Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
U2TUF

Do I love U2 more than I hate Ticketmaster?

Recommended Posts

Am I the only one that is troubled by the amount of tickets available for resale through Ticketmaster.com?  I have spent over $1K on 4 tickets to two shows.  I got my first two tickets through the presale - Section 3 row 1 (MSG 7/19) and the second two tickets through the public sale - section 115, row 14 (MSG 7/26). I skipped the last tour since I much prefer to see U2 at indoor venues.  I've been an avid fan of U2 since 1981.  Now that I'm older and wiser, the reselling feature on Ticketmaster is really not sitting well with me.  Ticketmaster always sucked, but this screams corruption.  Is U2 live in concert worth kicking ethics to the curb?  Should I even have to ponder this decision?

If I do decide to sell my tickets at cost - I will certainly let this forum know first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But how is TM reselling tx really any different from reselling them on ebay (or other dedicated scalping sites), which has been around forever?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It appears to legitimize an unregulated practice of selling tickets above face value, but whatever way you slice it - its still scalping.  What bothers me is the "individuals" who were lucky enough to purchase prime seat locations (read:  sarcasm) are looking to make a profit from other fans and ticketmaster says its okay as long as you pay them a piece of the pie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@U2TUF, I agree with you on the complete and utter hatred I have for Ticketmaster, and several tinges of disappointment at how U2 handle this. 

 

First, it really irks me that the only way to have a shot at decent seats is to fork over an extra $40 a year to join this group.  (That said, I do appreciate all the content on the website, but I imagine a lot of that would be there even if they didn't have all of us dutifully handing over our money every year.)

 

Second, what was the deal this year with only being able to buy 2 tickets over the entire tour??  If you wanted to attend more than one show, you either had to go solo (what I'm doing) or buy 2 seats together and go to only one show.

 

Third, this resale feature bugs me.  I suppose it's good to see that there's a "proper" (regulated) place where you can resell, but it really ticks me off that these guys are not only selling the tix first time around (and BADLY, 'cos their stupid site is always nightmare the day tix go on sale) but now they have their greedy paws over the resale too.

 

There has got to be a better way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@U2TUF, I agree with your hatred of Tickemaster.  But this is even worse than you think (but more on this in a moment).

 

First to respond to Mia10010: If you don't want access to pre-sale tix, then don't join the fan club.  The access to pre-sale tix is for FANS -- used to be the folks who were members of the old fan club, Propaganda, and now for people who subscribe to U2.com -- if you don't want the benefits of joining the fan club, then don't join AND then do not complain when you don't have a shot at getting pre-sale tix to U2 shows.  I have precious little patience for people who complain about spending $40 for the annual fan club membership -- it is worth its weight in gold because I it gives me a shot at GA tix, which are IMHO the best way to enjoy U2 live for dedicated fans who don't mind standing (of which I am one of many).

 

Second, the limit of two tix -- as has been widely explained in the press and on both U2.com and atu2 web sites -- is because indoor venues have much smaller capacity (typically 17,500 to 19,000 people) vs. outdoor stadiums on the U2 360 Tour which could accomodate (as in the case of the Rose Bowl) upwards of 80,000 fans. While you may not like it, it is more than fair when compared to the last tour (which you are doing by complaining about 2 vs. 4).

 

One more response to people who post complaints to the website: to the guy who bitched about the person who sold 2 NYC1 GA tix at face value and didn't sell them to him bacause he "wished people would read all of the prior postings" -- quit being a baby!  NYC GAs are in the highest demand (DUH!) and the fan did all of us fans members a huge service by posting the 2 GA tix for face value on the website -- and one lucky fan bought them within 12 minutes of the post.  I congratulate both fans (the seller and the buyer) and again have precious little patience for people who post complaints about why others don't go out of their way to find ONLY THEM to sell the tix to... grow up; the world doesn't revolve around you!

 

Back to @U2TUF, If you want to be upset with anybody, aim it at Ticketmaster.  I just learned today from a buddy of mine that the Ticketmaster reseller feature gouges even more money from the TM Resale price.  Apparently (this is second hand), if you resale through TM your ticket at $450, they take over $100 (he would only receive $330 from the resale). IF THIS IS TRUE, then Ticketmaster is even more EVIL than everyone understands.  Not only do they gouge us for "convenience fees" which are upwards of 25% of the actual ticket cost (and this is for EVERY TICKET SOLD), they then have the audacity to double-dip with an even larger 30%+ for the TM Resale (again, apparently as I have not used this feature).

