of course, the perfect tickets would pop up instantly, almost placing themselves into the shopping cart without me even clicking a button.  The process would be nothing but smooth sailing.  I could then return to my classroom, having been gone for less than 10 minutes.  Yeah…those copier fantasies can be intense and terribly inaccurate.

Still, the plan seemed on track when I found my colleague and friend across the hall.  I begged her to cover my first hour class and even told her to give treats to my students if they were good since I had brownies and cupcakes with me.  She readily agreed.  Perfect.  Nothing could go wrong, I figured.  I had coverage.  I had a plan.  I had the seating chart printed.  I logged into my computer and the necessary sites.  I was all set.  

At five to nine, my colleague stepped across the hall to take over as I sought her quiet classroom to begin my incessant refreshing.  As I started to refresh the Ticketmaster page, I noticed that sometimes I would get a countdown clock and other times I did not.  Cue self-talk as I reminded myself that it would be fine and that I had done a million presales before.  There was no need for my heart to be beating that fast.  None, whatsoever.  Finally, the countdown reached zero, the page indicated that it was loading and loading and loading and loading.  What the hell?!  Do I need to refresh the page, I wondered.  Finally, after what felt like hours, I refreshed, revealing the ticket sale page.  I put my request in.  Denied.  Grumble.  Grumble.  Okay, I thought.  No big deal.  Stay calm.  Refresh again.  Up pops crappy seats all the way to the side and far back.  No thank you.  Refresh again.  Same result.  

“Are they kidding me?” I said out loud to an empty classroom.  Could the tickets already be sold out, I asked myself?!  Nooooooo….refresh again for the sixth time.  Then, Ticketmaster asked me to click on pictures with mountains.  I did that and when the page appeared it stated in big, red ugly letters that they could not fulfill my request.  I felt the blood pressure rising.  I didn’t understand.  What was going on?!  Deep breaths began.  More waiting.  Then, the dreaded bell rang indicating that I could pursue this no longer as 2nd hour awaited.  Damnit, I muttered as I crossed back into my classroom and my role as teacher.

As sweat popped up on my forehead, I frantically searched for my team teacher.  Where was she?  Was she coming to class?  Could she start the class so I could keep…attempting to get tickets?!  Finally, she appeared in the door frame.  Relief.  I begged her to start the class while I explained the situation.  She nodded while directing me to her room, to try on her computer.  That might work, I thought as I turned around to leave.  Unfortunately, ten minutes on a different computer  proved to be no more successful.  Swearing under my breath, I marched back into my classroom, knowing that I could not stay on Ticketmaster all dang day.  Teaching demanded my presence.

As I walked in, I noticed that I had another laptop to try Ticketmaster on.  I logged in while my colleague finished going over the political vocabulary.  She wandered over to my desk to ask how my pursuit was going.  I quickly explained the situation to her before jumping up to lead the students through some notes.  As I waited for the kids to jot down ideas about the political parties, I glanced back to see my colleague refreshing the page as I had done.  Involuntarily, I let out both a partial smile and a partial sob at the same time, thinking about how lucky I was for colleagues like that.  Thankfully, my misery ended when I received word that the friend I am going with acquired tickets for us.  I desperately wanted to collapse in my desk chair, exhausted, but I still had a room full of freshmen to teach!  Someday, this band really might kill me, I thought as I resumed the political science lesson I was presenting.

By now, you all have realized that unlike my counterpart, I will be attending the shows outside of DC around New Year’s.  Will I miss Rhonda’s presence?  That is a given.  It feels weird to go to any show or any Duran function without her.  This is even more significantly weird and sad is because it involves traveling and staying in hotels.  Yet, the shows made too much sense for me NOT to go.

As someone who is single, with few single friends near me, holidays like New Year’s Eve create a lot of personal anxiety.  Immediately after Christmas, I begin to wonder, each year, what I should do. Should I make plans, should I try to go somewhere, do I not try to make plans, do I stay at home.  In many cases, I can find a friend or two to hang out with but not always and usually last minute.  The holiday always acts as a unwelcome reminder that I’m single and don’t have a family.  It can be very lonely to be single during the holidays.  Yes, of course, I could always spend time with my parents, who are nearby me, but that usually doesn’t feel great despite how much I love my parents.  Thus, I’m thrilled that I not only will I not have that anxiety but that I have amazing plans.  I never thought I would see Duran on New Year’s.  Talk about a party!

