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Old 07-03-2007, 09:54 AM   #1
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U2.com and advance ticket purchases

What's the likelihood of the official site offering priority ticketing allocation for subscribers for the next tour, which will probably be starting in 2009 or so? I know the whole thing was an almighty f**k up last time, but surely they could learn from the experience and be more careful in future? From memory, I think the problem was that U2.com actually stated that subscribers would be GUARANTEED tickets, didn't they? This led to disappointment when it just wasn't possible to satisfy the demand, as well as the attendant technical problems and generally disastrous customer service.

The thing is, virtually every major act operates some sort of advance ticket sale for paying subscribers / fan club members, so I find it hard to imagine that U2 would drop the idea completely. The principle seems to work best though if treated as an OPPORTUNITY to buy tickets before a general sale, rather than a cast-iron promise / guarantee. Checking the U2.com subscription FAQ reveals the following:

"Q) If I renew my U2.Com subscription, will I receive a ticket access code for pre-sale tickets?
A) At present, new subscribers do not receive pre-sale ticket codes."

I think the keywords here are 'at present' - I would hope that when U2 are ready to tour again, there will be a better organised and managed presale system in operation. Inevitably though, the scalpers will still manage to get their hands on the best tickets.

I'll mention two recent experiences I've had with big acts that worked very well for me: Bon Jovi and Robbie Williams. (People in the US and Canada probably won't know who Robbie is, but he's hugely popular in the rest of the world, with his 2006 world tour playing to 3.5 million people in stadiums in Europe, S Africa, S America and Australia. I think he holds a world record for selling 1.7 million tickets on a single day, so rest assured that he's popular.) I'm on Bon Jovi's mailing list - and don't pay a subscription fee for this - and was emailed a password that allowed me to purchase tickets for their Dublin show in May 2006, as part of a Ticketmaster presale. Since it gave me access to a special section of the regular TM site, I was able to select where I wanted my tickets to be, rather than having them allocated randomly.

The Robbie Williams experience was slightly more complicated. I'm a member of his official fan club - the Inner Sanctum - and was given the opportunity to buy tickets in advance of the general sale. This presale wasn't co-ordinated by TM, and so I had the choice of purchasing a range of standing or seated tickets in bands, separated according to price. In terms of the seated options, I didn't know where exactly I would be sitting there and then, although I selected the most expensive option on the basis that they were described as 'Best Front Seats'. It was only when the tickets arrived - about 5 months after I'd reserved them - that I discovered where they were. In truth they were good seats, well sited, but right at the back of a block, so it was a bit disengenuous to describe them as 'Best Front Seats'. However, I still felt justified in taking this approach, as the show - Croke Park, Dublin - sold out in 20 minutes. Based on my own bad experiences trying to buy tickets in the general sale for U2's Croke Park concerts, and drawing a blank, I knew that I'd be likely to be similarly unlucky where Robbie was concerned. It was great to be able to, as it were, 'beat the queue' and take the hassle out of the process.

My point is that U2 are bound to operate some sort of presale system again in future, which will hopefully work out OK if it's clear that the enterprise carries no guarantees of success. I only hope that they don't come up with the sort of increasingly elaborate and costly presale packages offered by the Stones or The Police.

(I don't think this topic has been directly addressed - well, maybe not recently anyway, and I didn't want to scroll through 492 pages of topics in this forum. If this post can be merged anywhere, the moderators should feel free to do so, and I apologise in advance if this is necessary.)
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:03 AM   #2
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If they do it at all, I doubt any preference will be given to people who sign up in the few months before the tour. I don't know if the system would be directly related to how long you've been a member, but it's pretty clear that the people who sign up right before the tour are either 1). scalpers or 2). people who just want advanced access. You may have some new fans brought on by the new album who sign up right before the tour, but the number who would do that seems to me to be far less than the number who fit into the two categories above.
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:09 AM   #3
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Re: U2.com and advance ticket purchases

Quote:
Originally posted by Morgoth321
From memory, I think the problem was that U2.com actually stated that subscribers would be GUARANTEED tickets, didn't they?
No fan club can guarantee tickets, it's impossible, unless they limit attendence by city, which even then pretty close to impossible.
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: Re: U2.com and advance ticket purchases

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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


No fan club can guarantee tickets, it's impossible, unless they limit attendence by city, which even then pretty close to impossible.
That was the problem though, U2.com did say one of the benefits of joining the fanclub was guaranteed tickets via the presale.

