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GA tips/advice (especially given no inner circle/pit)?


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4 hours ago, vertigojds said:

I attended all three shows he did at MetLife last summer, and I loved this procedure.

For the first and third nights, the procedure was followed exactly as described above, with one minor change.  The "pit" area holds more than 1000 fans, so while only the first 1000 arrivals were able to participate in the lottery, about 2500 people fit inside the pit (out of about 10,000 people total on the floor).  They gave out additional wristbands after the first 1000 that still guaranteed pit admission, so you knew before entering the venue whether or not you'd make it in the front area.  So more than 1000 wristbands were given out in the end, but only 1000 of those went towards the lottery.

Each night, I showed up around 4pm.  The 1000 numbered wristbands had already been claimed by that time each night, but I was able to get the secondary wristband which guaranteed pit admission.  When they let people in, I was far closer than I could have imagined - maybe ten people back?  For how huge a place like MetLife is, it seemed ridiculously close.  I had an amazing view of both the band and the giant screens onstage behind them.  It was a very orderly process.  Once you got a wristband, you were free to leave the line and hang out in the parking lot with other tailgaters - you'd lose your spot in the line but still have pit access.  I did that one of the nights and wandered onto the floor shortly before Bruce came out,and still was incredibly close - just being guaranteed to be in the "pit" area was close enough for me.

This also has the advantage of changing up who's in the front row.  Whenever there's a general admission floor for popular bands, it seems that a small minority of so-called fans with entitlement issues alway try to game the system and cut the line.  It happened with the Elevation tour with U2 in 2001, which is why U2 had the random ellipse entry policy for the Vertigo tour in 2005.  It happened with Springsteen during his 2002-2003 tour which was GA.  That really ends up being unpleasant for most people in the end.  The group that cheats usually resorts to tactics like stopping by the parking lot five days ahead of time and taping up a sign saying "line starts here" that's not authorized by the venue or artist, and then check in for five minutes once a day to "hold" their spot.  Then, fans start showing up the day of the show, are actually the first people waiting around, and then this group shows up and says they were there first and cuts the line and intimidates other people into letting them.  I'm all for making waiting on line as pleasant experience as possible - by all means, step away for a moment to grab takeout or use the bathroom.  But if you're sleeping in your own bed or a hotel room the night before, you are not "in line" during that time.  Springsteen got sick of seeing the same faces down there, who would harass fans all day long, and then turn on Bruce when he played songs he was known for like Born To Run instead of a show entirely made of obscurities.  It creates a bad vibe for the majority of fans on the floor who the cheaters have been pissing off all day, and it creates a bad vibe for the band that sees the same faces night after night who look unsatisfied and displeased for the majority of the set because it's not all obscure songs.  Once Bruce started the random entry on the floor, the whole vibe changed - you had longtime fans who had never gotten anywhere near the stage now having a chance to get close, and the atmosphere during the afternoon in the line was unbelievable (it was like everyone was about to win a million dollar jackpot).  And it also had the result of pushing the lining up time later across the board, so now you could show up at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, even 7pm and actually have a decent spot.  Ever since Springsteen switched to this system, I've been closer than ever, waited less time than ever, been surrounded by friendlier fans than ever, and seen better shows than ever.

I wish U2 would do something similar.  I am so sick of seeing the same line cutters with their imaginary "I've been on line for three days even though I just got here an hour before the doors open" fake rules making the experience so unpleasant for everyone else.  These people act like they own the band.  They're miserable to be around during the day before the show, and they're unbearable during the concert.  Like, if you can't deal with hearing With Or Without You or Elevation or One without having a temper tantrum, maybe don't go to every show?

Glad to hear you had a positive experience with that GA procedure.  Hopefully we'll see something like this on a U2 tour one day.

Lol, yes.  These fan's extreme obsession distorts the expectations that they have for these bands.

