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Old 03-31-2005, 02:25 AM   #1
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A Day in the Life of a Vertigo Tour GA Line

The following was my expierence for the GA line at the San Diego 2 show. Im writing for those with Ga tickets at future dates so they can get an idea on what to expect. and If you dont have GA just read it anyway, it may be entertaining.

Tuesday March 29th
4pm
Wake up after finally recovering from monday nights concert. It was my first U2 show and it blew me away. Im even more excited though for whats to come the next day....my first GA U2 concert. Time to check interference boards for any news on how the GA lines are gonna work.

Wednesday March 30th
Midnight
Been trying to get to sleep for the last couple hours as I know it will be along day, but the excitment is keeping me u. I cant get the concert out of my mind.

5 a.m.
I had decided to leave at six to head to San Diego and get there around 7. I get all my stuff packed and head down still havent gotten a wink of sleep.

6:45 a.m.
Arrive at Sports Arena. Pleastly surprised to see fans had started an orginized list and seemed to have the cooperation of Sports Arena security. I get spot #81. I met my culturally diverse line neighbors. A woman from Iran, a guy from mexico city(more on him later), and a drifter who claimed he just stayed in hotels everywhere.

7:30 a.m.
A new higher up security official arrives and busts up the line saying we cant form on Sports Arena Property. They say to come back at 9 a.m. Everyone moved the line out to the sidewalk and security hung out and assured us our numbers would be honered and no one could queue ahead of us.

9 a.m.
The first controversy. The first siteing of an actual U2 Vertigo Tour rep brings the news that the line will be split into two lines U2.com presale members and regular old joes like myself. Most people wanted one line and argued that it made no sense to have a second line because there was no presale for this show. The mob of 160 chanted "One Line! One Line! One line!" Victory is ours. U2 official says one line and adds they will meet about what to do in the future on non presale dates. We march over to where we will queue until doors open.

11 a.m.
More controversy. U2 tour dude comes back and says that afterall there will be two lines....one for U2.com members and one for everyone else. He says you can prove membership by your card, or a print out of your profile(since many had not recieved there cards). Now people searched out for the nearest Kinkos(copy store chain in the US) to log on and print there profiles. I was bummed on the two seperate lines but what can you do. I didnt think it would make that much of a difference. But if it meant the difference between on the rail and 4 or 5 deep........

1 pm
No sleep for 21 hours+blazin hot sun with not a bit of shade since 7 a.m.+no food=me getting grumpy. TIME TO EAT!

6 pm
Uneventful until now. Good news is I managed to get about 15 minutes of sleep. Didnt help much, since I awoke in a sweat under the sun. Spent the rest of the time chating with different fans. Hearing old tour stories and counting the minutes until doors. Soe teenage girls ran over crying and seemed like they were about to pass out. Apparently U2 had arrived and had signed autographs on the other side of the arena.(which brought me the thought....at which stage in a bands career do the fans start arriving at the venue before the band does?) 6pm was the original doors time we were told so everyone was getting a bit antsy.

6:30pm
Doors never opened at 6(surprise!) now the second time we were told has come and past.

6:45 pm
Ive now officially been in this line for 12 hours, combine that with the lack of sleep, the sunbuirns, and the lack of communication from security, arena and tour personel and I am just about ready to lose it. Then I am told that much of the security for tonights event is a local junior college tennis team doing volunteer work. Fantastic, I feel safer already.

7 pm
The damn doors finally open. I think a couple of my line mates think Im buts as I have been cursing under my breath for the past 5 minutes. As I finally pass in I notice that they are not making sure the people in the U2.com members line are members. Doesnt surprise me that this crack team of tennis teenagers wasnt told what to do. The Sports Arena always seems to have a few things screwy. Get thru the doors and have my ticket scanned....no ellipse for me.....or my line mate that I teamed up with. Oh well not a big deal. I just wanted to be close to the rail on the outside. Ever since I heard about the lottery I considered getting into the ellipse a bonus. Get down to the floor. Rail is full but I got right behind the shortest person on the rail so it was pretty much like being on the rail. My spirits were low at this point though......27 hours no sleep, dehydrated because I didnt want to have to goto the bathroom once inside, my feet and my back were killing me. I felt bad as I sat down for most of Kings of Leon(I did enjoy what I heard). I honestly at this point had thoughts of getting out of my spot and trying to find somehwere to sit way up somehwere. Boy am I glad I didnt because......