They later admitted that this had been a mistake, but the damage had already been done.
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:28 AM   #5
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I don't remember this at all. They may have guarantteed us first chance but not tickets, it would be logistically impossible.
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:33 AM   #6
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A big problem was that scalpers joined the fanclub. I think all fanclub tickets should be for pickup at will-call only, the day before and the day of the show, and only with proper ID. If someone wants to turn around and sell their tickets then, fine, but I think this will cut down on people buying the tickets who have no intention of actually using them.

I'm sure people who bought presale tickets to first leg shows and scalped them made thousands, and by that point, there wasn't anything U2.com could do to stop it.

There are other more successful business models for presales out there. I hope U2's business people are looking at them. I wouldn't mind seeing them overhaul the GA lottery, too, while they're at it.
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:37 AM   #7
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oh god, as much as I'm looking forward to the next tour, I'm really not ready to start stressing about things like ticket presales.

I just hope they learned their lesson last time and are better prepared next time around. I also hope they revamp the GA lottery again, but I know they had their reasons for doing it the way they did for Vertigo, so
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Old 07-03-2007, 09:58 PM   #8
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U2.com promised that I could sit on the stage next time. Can't wait.
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:03 AM   #9
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My membership expired quite a while ago, and I have no plans to renew it. I'll take my chances in the general sale. It's just not worth it to me to pour a bunch of money into an otherwise useless fan club when they can't promise any great advantages come tour season.
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:07 AM   #10
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Someone show me where they promised something please...
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Old 07-04-2007, 04:33 AM   #11
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At the third Vertigo leg in the US, the system of distributing tickets was done properly. As a former Propaganda member I could order two tickets in the pre-sale a day before other U2.com-members could order. A day or so after the second pre-sale tickets went on sale for the general public.

IMHO this is the only correct way to distribute tix among fans through pre-sales; fans who've been permanent mebers get the first bite.....

Another strategy would be announcing a pre-sale unexpectedly, so scalpers didn't have time to join.. On the other hand, all those people taking out subsucriptions generate a whole lot of money for the U2 organisation..
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Old 07-04-2007, 04:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Someone show me where they promised something please...
Check this out - it's an excellent summation of U2.com's correspondence collated and analysed by Laura Page of @u2.com:

http://www.atu2.com/news/article.src?ID=3738

I think it comes down to issues of wordplay and semantics, but somewhere in there is a clear indication of 'guarantees' that gets gradually watered down as time passes. Bottom line is that Propaganda members definitely got shafted though.

A further thought - is there any way that it would be possible for any sort of priority to be given to those who have been Propaganda / U2.com members for any length of time?
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Old 07-04-2007, 12:54 PM   #13
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Thanks. That's what I thought, no guarantee of tickets... Just think about it, there's no possible way. It's just common sense.
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:19 PM   #14
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As far as my situation is concerned i.e. someone who received that email sent to former Propaganda members that tells me:

Q - How many tickets will I be able to buy under the priority booking arrangement as a member of U2.Com ?
A - You will be able to buy two tickets for any indoor U2 show or four tickets for any outdoor U2 show.

Then I try to get tickets to the 5/21 show in NY and am not offered any tickets at all, I consider that a problem. I was not able to buy two tickets for any indoor U2 show. I also tried for just 1 ticket for that show, and again was not offered anything.

I realized that this was not done intentionally, and that it had just been handled very badly. Shit happens. They ended up sending me another presale code for the 3rd leg which I was able to use to buy GA tickets for another 4 shows so as far as I was concerned they were trying to make up for what happened during the 1st presale.

I suppose the guarantee was not to all u2.com members, that is true. They did make it seem like they were guaranteeing tickets to former propaganda members though, and that was my recollection from my situation.