The other reason that I am thrilled about going is that I love DC.  As I’m sure many of you reading this know, I’m a very political person and January marks the end of Obama presidency and the beginning of the next one.  As someone who worked for the Obama campaign and who has met the President and the First Lady, there is something special and affirming about going to DC during this transition.  It is like two really significant aspects of myself are coming together.

Now, some may argue that I am crazy for spending this money to go and maybe I am (although tickets weren’t any more expensive than some of the summer shows I went to).  Yet, this is an extra I can afford.  For me, it is worth it as I can think of nothing else that makes me happier than being at a Duran show.

-A

 

The Ticket Gods Were Kind!

This week the phrase that happens to be the title of this particular blog post was uttered one or two or a hundred times by my partner-in-crime and myself.  We said it over and over again in hopes that the ticket gods, indeed, would be kind to us on Tuesday morning when the tickets for the California Mid-State Fair went on sale.  Were they kind to us?  Well, it was an interesting pre-sale…

That morning, I woke up, posted the question of the day, got ready for work and proceeded to feel really sick.  I sighed heavily and assumed that it was just pre-sale nerves.  After all, the last pre-sale that happened was through Ticketmaster and it was rough, to say the least.  That pre-sale resulted in not getting the tickets we wanted.  Therefore, I assumed that my sick feeling was like bad deja-vu and off to work I want.  By the end of second hour, I desperately wanted to curl up in a fetal position and lay down.  Instead, I do what most teachers do and push through, as I wandered around the room, helping students with their research.  I had planned on leaving school under the guise of getting “supplies” (tickets are supplies, right???) right at 11 when the tickets went on sale at 12.  Unfortunately, my body was definitely NOT cooperating at that moment.  I couldn’t believe it and began to sweat as I worried that I wouldn’t make it home on time on top of being sick.

Somehow, though, I managed to get myself to my car and drove home.  I logged into DuranDuranMusic and anxiously awaited presale time while trying to ignore the very sick feeling at the pit of my stomach.  So, in order to pass the time, I did what I usually do.  I texted Rhonda.  She assured me that I would be fine.  I tried to respond in agreement but…I was worried that I might not make it.  I watched the minutes slowly go by as I started to worry that not only would the ticket gods NOT be on our side but that they were actively working against us.  Finally, the hour struck 12 and ticket options appeared after frantic refreshing.  Yes!  I got tickets in my cart that were pretty damn good!!  I completed the purchase and texted Rhonda.  I try to draw out her anticipation with some cryptic texts but soon enough I came out with it.  We got good seats!!!  Really good seats!  To say that I felt relief was an understatement.  I still felt like crawling into bed and dying but I didn’t have to worry about missing the presale.  Let’s face it.  That was the important thing.  Of course, instead of being able to do that, I forced myself to go back to work with a promise to Rhonda that we would celebrate later!

Now, a few days later, I’m still thrilled with the results of the presale. Do I think we were lucky because the ticket gods were on our side?  I don’t know.  Was it luck?  I’m sure there is a little bit of that.  Was it to make up for my being sick?  I doubt it.  No, I think the results of this presale were for three big reasons that I have outlined below.

No Ticketmaster

For this presale, Ticketmaster was not ticket outlet of choice.  It was Tickets Today.  When I realized that it was not Ticketmaster or some outlet I knew, I worried but I shouldn’t have.  It was SO easy.  I went to DuranDuranMusic.  I logged in which allowed me to click on the link for the presale.  From there, I was able to refresh the Tickets Today site until the VIP packages showed up.  I was confident that the only people with access to this presale were people who were DDM.  People couldn’t get a password to use.  No, they had to go through the fan club.  It was the only way, from what I could see.  On top of that, the Tickets Today website was so clear and easy to see and deal with.  With Ticketmaster, I had too many drop down menus to deal with in the heat of the moment.  I had to decide if I wanted Ticketmaster to find me tickets or to use the map.  Then, each VIP package required a different drop down menu to search for them.  In this case, I could easily see where to buy VIP packages and my request went through without a problem.  Needless to say, I couldn’t be MORE thrilled that they used someone else and I SO hope that they continue with Tickets Today for the Chicago presales coming up in April.