SHOWTIME!
U2 came out and brought the house down. Lifted my spirit along with everyone else in that arena. They seemed twice as energentic, twice as comfortable, and Bono seemed twice the front man then mondays opener. I know alot of it has to do with being in GA. But I really think the boys turned it up a couple notches over the other night. More moving around, more going out on the walkway, and Bono was more playful with audience(even given it the finger at one point...in a purey comical way. no insult intended by him). One highlight of the night for was when Bono called out to the audience for help on how to say Love is a drug is spanish(before they played miracle drug). He looked down into the ellipse and said "do you speak spanish?...Come up here" And who pops up but the man I met from Mexico City way back when I queued at 6:45 in the morning. I had sat with him for most of the 12 hours, and heard of his love of U2 and admiration of Bono. I knew it had to be the highlight of his life. Bono whispered two phrases in his ear for him to say in spanish. When you see a moment like that it just makes you happy. And in turn tonight became one of the greatest nights of my life. Great show U2, you even brought my sour puss, sleep deprieved attitude around.

So learn from m:
SLEEP BEFORE GA MARATHON.
BE PREPARDED. bring your membership card, profile print. whatever you think might help. You dont want to be on the outside looking in.
Unless you are really addicted to getting that rail then dont come until 3 or 4 hours before doors. There were alot of people directly behind me that hadnt gotten there until 3 pm. You can get there then and only be 3 or 4 deep. And honestly, the ellipse really is random, I only recognized about 10 people from the top two hundred of our line. As further proof....#1 and #2 in our line were both on the outside.....they had lined up at 5 pm and the night before.

Oh yeah, If the grammer or spelling is off in this(or there are missing words) Forgive me...I have now passed the 32 hour mark .....goodnight.
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:50 AM   #2
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Thank you for posting this.
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:58 AM   #3
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I'd like to echo miss becky's thanks. Very informative and interesting.
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Old 03-31-2005, 04:22 AM   #4
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yes, thank you.

I'm trying to read as many GA experiences as I can so I know what to expect and how early to get there

And I'm glad to hear that U2 rocked the house! Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:39 AM   #5
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Nice post! Informative, positive and excititng...

is it May yet?

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Old 03-31-2005, 06:44 AM   #6
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God bless you for posting this! I am sharing this story with my U2 friend coming from Virginia to see them in Chicago. It is very helpful!

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Old 03-31-2005, 06:52 AM   #7
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Oh god... Is it May yet??? IS IT!!!!?

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Old 03-31-2005, 06:53 AM   #8
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This brings back memories of elevation...

thanks!
Man, I can't wait till 5/14!
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Old 03-31-2005, 08:44 AM   #9
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Thanks for the post-It's the only one I've found so far with the info I needed. Does anyone have any idea if your U2.com membership profile will get you into the pre-sale line or if they just go strictly by your tickets (for the concerts that had pre-sales)?
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Old 03-31-2005, 10:43 AM   #10
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Thanks so much for posting this indeed. I have been waiting for more GA/Ellipse stories as to prepare myself for SJ1.
Last tour I either had seats or got into the heart by waiting all day long so I have never been in back of the rail.
So can you tell me....while you were in back of the rail in your 2nd row spot could you leave at all to go to the bathroom or were you plain just stuck there then? I dont want to make the people Im going with wait for 12 hours and then be at the back of the floor anyways so Im thinking to go around 3 and just see what happens. Can you leave and get back?
Anyone else experience the back of the floor yet?
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Old 03-31-2005, 11:25 AM   #11
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redandblack,

Would you be willing to turn this into an essay for our main site? Email me if you're interested.
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Old 03-31-2005, 11:39 AM   #12
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Thanks for posting that. That was great info on what it's like.
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Old 03-31-2005, 11:48 AM   #13
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Thank you for that write up.
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by onemorefan
Thanks for the post-It's the only one I've found so far with the info I needed. Does anyone have any idea if your U2.com membership profile will get you into the pre-sale line or if they just go strictly by your tickets (for the concerts that had pre-sales)?
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Old 04-01-2005, 03:44 PM   #15
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Thanks for your "day in the life". It was very informative. I'm glad you made it and had such a great time!
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Old 04-01-2005, 03:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by onemorefan
Thanks for the post-It's the only one I've found so far with the info I needed. Does anyone have any idea if your U2.com membership profile will get you into the pre-sale line or if they just go strictly by your tickets (for the concerts that had pre-sales)?
Interestingly enough today one of the moderators on U2.com posted that the policy for the line (presale or not) is either a Presale ticket, your membership card, or your profile printout.

Not sure how accurate that is though. I can't believe we've gotten no updates from Anaheim today on what's going on.
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Old 04-01-2005, 03:56 PM   #17
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Yeah, what's going on in Anaheim? What happened with all those updates we were getting for SD?

Am I the only one who thinks that if indeed any U2.com member can go in the U2.com line, this line will, at least for the first few hours of the day, be as long as the other one? I have a feeling that many people who will get there early will be pretty hard-core fans and members of U2.com.

So I"m not sure that idea will go that well in the end, especially if the regular line ends up going in faster (like it happened for SD 2, apparently).

Plus, what if you are going with someone who is not a U2.com member?
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Old 04-02-2005, 09:27 AM   #18
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Could anyone post any updates as to what time they arrived in the GA line for Anaheim and what state the line was in?