 

When U2 was in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune published a great article of an interview with Bono.  This broad issue (ticketing, and U2 working with monopolies like Live Nation / TM) was brought up and Bono responded (fairly, I believe, given everything he champions and the life he leads, including raising a family) that he didn't realize it was a big problem.  As he stated in his defense, of the various issues he champions, to add this means he would have to drop another one -- which seems reasonable given all of the great causes he (and the band) champions.  Having said that, it is up to us fans to raise the temperature on this problem to the level that the band notices.  I have much more against TM (especially this new policy of CC entry to prevent scalping, which in my ROBUST experience on this tour proves to be false as only the true fans (not scalpers) who bought GA tickets have been hampered by this while the scalpers have many ways around this -- but I have been unsuccessful (so far) in getting access to the band or management company to properly register this major problem (complaining to Live Nation / TM about this is like giving the fox the keys to the hen house IMO).  I've even communicated directly with Matt at atU2.com on this, and he could offer no points of access to the band or their management company. That said, at the risk of causing a clusterf**k online, if any of you have access points / contacts to either the band or their management company, please reply to this post.  I am sufficiently irritated by what I've seen happen at multiple locations so far on this tour that I would -- if given access to someone who can actually FIX this problem -- relentlessly follow-up.

 

Thanks (or sorry) for reading my venting on this issue -- it has obviously been boiling inside me for almost 2 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Discman, my issue with the $40 fee is that typically - except maybe in this case because the band are doing so many nights in NYC - the so-called "pre-sale" nowadays become de facto the only sale because if you wait until the tickets are open to the general public, there's nothing left.  At least that's how it's been the last few tours.

 

But yeah, the downloads and the other things are nice (and I go back as far as the early Propaganda days too).

 

On the Ticketmaster issue, have you considered reaching out to the Irish and Irish-American media and see if they'd do some coverage?  I'm sure the Irish Voice would talk to you and some other vociferous like-minded people.  And heck, why not reach out to some folks at RTE and the Irish Times?  And how about the Daily News?  Since our lovely city is a second (or third or fourth) home to some of the guys, that kind of coverage might catch their attention while they're here.

 

This tour's tickets are particularly exorbitant compared to the equivalent of what I've paid over the years as I was growing up with the boys.  I know the shows are going to be spectacular, and I will be elated and thrilled to have seen yet another performance, but I really do feel bad for younger fans who may be buried under student loans and working in low-paying jobs (if even) - how are these kids supposed to be able to afford several hundred bucks for a ticket? 

 

And if what you're reporting (albeit secondhand) about what these SOBs at Ticketmaster are doing (e.g. the double-dipping) is true, well, that's enfuriating and nauseating, and I'd happily be with you to do anything in a move to convince U2 to find a more reputable partner, someone worthy of their fans.

 

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to @U2TUF, If you want to be upset with anybody, aim it at Ticketmaster.  I just learned today from a buddy of mine that the Ticketmaster reseller feature gouges even more money from the TM Resale price.  Apparently (this is second hand), if you resale through TM your ticket at $450, they take over $100 (he would only receive $330 from the resale). IF THIS IS TRUE, then Ticketmaster is even more EVIL than everyone understands.  Not only do they gouge us for "convenience fees" which are upwards of 25% of the actual ticket cost (and this is for EVERY TICKET SOLD), they then have the audacity to double-dip with an even larger 30%+ for the TM Resale (again, apparently as I have not used this feature).

 

I've resold tickets through them. Completely true. They take a % so the more you make, the more they make, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To JeffWalsh -- thanks for confirming the TM resale commission structure.  More reason why TM is so EVIL -- the company selling tickets should not also be allowed to offer resale tix to the same events (talk about conflict of interest!  Does anybody believe TM can manage this ability to not let new sales and reasles bleed over into each other with the highest ethics and practices?).

 

To Mia10010, first, thanks for your response.  And congrats for being a Propaganda member fan.  I, too, am a long time fan of U2 (first saw them in the early 80s in the SF Bay Area), but I have to disagree with you on the high cost of the pre-sale access. IF you are on top of it when the pre-sale happens, you can actually get GA tix.  I agree it is difficult (BUT NOT impossible) to get GA tix in the General Public sale, but it can be done (my buddy and I have done it several times this tour) -- plus this further reinforces the value of the pre-sale access.