Silver VIP Option

Another aspect of this presale that worked well was the fact that there was a Silver VIP option.  Silver, in case you are unfamiliar, includes the following:

The SILVER VIP Experience $150 + Ticket Price (No Additional Ticket Master Service Charges) 

– 1 Premium Seat in Rows 1-6 
– Custom-designed Canvas Bag 
– A copy of Duran Duran’s “Paper Gods” CD 
– Custom designed Duran Duran beach towel  
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate and Lanyard

For many of us, good seats up close is what matters the most.  This package allows that possibility for a reasonable amount of money compared to Gold or Platinum package.  Gold gives the same possibilities for seats in rows 1-6 but costs $260 plus the ticket price.  Yes, I realize that there is a VIP party with food and beverages.  Generally, I don’t need that.  I would prefer to go to meet ups that Rhonda and I organize.  Therefore, Silver offers the best chance for good seats at the best price.  Unfortunately, Silver has rarely been offered during this tour.  I hope that DDHQ considers doing more Silver packages in the future.

Other Factors

Besides the two big factors of Silver VIP and Tickets Today, there were a few other factors that helped the ticket gods help us.  First, I was able to leave work in order to complete the presale.  I didn’t have any interruptions or have poor wifi.  That was huge.  Second, this show was the only show that I or the system had to worry about.  I remember how in 2005, presales for various shows and locations were staggered.  This would work better for people buying for more than one show and I would think it would be easier for the system and DDHQ, too.

On that note, maybe the ticket gods were on our side.  Maybe they helped with having the presale go through Tickets Today.  Maybe they helped with the types of packages.  Next time, though, I would love for them also to help me not be sick at the same time.

-A

Many Shows or One Great Show?

Pre-sale weeks are always so very crazy, aren’t they?  When dates first come out, I try to remove myself as much as I can from social networking until I have a plan.  I need time to think.  I need time to discuss.  I need time to develop a plan.  This upcoming 2016 North American tour required more of that than most.  I simply had too many choices.  July is the one month that I’m completely free (unless I’m planning curriculum, taking a class, etc. but those are my choices rather than required work tasks!).  Therefore, I would be able to attend any (ALL!  I wish!  Dreams are free unlike concert tickets…which sadly are not!) that I wanted to.  Yet, Rhonda and I knew right away that we would be making choices about WHICH shows to go to despite having no work responsibilities then.  The debate centered around a big decision.  Should we go to as many shows as possible and buy less than perfect tickets OR do we go for perfect tickets and less shows?

As the pre-sale week has calmed down, I have begun to notice that the Duranies I know seem to pick one side of that debate that Rhonda and I were having over another.  Many fans had to make the same decision as we were having to make about whether or not to do one show really, really well or to go to many shows kinda well.  Before I go further into my observations, I want to make one thing clear.  There are still many, many, many fans who are only able to go to one show that is near them.  For those fans, this debate does not even enter into their brains.  They get the best tickets they can that are not VIP for the show nearest them.  From what I can tell, for those fans, they are thrilled with just having the opportunity to go at all.  Maybe that is a lesson we all need (including myself!). Yet, for the fans who are able to do more than one, then, this debate over one well vs. many so-so shows rears its ugly head.  Somehow, people, including us, made their decisions before the pre-sales happened.

It seems to me that the fan community is evenly split between the one show vs. many shows decision.  For those opting to go to one show, many of those fans went for the Platinum or the Gold packages figuring it would be their one and only time to see them.  Therefore, one should go all the way and do it right!  It makes sense.  For those fans, they want to focus on making the one show the absolute best it can be.  They didn’t have to worry about other shows.  They could just focus on the ONE.  Like those fans who can only do the one show near them, I bet this decision is less stressful than those who decide to do multiple shows, assuming that they get the tickets they want.

The rest of the fan base, though, seems to want to do as many shows as they can.  For those fans, I noticed an interesting pattern, within the go to as many shows as you can philosophy.  Often, those fans would have one show be VIP and then the rest be smaller VIP packages or just regular tickets in order to be able to afford more shows.  Thus, even for those fans, they didn’t totally want to throw out the idea of having at least one SUPER quality show.  Perhaps, those VIP tickets weren’t platinum ones, but still…  It also seemed to me that, for those fans, the average number of shows was about 3.  Maybe, that is the magic number to balance between the two philosophies.  By the way, Rhonda and I sort of did something similar with the tickets we purchased.

