Sometimes, being a U2 fan can be a bit disheartening. Most of my mates hate the band, Bono's vocal charity work and acting like he is some sort of musical messiah further switching others off to the band...I was even at a gig where Larry counted the next song in to drown out yet another Bono speech!
But, the last 48 hours have driven me a bit round the bend if I'm honest. Up until now, being a Propaganda member and then a u2.com subscriber I have never really had an issue getting the tickets I wanted - always standing (or GA as they seem to be known as now) and despite having my heart in my mouth every single time...the tickets got booked, I have turned up at venues, I have made lovely friends in the queues and spent pretty much every gig on the barrier/rail somewhere and have had eye contact, bottles of water and smiles from the band...not to mention killer photo's to amaze mates.
But, the info and the workings of the site over the last couple of days have left me wondering and worried for the future.
So, I'm in the UK, only want tickets to European shows but I am still not 100% sure what I am doing with the "verified fan" thing - I'm guessing the "register with a North America Ticketmaster account" is only for those gigs but the FAQ's don't explicitly say this... I know the website is managed in the US but the band is Irish and a large chunk of us are not based in the US or have any interest in gigging in the States. It would be nice to have our needs and area catered for - it just needs one line to say "IF you are outside of the US, we will not require you to do a, b or c for now".
But, that isn't the worst bit - I have renewed my U2.com subscription to get my two ticket allocation for the next tour in 2018 somewhere in the UK (we have no idea where or when yet...hope it's not clashing with anything else I want to do!) but when trying to purchase the deluxe CD to get another "code" I decided to purchase from the official shop...the amazon link went to stock that was "unavailable" and the hmv site just looked like the regular page and I didn't feel confident I would be emailed my code in due course. I thought, "be safe, buy direct" even though the postage is extra.
Round and round and round the website went - turns out there was a glitch in the UK. Kept sending me back to the front page. Every so many hours I would try and encounter the same. Both on my phone and then on pc.
This morning, my phone let me get to see the "checkout" button but it wouldn't let me buy the thing! Logged on my pc and finally made the order. Left the shop page on screen whilst I did other things waiting for the email confirmation to drop through.
Except it never did. I made a note of the order number and shut the pc off. It's probably winding it's way through cyberspace I thought. But hours later...nothing. Just to recap, when I renewed my subscription yesterday that went through fine and I got the email. I ended up calling (America, surprise surprise...more cost to me!) and spoke to a lady at ticketmaster who handle the merch...she could find my order so it was "going through" and she would resend the email confirmation but she knew "nothing about a code"...
I have no faith I will get this "code" when I need it. I'm left with a real feeling of frustration and worry now - I usually do two or three gigs a tour - at the rate I'm going, I may be lucky to get one...haven't missed a tour since zootv... The band's PR machine says it is all about getting "tickets into the hands of real fans" but they can't even get their website to work properly to get their music into my ears...what hope have we got for tickets?!
I'm sure I am not alone in worrying or being frustrated by the site. If any Mods read this, please can you take this in the spirit it is meant - constructive feedback. Let's get the website and the band's management support working FOR the fans and not putting up needless obstacles/vague info.