I'd like to continue monitoring the lines so I know what to do when I arrived in Denver!
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Old 04-02-2005, 02:29 PM   #19
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Well for Anaheim 1 I was there at around 8:30 am and was #89 in the fanclub line. Got me front rail on right not in shelter. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-02-2005, 02:39 PM   #20
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i had GA tickets for Anaheim 1.

Arrived at 7:00 AM, and my roommate and i were numbers 72 and 73. there were approximately 50 people who had spent the night there. between 7-8 about 20 people came, and i think by 9 am there were maybe a little over 100 people. after that, not that many people showed up...the line stayed the same for a long time until around noon. another wave of fans came in the early afternoon...then the line started growing longer and longer in the afternoon and evening.

if you really want to be right next to the stage or the rails outside the ellipse, then it is still recommended that you come as early as possible, especially if you have the regular GA tickets. I had regular GAs, and i was one person behind the rail outside the ellipse. the guys in front of me were in Anaheim since 2 AM.

However, if you have the fan club presale GA with the "-FAN" on it, you can come later and still get a decent spot compared to a regular GA ticketholder. The fan club line was probably half the length of the regular line since morning to early afternoon. In Anaheim, they split the fan club line into two, so there were three GA lines going in - 1 regular and 2 fan club lines. so definitely the fan club line moved faster. For example, the lady standing behind me came to Anaheim at 5:20 PM and she was two persons behind the edge of the ellipse (she had a fan club presale ticket) and i was waiting in line since 7 AM! if you're happy with being close enough to the stage, then take your time coming to the venue...if you need to be right in front, i'm not sure how early you need to arrive...maybe 9 am? I'm not sure if other venues will split the fan club line like they did in anaheim.

For shows that didn’t have the presale, I think you need to print out your member profile from u2.com as proof, along with ID. I think that’s more fair, because a fan club ticket holder isn’t necessarily a member. I was rather irked that I was a member with a regular GA ticket, and someone with a fan club ticket got in line later than me, but still got inside before me.

i wish i came to the venue at 9 am instead of 7 am...i think i could have gotten a similar spot and at least i would have had a couple more hours to sleep.

as for getting into the ellipse...the odds are against you...i'd say one in ten gets inside. personally, i liked being outside the ellipse. bono's much more fun when he's walking around the ellipse and when he does, he’s usually facing the fans outside the ellipse. unless you're a big fan of the edge or adam and you need to be close to them, i don't think the ellipse is such a big deal if you are not within 3-4 people from the stage.

but the ellipse is ideal if you have a bladder problem. before KOL came on, my roommate had to use the bathroom. she had a hard time getting back to her spot because people just wouldn't let her back in. i didn't even dare to think about using the bathroom once the show started. you definitely need to empty your fluids and don't drink anything if you're gonna be outside the ellipse.

so, basically, don't even count on getting inside the ellipse. If you do get inside, thank your lucky stars.

There was some confusion about cameras. We were first told that no cameras are allowed; later we were told that cameras are ok, as long as they weren’t “professional” or had video recording capabilities.

the people: i met a lot of cool fans while i was waiting in line. all different types of people, but everyone is pretty cool...well at least the people around me were pretty cool. it was lovely weather and really relaxing...most people brought chairs and blankets...one person brought a gazebo...people were reading, playing games, napping...it felt like spending the day at the park. some people were more chatty and friendly, some kept to themselves. i think it's good to try to get to know some people around you...it can work to your advantage. you can find out info about u2 related stuff, or people will offer to go out and buy lunch or hold your place in line, or they'll offer to temporarily switch spots with you if you need to get a good picture of bono, etc. during the show, the crowd wasn’t rowdy and I had enough room to breathe and move. i think that hanging out with the fans in line is one of the fun experiences of GA.

some highlights while waiting in line: some idiot guy who was supposed to be further back in line decides to take his chair and take a spot at the front of the line. people were getting mad, and they yelled at him. women would come up to this guy and harass him. finally, security came and the "boss" chewed him out and the guy was forced to leave the line and the security guys threw his chair out to the street. so...a warning to those of you who plan on cutting in line: forget it. if security doesn't get to you, the fans will.

another highlight: the band members came to the venue between 3-4 pm. nobody came out...we just saw big black important cars driving by...it was rumored that larry, adam and edge drove in but i couldn't tell through the dark tinted windows. people waited and waited until 4:20...i was waiting there too and went back to my line, but 10 minutes later i heard screaming so i ran over and there was bono in the car. he opened the door and stood there for a few minutes but i think the fans were bombarding him so he went back inside the car and drove into the venue, but at least he waved hi.

I can’t think of anything else…to summarize, I highly recommend it. It’s so much more fun being on the floor than sitting in the stands. and waiting in line is an experience in itself. Yes, it’s much more tiring and requires more time and energy but I think it’s really worth it.
it sure beats spending the day at work.
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