 

On top of this, that the band (accidentally or strategically or responding to market demand) slowly released more dates helped get GA tix more easily (though, admittedly, it caused problems for fans who bought tix for far away locations only to learn 2 months later U2 would perform in their backyard -- e.g., Denver).

 

As for expense of tix, the U2.com subscription cost of $40 split over two $80 tix is TRULY a great deal in this day and age.  (In fact, personally I use the $80 GA tix to U2 concerts as my measuring stick for deciding how much I really am willing to play to see a particular band play live -- if it is $80 or more, it better be a damn good band delivering a great performance and giving me an amazing experience... though no band I've seen has come close to matching what U2 delivers show after show on their tours!)    For the last 4 U2 tours (2001-2015), the GA price has been roughly the same ($50-$65 plus bullsh*t TM fees), and this is for the best "seat" in the house AND to be with (mostly) dedicated U2 fans which really is another great benefit.  The people I've met waiting in the GA line, on the floor and via ticket trades have really been a big plus in my life.  Just their stories and enthusiasm is amazing -- I've learned alot from them.  (But I digress...)  In any case, you HAVE to applaud the band for making this happen for us.

 

As for the price of tix today compared to the last 35 years, of course I cannot disagree with you.  A former girlfriend once showed me a shoebox of old concert tix she saved (she is roughly our age), and it was mindboggling for me to see Rolling Stones tix for $9.00 and Led Zepplin for $10.00 in the 70's -- she was way more hip than I in my teenage years, plus she lived in a big city where bands tour often.  But U2 is offering us dedicated fans a (and for U2.com fan club members an even better) shot at buying GA tix at ridiculously low price. (For another comparison, I have to admit not long ago I paid $300 per ticket to see Justin Timberlake in a relatively decent seat with (and for) a former girlfriend -- the things you do for love and to keep your girlfriend happy -- and given my U2 measuring stick, THAT investment in concert tix was extremely painful... though my girlfriend was very happy!)

 

Finally, for reaching out to the band to address this ticket problem, I really need a good contact.  I am not really interested in talking to the media about this because I do not want any public negativity going towards the band in any way; there are enough crazies showing up outside of the U2 concerts on this tour bitching about some distortion of some comments twisted from alleged comments made by Bono or about obscure initiatives supposedly managed by organizations / causes which Bono / U2 champions.  I just want to get someone who has a vested interest to seriously look at these problems and make those than can be fixed to go away.  I can help those people actually empowered to make changes become acutely aware of the various issues -- I just need to get connected to them.  And if they fix these ticketing problems, it'll make fans' lives a little easier (I feel for the fans who were unable to "trade" their GA tix and had to swallow the loss whole simply because their plans changed six months after buying concert tix on a given day).

 

Contacts please?  Names, company affiliation, emails, phone numbers?

 

Finally as I am heading towards your beautiful city on a red eye tonight, it'd be nice to meet you.  You will know where to find me -- in the GA line for NYC. :-)  PM me if you are interested in meeting -- if you like, I can share the gory details behind my experiences on this tour dealing with TM!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guy Oseary is their manager now - I think all complaints need to go in that direction.  Not to say that Oseary himself is personally responsible for every ticketing issue, but he's the band's representative and all of this would fall under his management.  He's on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram, but I am having a hard time coming up with a specific address for him.  I'm sure that's not an accident that it's hard to find a way to contact him or his management company directly.  You can also try Arthur Fogel, who is the CEO of LiveNation and has been the LiveNation person who has spoken to the press most about this tour.  Like Oseary, there is no easily available direct contact information.