I honestly believe that if they do decide to offer presale codes for any future tours it will be handled the way the 3rd leg presale was held.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoIsMyMuse
A big problem was that scalpers joined the fanclub. I think all fanclub tickets should be for pickup at will-call only, the day before and the day of the show, and only with proper ID. If someone wants to turn around and sell their tickets then, fine, but I think this will cut down on people buying the tickets who have no intention of actually using them.

I'm sure people who bought presale tickets to first leg shows and scalped them made thousands, and by that point, there wasn't anything U2.com could do to stop it.

There are other more successful business models for presales out there. I hope U2's business people are looking at them. I wouldn't mind seeing them overhaul the GA lottery, too, while they're at it.
I'm onboard with this plan. I don't know how many times I saw people on ebay 1500 miles from a show selling tickets for 5-10x face value. It was completely out of hand... Will call, though a bit of a pain, really is the only way to ensure that the bulk of the fan tickets actually stay with the fans. I'd gladly wait in line for an hour or 2 (as would most fan club peeps) if it meant having more tickets for more fans.

Besides...it'd be nice to for once feel like ticketbastard was actually earning the fees we pay.
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:11 PM   #16
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you could always try www.Stubhub.com next time fans sell their tickets some at really good prices.
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:14 AM   #17
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Originally posted by love2bmama
[B]oh god, as much as I'm looking forward to the next tour, I'm really not ready to start stressing about things like ticket presales.
Sadly, it's for precisely that reason that I'll end up taking the plunge and investing in a subscription to U2.com (assuming that they will attempt some sort of presale system for the next tour). I only became a fan fairly recently, and so my first attempt at buying tickets was in the general sale for Dublin in 2005, when the two shows that were initially announced for Croke Park sold out in less than an hour. That was a depressing morning for me, confronted by a continually crashing Ticketmaster website and a constantly engaged TM phoneline that eventually declared that both shows were sold out. My misery was then complete when exorbitantly scalped tickets began to abound on eBay almost instantly. (Ironically, I had toyed with the idea of a U2.com subscription months earlier, but was put off by whatever the cost was at the time...Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?!)

So if there's any way of taking the stress out of acquiring in-demand tickets, I'll take it. The thing is, much as I've grown to love U2, I'm also realistic enough to know my financial limitations, and would refuse to pay crazy money to scalpers. Much as it would pain me to miss out completely, the money can be better spent on my wife and kids than lining some parasite's pocket. So, probably around this time next year, I'll fork out my $40 and see what happens (assuming that a new album appears next Autumn with a 2009 tour following). I guess it's a small price to pay for - hopefully - getting a shot at advanced tickets in a presale. (Obviously there'll also be whatever highly collectable gift is being offered to subscribers - probably the audio from the PopMart Mexico DVD!) But, U2.com being what it is, could they in fact offer subscribers the chance to participate in presales, while at the same time ramping up the fee to $100 or above?

To move the discussion onwards, here's a question: do you think that former Propaganda members will receive any sort of preferential treatment for presales in future, or will their loyalty be ignored and the playing field levelled for everyone with a subscription to have a go at the same time?
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Old 07-06-2007, 04:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by innominata8


I'm onboard with this plan. I don't know how many times I saw people on ebay 1500 miles from a show selling tickets for 5-10x face value. It was completely out of hand... Will call, though a bit of a pain, really is the only way to ensure that the bulk of the fan tickets actually stay with the fans. I'd gladly wait in line for an hour or 2 (as would most fan club peeps) if it meant having more tickets for more fans.

Besides...it'd be nice to for once feel like ticketbastard was actually earning the fees we pay.
That was HORRIBLE, I just dont know how people got a hold of so many tickets!! I had a few extra that i re-sold for face value and I also got some for the Vegas show on E-bay for face value ((I was LUCKY)) but yeah that drama with U2.com was painfu!!
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Old 07-06-2007, 04:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Morgoth321
To move the discussion onwards, here's a question: do you think that former Propaganda members will receive any sort of preferential treatment for presales in future, or will their loyalty be ignored and the playing field levelled for everyone with a subscription to have a go at the same time?
I don't think there will be any future preferential treatment for former Propaganda members. They were barely able to handle that the last time.
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