Tag Archives: Duran Duran VIP

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

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

Today in Duran History – Berlin

On today’s date in 2005, Duran Duran played at the Museumsinsal  in Berlin. According to the ever-trusty tour archive at duranduran.com the band went on at 8pm!  What was the set list, you asked?

Ask and you shall receive…

SUNRISE
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
PLANET EARTH
UNION OF THE SNAKE
WHAT HAPPENS TOMORROW
COME UNDONE
A VIEW TO A KILL
TIGER TIGER
CHAUFFEUR
CHAINS
ORDINARY WORLD
SAVE A PRAYER
TASTE THE SUMMER
NOTORIOUS
NICE
CARELESS MEMORIES
WILD BOYS

GIRLS ON FILM
RIO

Additionally, on some stops of the Astronaut tour, there was a segment called “On the Road” that was written by someone named Jenn who worked for duranduranmusic.com.  Her job, among many other things I’m sure, was to be a type of fan liaison for VIP ticket holders.  If you went to a show as a VIP (during the Astronaut tour – this changed as time went on) Jenn would be the one to check your tickets, hand you the special VIP merchandise, and if there were problems – she’d handle them.  I thought it would be a fun, as we skip down memory lane, to take a look at the “On the Road” entry for this date.  These can be found on duranduran.com  in the tour archive, which is where this was lovingly borrowed:

When the bus pulled up this morning and I came to, I looked out the window and to my surprise we were in the middle of town, right on the river, at a beautiful museum. I look a little closer and I see a beautiful lawn and a huge stage. And I realize that we are playing an outdoor show on the lawn of a museum! This is one of the most interesting shows I have ever seen! Interesting good, I mean! The only thing that was less than ideal was the sparse rain through the day, but they held back the rain for the show, which is most important! Oh yes, there was also a sound restriction, so the folks further back did not have as intense of a sound as they do usually, but it was still a FANTASTIC night. 

The band had some interviews and what not, so they got to the venue a little later than usual. But just enough time for John to come into catering and steal part of my swordfish—he did not have any protein today, or so he says. He’s so funny; I guess if you are going to share your swordfish with anyone, John Taylor is a pretty cool guy to share it with. 

The band was in a really fun and playful mood.they walked out on stage and were all smiles and laughs. They were just having a really great time tonight. They seemed the most relaxed that I have seen them in a while, like they were there to have a good time with their friends. And the front row of VIPs was a very familiar crowd, lots of old friends with us last night! And John noticed.he said at one point “I feel like I know everyone in the audience!” And they played it great; a fun show to watch. It was still light out for the first half of the show, and that is always a treat. It’s truly like 2 different shows when that happens. Good stuff! 

The VIP was great, we had tables overlooking the river, tons of champagne and cheese and crackers and chocolates, a very cool little scene. And since we were only about 200 yards from the stage, many (almost all) of the guests took to the stage early, caught the support band’s sound check and claimed front row! 

This was a great way to start our German run. I can’t believe that we played at this place! It was so full of history, it was unreal. We are playing the most amazing places in Europe. Between this, and the Verona gig, and the massive festivals to follow, I don’t think I will ever be able to top it! I can’t believe how fast it’s going by. 

Thanks for stopping by, we are looking forward to Hamburg!!! 

Until next time. 

Jenn

I think it’s kind of neat to be nostalgic (yes, Duran Duran…I said nostalgic. I know how much time you all spend looking back…like none…so I’ll do it for you!) and see what was going on during that time.  The Astronaut tour was special in many ways – it was about the band reconnecting with the fans, and while I take nothing away from the shows before or after that tour – that one was special in it’s own way.  It was the first tour that we had DDM doing VIP’s, and for many of us (myself included), it was the first tour that I took part in with friends I’d made in the community.  Wish I’d been at this show in Germany, the setting sounded unique and beautiful!
-R