I wonder what is better for the band.  Is it better for more fans to go to multiple shows or better for fans to go for big VIP tickets for one.  I would think that they would want the venues filled with enthusiastic fans, no matter how many shows each individual fan is going to.  Maybe, the combination between the two kinds of fans ends up balancing it in the end for the band.

So, what about the rest of you?  What side of this debate do you end up on?  Why?  Do you go for better VIP tickets for just ONE show or do you go for more regular seats for MANY shows?

-A

Countdown to Paper Gods –FIVE!!!

5 DAYS TO GO!!!

We are at the point in which we can count how many days are left until we are able to officially listen to the entire Paper Gods album on ONE HAND!  How shall we get through this day to get one step closer to the release date?

Perhaps, you are like Rhonda and myself with tour on the brain!  Maybe, you have upcoming Duran shows on the west coast or in the UK.  If not, you might be thinking about world tour 2016!  Some plotting might be taking place, including where you could go, how many shows you could get to, what songs from the new album should be played and so much more!  No matter, if you have shows coming up soon or coming up later, you still might be thinking about concert tickets, including where to buy them and how to get the best seats possible.  Isn’t that what really matters?!?

To that end, we recommend going to different ticket purchase locations like Duran Duran Music, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, or other individual artists’ fan clubs.  Why?  The task is simple!  Practice purchasing tickets!  Maybe you want to go through the motions up to the actual purchase and time yourself.  Goodness, maybe you could see how fast you are able to pull up tickets and work to improve on that time!  It could be like a game but one, in which you would benefit in real life someday!

If you are looking for possible artists to practice on, you might want to pick one that works with Crowdsurge, like Duran does.  Some of those artists include Kenny Chesney, J Cole, Haim, Enrique Iglesias, Imagine Dragons, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Paul McCartney, Blake Shelton, Tiësto, Jack White and The xx.  I might also recommend reading through this blog post about presale anxieties to ensure that you have all ducks in a row to practice purchasing!

Let’s hope this task distracts a bit and helps you out in the future!  It could be a win win!!!

-A

Top Ten Duran Duran Presale Anxieties

In honor of today’s Duran Duran presale festivities, Amanda and I decided to put together our own “Top Ten” list of Duran Duran presale anxieties. I mean, who doesn’t have that dream where you wake up at 10:30am on the day that presales begin at 10:00?  Perhaps as you read on, you’ll recognize a few…

TEN!

alarm-clock-
You sleep through the presale!!

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for since 2012. You’ve made sure to reinstate your membership with DDM…you’ve printed out the appropriate seating charts, and you have a game plan. You go to sleep the night before, with visions of all sorts of worry in your head. The restful sleep you need evades you until finally, at 4:30 am you fall asleep. You wake up suddenly and realize that wow, the sun is streaming through your window oddly and glance at your alarm clock. You squint to focus…it says what? 10:19.  10:19!!!!  Presales begin at 10am!!! $#&!

NINE!

Rejected password
Because you know…when you chose these security questions it all seemed fine…

You’re at work and it’s 9:56. You meant to get to DDM earlier and login, but then five people called, your boss needed a copy of something he/she could have walked and found themselves, and you were called to the front desk to get a package you didn’t care about.  You glance at the clock and see you’ve got four minutes to spare. You begin to walk quickly down the hall, almost breaking out into a run. (but you don’t because well, you’re in heels…and you need to be able to stand up if you’re going to see the band, never mind that the show is six months from today, right?) You fly around the corner, you pull off your heels and dash down through the cubicles, leap into your chair and slide over to the computer. Quickly, you type in duranduranmusic.com, and go to login. Wait, what do you MEAN the password doesn’t work?!?  What third spouse?!? 

EIGHT!

The dreaded white screen of death
No. NO NO NO NOT NOW!!!!

You get to your computer. Logging in goes fine. It’s 9:58 and counting. You hit refresh because, well…it could begin at any time now, right? Refreshing goes fine until suddenly, it doesn’t.  You find yourself staring at….well, nothing. It’s a white damn screen.  It’s now 10:00.  NO!!!!!

SEVEN!

Time zone?
That awkward moment when you aren’t sure whether you’re ahead, behind, or just completely screwed.

You’ve decided you’re going to see Duran Duran, and you don’t really care that you’re having to travel from Canada to do it. You’ve got your DDM membership, you’re going VIP, dammit. Then you realize you have no idea what time it is in LA. For that matter, what time is it where YOU are? What time zone do I live in?!? These are all questions that plague Duranies during presales…heaven forbid you don’t know the right answer, otherwise you could miss out on a presale (and I’ve seen it happen!!!)