 

But I think, for better or worse, that the ticketing situation is basically playing out as U2 want it to.  After PopMart, the band and especially Larry, said that they were never going to put themselves in a situation of doing a big tour where they sponsored it with their own money.  They've been getting more and more hands off since then - the last time Propaganda did its own ticketing was for Elevation.  And following the Vertigo tour, the band sold their touring business to LiveNation for a huge sum of money.  The idea behind that deal is basically that LiveNation will write them a giant check just to show up, and then LiveNation has to figure out how to make all of that money back, and if they come up short, it's LiveNation's loss, not U2's.  And so everything is monetized to an extent it hadn't been before.  Within that arrangement there are most likely some provisions for fan-friendly things (for instance, offering GA tickets at a lower cost than the top priced seated ticket), but by and large, it's become LiveNation's game to price it.  When Paul McGuinness was still their manager for the 360 tour, it was most likely his involvement that at least led to things like a supply of $20 tickets at each of the shows, something that's not being offered now.  I wouldn't be surprised to find out that U2 have no idea what their tickets cost.  They might be told that the average price is a certain number, but I wouldn't be shocked if they didn't realize that half the tickets on the current tour have a face value of near $300, and that obstructed view tickets are being sold for nearly $100 at some venues, or that U2.com is no longer honoring Propaganda subscribers seniority.  Without wanting to put words in anyone's mouths, I feel like the moderators here have basically said that they have very little ability to contact management when issues arise.

 

I don't think this makes U2 evil, and I definitely hate Ticketmaster as much as the next guy, but I don't think this is solely Ticketmaster's fault.  Ticketmaster doesn't offer resale tickets for every artist; they only offer it when the artist enables them to resell tickets, and the artist most likely gets some part of the cut for the resale too.  If U2 tickets are offered for resale on Ticketmaster, it's because U2 (or one of their representatives) is allowing it.  I think LiveNation is the bigger problem here, in my opinion.  But LiveNation didn't just get control of U2's touring business by accident or by hostile takeover, they got it because U2 made a decision that they didn't want to be as hands on with the behind the scenes part of touring as they had been in the past.  If you're getting offered a giant check for more money than you've ever made touring before, that extra money has to come from somewhere, and this kind of stuff is how they get it. I also think the choice of Guy Oseary as manager may have had something to do with his proven track record of maximizing profits - he's Madonna's manager and there's no such thing as a cheap ticket to a Madonna show.

 

Regarding the Denver shows and local residents being inconvenienced by the late add-on, I think the only reason Denver was added was because they didn't sell out eight shows in Los Angeles.  L.A. had been originally planned to go eight nights and demand for tickets, as priced by LiveNation, stalled out around five shows.  They had the open days on the schedule, it wasn't too far geographically out of the way, and every day you're not putting on a show when you're on tour you're losing money, so they were added.  But I think the original plan would have had U2 playing longer in Los Angeles, had the demand for $300 tickets been there.

 

Discman, I pretty much agree with all of your points.  I've said in other threads on this topic that I'd love to be able to have a calm, polite and respectful discussion with Mr. Oseary over coffee and just take five or ten minutes to explain what I think has gone wrong on this tour (in terms of ticketing and venue policies) compared to every other previous U2 tour.  I'm not looking to get them roasted in the press or sue them or anything like that.  It's just that in all of the years I've been seeing them play live, they really seemed to care about their fans, and their prices and ticketing policies mostly reflected that - until this tour.  I don't think there's any shot that they'd change their minds or do anything differently at least for the shows already on the books, but it would be great to explain to them the difference in quality of experience from this year vs every previous tour so it would at least be on their minds before doing the next one.  But again, all of that comes from an assumption that these are accidents happening because the band doesn't know what's going on. I think there's at least a chance that these things are going on because the band has decided they don't want to be involved in this minutiae anymore and by deciding not to be involved, they are basically endorsing the current status quo.

 

So for me, the question isn't, "Do I love U2 more than I hate Ticketmaster?" so much as it is "Do I love U2's music more than I hate the way U2 are running their business?" - and the answer is still yes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like U2.com took this thread out of NY and placed us somewhere else (I cannot locate, so I search on my "content" to get here)...

 

To Vertigojds: Thanks for your thorough comments and information.  I learned alot and it is helpful.

 

In the off chance I gain access to someone to fix the ticketing problems, I would like to not miss any of the issues you've seen.  You mention many in your email, so please tell me any more problems with the ticketing process.

 

I don't hate the way U2 is running their business, I just want some improvements and have no confidence -- because of the hands-off nature of the business relationship with Live Nation / TM -- that anything positive will come out of any effort spent communicating with LN / TM.

 

BTW, enjoy all 8 NYC shows (I saw in a different post you are attending all 8).  I am too -- and finally got lucky enough to trade for GAs for all 8 shows.  Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...