London 1 GA queue problems - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-25-2015, 11:37 PM   #1
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London 1 GA queue problems

Thought I'd post this on here incase others had problems and wanted to take it up with the O2 arena.

Plus I'm bored so why not.

Also I was right at the front of the queue - so an exclusive for the forum, if you will.

This post concerns delays at the GA queue right when the show was about to start. I hope that for the remaining shows that the same problems will not occur due to 'lessons learnt', the stage being set up/sound checks done and a later start time.

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So I had 1 GA ticket and got to the arena about 6.30pm. Having been to the O2 arena around 5 times and also to say 25 other big gigs with over 15,000 fans(Wembley Arena to Wembley Stadium etc). My expectation was by this time that queues would be flowing in..


However when I got there there was a significant queue that initally did not appear to be moving. The way the queue worked was that it was (from the back) 1 long line which then split into 5 or 6 very short queues with metal barriers and with a ticket checker at the end.

I see from some posts on Twitter that others complain of the same queue. I would GUESS the number of people I saw would be about 1 quarter of the floor audience - maybe closer to half. Maybe someone else who went in early can clarify when they started letting people in. It may be that there was another entrance on the other side letting people in from another door.

But I would say the number of people queuing at 6.30 looked unusally large based on my own experiences of nuemrous concerts - especially when you know ticketless entry might take longer than paper ticket entry.

Regardless of WHEN we got in, the O2 should have been able to let everyone in by whatever start time was agreed with the band/organisers.

I was at door F. I am not sure if this was the only GA entrance. In theory you could let people in from both sides of the arena with 2 entrances but also from one side because as far as I can make out the stage does not totally divide the floor so if everyone came in from the back they could spread out.

Anyway, having done my research etc I expected that I would turn up at 6.30 - get in reasonably quick and then just hang around at the middle/back.

I join the queue and it starts moving. I knew for sure the gig would not start til 8 (7pm advertised time is nonsense). I thought we should make it in easy by that time.

I heard one staff member say they had a 20 minute delay due to soundchecks.

Anyway, queue starts moving reasonably quickly. And I get to the bit where it splits into 5 or 6 lines. By this time a lot of time has passed - it must be closer to 7.40.

I am about 10 people back from getting my card checked. The queue is a lot slower now.

I get to the front of one the queues where my card is about to be scanned and one of the supervisors tells all the staff to wait before doing anything further.

Now just to clarify, I think there is a seperate debate from people who turned up early about the system letting in latecomers before them. This is not the issue here. All the people next to me turned up at 6.30 or so or later so none of them should have been THAT bothered about a few people going infront of them as we were never going to be able to pick where we wanted to stand.

Anyway, after about 10 minutes people are starting to make a lot of comments and whinge etc My view on it is that we as a queue have paused so no one is losing out. We are just frozen.

Anyway, then the supervisor speaks to the crowd, he does get some atitude back, but to be fair he did say stuff more than he needed to which wound people up (i.e if you don't like was has to happen then leave the queue).

What he says is that the entrance our line was going into has too many people there (i.e its usnafe to allow more people in there) and we needed to use another door. In order to do this our queue has to move to another entrance. This caused an uproar because it sounded like the entire queue had to move - which would be logistically difficult - especially to retain order). What he actually meant was that once you got your ticket you just had to walk an extra 40m to another door - the way he explained it was poor and a big fussed seemed to be being made over nothing.

Then things started to get a bit chaotic. The supervisor said they would do 1 line (of the 6) at a time which caused further uproar because it meant some people at the front of queues 2 3 4 5 and 6 would be let in after the entire line 1.

The staff at the front of the lines had no idea what was going on. Then the supervisor just said let all lines go at once.

Now where the O2 made a mistake was that they said their staff would walk/guide people to the next entrance and he took some of his staff off to do this (at this stage the front of the queue had 1 person to check tickets and 1 person to do wristbands - the wristband people seemed to be the ones moved off).

There was no need to guide us because all we had to do was follow the shape of the building round to the next door. It seemed to me the change was such a minor one but the O2 staff made it into a bigger one and caused a bit of frustration.

Having looked at some photos I suspect what happened was that as the venue got darker more and people stayed near the door they went into the arena via (i.e the one we were suppsoed to use) - this meant space was probably not being utilsied properly - hence why they had to take us in via another door at the back of the arena where there were not as many people.

Anyway, things started to become a bit of a shambles because it SEEMED to me that 1 ticket checker was letting people through without checking their credit cards whereas my person insisted on it. At this stage peopel were shouting and stuff because it was getting close to start time.

Also my person only gave me 1 of the 2 wristbands after my card was check so when I got past her I got stopped and told to go to another desk to get my other wristband - which caused a couple of minutes delay.

By the time I got in U2 had started playing the first few notes of The Miracle of Joey Ramone.

The whole thing with the supervisor telling people we had to use another entrance and me being elt through and going to the new entrance only took 10 minute sbut in that 10 minute period there was a lot of crowd annoyance and because staff moved off the system sort of broke down as the credit card checkers then had to put wristbands on (this may not have been the case at every queue but it wa son mine and the one next to me.

Now the important part - even though I had a faff with my wristband, probably 20 people went past me - but there were I would guesstimate 200-300 people behind me - if all of these people had to
- get cards verified
- get wristbands with reduced staff doing it

Then they would have suffered significant delays in getting into the show.

One way round it would for the organisers to assume everyone in the queue has a valid ticket (why else would they be there at 8pm) and let them all in.