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For this particular tour, I went to the B stage and had a great spot. Showed up at Rose Bowl 1 around noon. Was about 4-5 rows back from the B Stage. Fantastic spot. Made even better when, bizarrely, several people in front of me left after the Joshua Tree songs ended. So, for the encore set I was about 2-3 rows back instead.

This spot allowed me to see the band up close when they played the B stage, which was great since they sometimes weren't projected on their massive screen when playing on the B stage. It also allowed me to take in the entire visual presentation of the main JT set with that massive screen.

I would not have left that spot for anything, though. It was pretty packed full of people. One brave guy tried to leave to get beer. I think it took him 30 minutes to get back, and that was before U2 started. The guy in front of me suggested that if you tried to leave from the first few rows, you might have to give everyone you passed $1 in order for them to let you back in. Probably wasn't too far off.

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You shouldn't stress too much over getting to the venue at the crack of dawn. I was #125 in Houston and got main stage rail in front of Adam. For Dallas I was #525 and was two (short) people back from rail at main stage between Bono and Adam. People with #s over 1,000 were just a couple rows back from me.  I think the popularity of the Tree stage is making it easier to get good spots at the main stage. I could have had a great spot at the Tree stage either night but I think main stage is the way to go. The band spends at least 4 times as much time on the main stage, and although it is higher than the Tree stage the view is still amazing. Sure, you can't see the whole screen without moving your eyes, but personally I don't give a crap about the screen. I'll see that when the blu-ray comes out ??.  At the Tree stage you can have a great view for those 4 or 5 songs, but that puts you too far away for most of the show.

Edited by james busick
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I think a lot of people don't realize how absolutely massive the entire stage is, and thus how much physical rail space there is for this tour. While it's never guaranteed because there are definitely variables like you said (card issues, GA line procedures, etc.) that could create problems or snags, showing up the day of can still get you a pretty good spot. If people want to show up two days before the show to get a good number to feel better, that's on them but for this tour in particular it doesn't seem you need to do that to get a good chance of finding a decent spot (unless of course you're going after one very particular spot in the crowd/on the rail) anywhere on the floor. There are certain spots that tend to fill up the fastest (like in front of Bono's mic) but nothing is set in stone.

Edited by abluerwhite
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I saw the show in Philly on Sunday in GA. I got to the venue at 1pm and was number 666. (I was later told that the wristband numbers hadn't started at 0 but around 160, so 666 was actually closer to being #500.)

Around 3pm, they had everyone get into a single, organized kind. Around 4pm, they sent us through security, had our credit cards scanned for the tickets, and had us line up in the hallways of the stadium. When the band finished soundchecking shortly after 5pm, they led us on to the field. 

I was stunned to find that I was able to be 2-3 people back from Bono's main stage microphone. The stage didn't seem as high in person as it did in photos, though I think the best view would probably have been a little bit further back, maybe 4 or 5 people deep. The person on the front rail was #10, the person in front of me was #100, the person behind me had a number in the 1000 range and the person behind that didn't even have a number. It seemed more people were interested in the b-stage than the main one. I found that a little silly because they play 3-4 songs on the b-stage and 17-18 songs on the main stage, so I was quite ok with not having a great view for the first four songs in exchange for a perfect view for the last 17 songs. 

If I had wanted, there had been plenty of rail spots open - I could have been anywhere to the right of Adam on the rail, a lot of the catwalk rail was open, and the rail on the GA side of the red zone barricade was open. There have to be hundreds of rail spots based on the size of the stages and barricades. 

I have no regrets about how I spent the day, but I also now know that if I had showed up just before the doors opened at five, at most, I would have been two feet further back. 

If you are under #500, you can be first or second row anywhere, and if you're under 1000, there's still plenty of rail and second row spots. 

I wouldn't want to be too much further away than the b-stage's distance from the main stage, but it takes probably three or four thousand people to fill up to that point. 

There are so many good spots!

Edited by vertigojds
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