SIX!!

Site crash
That horrible moment when you’ve got front row in your cart and then…

So you manage to get up on time, find two spare minutes at work, log in without trouble, figure out what time zone you’re in…and you can even get in to buy tickets. You click “Buy VIP”, you see that gold is available, you select tickets…you’re already rejoicing over those front row spots, and then suddenly the screen goes dark and you smell smoke.  No &%^#$@! WAY!!!!!

FIVE!

The ONE time you need a connection...
The ONE time you need a connection…

You’ve never had trouble with the internet at work, until that ONE day you need to be online at a certain time in order to participate in this godforsaken presale. You sit down, ready to do battle and come out the victor. Everything seems to be fine as you type in duranduranmusic.com…then you realize that gee, it’s taking a long time for the site to load.  You refresh. Same deal.  Then others around the office stand up and peek over the top of their cubicles asking if anyone else is having trouble getting online. “Yeah”, the IT guy says, “we’ve been having trouble…we’re working on it.”  YOU’RE WORKING ON IT…you think to yourself. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!  I NEED MY DURAN DURAN TICKETS!

FOUR!

credit card declined
Wait, didn’t I just PAY that bill?!?

You can’t even believe how easy the presale went. You’ve never logged in faster or gotten those fantastic seats into your cart so smoothly. All is well until you hit “pay” and almost immediately your card has been rejected. Is it because it’s an overseas sale? Is it because you’re buying tickets with a friend’s login? Is it because the bill was due last week and you actually paid on time for once, so your bank is convinced something is off?? Is it because your bank somehow thinks that spending just over $600 for two tickets at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley CA seems a bit fishy????

THREE!

I can't type!!
I can type with ridiculous accuracy until it comes time to enter my information for a presale. Then NOTHING works!!

I can type extremely fast…until a presale starts, then suddenly my hands shake uncontrollably and I can’t remember how to use my track pad on my Macbook properly. This morning, I was in charge of getting tickets for the Greek Theatre show. I see that yes, VIP is available. I click on Silver. Yes – I can actually have front row (At that point I was convinced I’d been transported to an alternate universe because that NEVER happens). My hands begin to shake. I have to type in Amanda’s address (because she is in charge of handling the tickets – and this is with good reason.) I can’t figure out how to make the drop down menu work, and why is it that every single time I go to change the address the screen jumps to the top of the page again? Why doesn’t my trackpad work??? I only have 4 minutes to complete payment???  HELP!!!  (I did get it all to work just fine, once I calmed down…)

TWO!

I need a barf bag
As the clock ticks ever closer to 10am…you feel as though you’re really and truly going to lose your lunch. Or breakfast as the case may be.

My main comment to friends this morning on Twitter was that I was nauseous. And I was. I think I even woke up feeling anxious and unwell this morning, and as every second inched closer to zero-hour, my stomach became more and more of my enemy.  If that weren’t enough, once I finally DID get through to the presale, I could feel myself start to get dizzy, I had to take several slow, deep breaths and I wondered why I hadn’t drank more water this morning. (I don’t know about the rest of you, but I get dizzy when I’m dehydrated. Note to self: DRINK MORE WATER AT THE SHOWS!)  I made it. Barely.

Without further adieu, the number ONE pre-sale anxiety…

Sold out!
Sold out?!? How can they be sold out – it’s STILL 10am!!!!

Let’s say for instance, you’re trying to get tickets to the Hollywood Bowl. You and your friend decide that yes, it’s worth the price for Platinum. You didn’t need that extra kidney anyway, right? Getting online is easy. You refresh without fail. It’s 9:59 by your clock and sure enough, you refresh just in time to hit “buy VIP”. You want platinum because well, it’s the Bowl, this is Duran Duran and Nile Rodgers will be there! ONCE IN A LIFETIME show, by far. You glance at the clock just as it changes to 10am…lo and behold, no Platinum available. Wait, no platinum? How can that be? It’s STILL 10am!  What, VIP tickets, go to the cocktail party, and screw the dream of a backstage tour.  We’re still going to the Bowl and we’re in second row!!!

But seriously…who actually came away with one of those Platinum tickets?!

Hope this was fun and gave some chuckles. I need to go lie down now.  This day has already been far, far too much for me!

-R