I do feel a bit sorry for the supervisor because I suspect he got stitched up with an issue of safety over letting people in.

Fundamentally though (and I know the timings were tight on the show due to curfew etc) they should have held the show up for 10-15 minutes whilst someone amde an executive decision to let all those people in quicktime.

If the O2 arena holds circa 20,000 then the 200 people represent 1% of the audience.

To sumamrise, I think those people can rightly be annoyed at the O2 for not having a system inplace to ensure queues were processed quickly.

By the way it is NOT the first time there has been ticketless ticketing at the O2 but it may be a new system. Metallica did it all the way back in 2008.

I went to a previous concert (the Metallica one) and that worked exactly the same way (and we also walked straight in and that was around 7pm).
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Old 10-26-2015, 02:20 AM   #2
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I was with you in the queue- as per other post it was badly organised and the extra delay was pointless
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:42 AM   #3
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I got to the o2 around 6.30ish aswell. I couldn't believe the size of the queue. We eventually got in around 7.45ish. We got in, got a good spot in the middle about 6 people back from the rail and then the band came on.

Really really badly organised. We originally queued in the first entrance becasue it never said it was seating only. Got to the front to be told we had to walk round to entrance f. Then there was a massive queue that just snaked round everywhere.

There wasnt anyone telling us anything,nobody was directing us to the end of the queue. We couldnt actually see the end of it, it spiralled round that much.

One secruity staff member was blaming the band for going over the soundcheck time. I heard the system crashed and couldnt connect to the internet.

Who knows what happened but can we please have a ticket next time. Its so much easier
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:12 AM   #4
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I was up on the external concourse on level 4 looking down at the GA entrance shambles around 7.50pm with loadsa others cos there was so much noise and commotion. They had stopped letting fans in. (I thought I saw a couple of fans jump the fence and run in but maybe they were stewards.)

Anyway, I was down on the GA floor during People Have the Power. Just after 8pm, Bono entered the interior of the arena through the same tunnel that GA used. So that entrance would have been closed off to fans by security at least five minutes before he arrived, possibly longer. (I remember at East Lansing during 360 they closed the concourse under the stands for around ten minutes for the band to enter.)

So in effect, Bono prevented his own fans from seeing the start of his show. Pretty poor organisation all round by the O2 though, cos there were credit card scanner issues too.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:16 AM   #5
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London 1 GA queue problems

I must of literally got in before this happened. There was a bar when we walked in and they had just shut it,i just thought it was because they were trying to get people in the arena.

Who the hell decides to let Bono enter the arena on the side were people are trying to get in. Wouldnt it of been better if he had walked in on the other side.

I will defo be keeping this in mind next Tuesday
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:03 AM   #6
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I presume that means Bono comes in via the back door and starts on the B stage?

What they needed to do yesterday was make people move forward (which is easy to do in a standard gig where most people want to be at the front - but not in this one as people want to be at the back as much as the front) - or have the 2nd door open from the start so fans enter evenly on both side.
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:11 PM   #7
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I was also in that queue the event staff where poor they could have told us what was going on instead of letting things brew up


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Old 10-26-2015, 12:12 PM   #8
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You can get your standing tickets from the box office now for the remaining shows


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Old 10-26-2015, 12:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stigman View Post
You can get your standing tickets from the box office now for the remaining shows


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On the day only or in advance?
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Old 10-26-2015, 01:41 PM   #10
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I wonder if anyone who missed part of the show could get some sort of compensation. Check-ins will probably have a time recorded. Could be worth a try.
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Old 10-26-2015, 02:17 PM   #11
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I watched a video on youtube earlier and you can see that one side of the arena is totally full - the side that we would have entered.

The other side that Bono came in via was much emptier - that was presumably the one we were told to go into.

In a way it prob worked out slightly better for me as I got more free space to go where I wanted.
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Old 10-26-2015, 02:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mo786 View Post
I watched a video on youtube earlier and you can see that one side of the arena is totally full - the side that we would have entered.

The other side that Bono came in via was much emptier - that was presumably the one we were told to go into.

In a way it prob worked out slightly better for me as I got more free space to go where I wanted.

When they gave me the wristband they never told me to go in the north or the south. I didnt even realise my wristband had south side on until i had a good position in the north side. Didn't really work
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rennowba View Post
I must of literally got in before this happened. There was a bar when we walked in and they had just shut it,i just thought it was because they were trying to get people in the arena.

Who the hell decides to let Bono enter the arena on the side were people are trying to get in. Wouldnt it of been better if he had walked in on the other side.

I will defo be keeping this in mind next Tuesday
That is just how the set up works (at least in some venues..if now all). Berlin was the same: two tunnels (floor entrances) used by GA (i.e NORTH and SOUTH) and one of those tunnels was later used by Bono while walking out to e-stage. However, in Berlin everything was organised well, and people were in the GA area well before the start of the show....
O2 staff can blame it on whomever they want, but I think London let the ball drop. Alone the fact that it wasn't even clear which entrance / queue was to even be used for GA etc.... hopefully, things get smoothed out for tonight and the rest of the performances.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:30 PM   #14
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O2 staff can blame it on whomever they want, but I think London let the ball drop. Alone the fact that it wasn't even clear which entrance / queue was to even be used for GA etc.... hopefully, things get smoothed out for tonight and the rest of the performances.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:39 PM   #15
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my email said go to door f for GA entrance. i suspect many turned up without their emails - so really they should have had a sign up i spose

when you say the main entrance you mean the one as you go into the O2 door? do you know what that is for - premium seating i suppose?
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