So, I think everyone who did GA, especially in the last NA leg, would agree that the systems of queuing and the GA itself were getting a little out of hand. Although the GA at a U2 show is far more civilized that GA at say, a thrash metal concert, the tension that was developing amongst the crowd seemed to be increasing as the end of the tour neared.
I didn't agree with the business of writing my name on a list in advance to determine my spot in the GA line on the day of the show. In my mind, your position in the GA line should be determined by your physical presence there, whenever you decide to show up and commit to staying in line (give or take an hour for food, etc).
Although I didn't see the incident personally, over on the "other" message board I heard that for the Moncton show, when the person who was at the very front of the GA line had someone else reach the front rail in the pit before him, it resulted in a physical confrontation. Hearing about this kind of thing makes me embarrassed to be a U2 fan. Maybe I've lost some of my passion, but so many times I wanted to yell at people in the GA line "It's just a concert!!! RELAX!!!!". Even if I didn't get the spot in the GA that I hoped for at some shows, I can honestly say that I've never come away from a U2 show thinking "Wow, that would have been a great concert, but it was totally ruined because I didn't get the spot I wanted on the field".
My worst fear is that U2 would decide to get rid of GA altogether and just have reserved seating on the floor. Although I think everyone agrees that would completely suck, it would solve any and all GA line and crowd issues.
I think going back to the Vertigo system of randomly determining who gets into the "pit" area by ticket scanning lottery would be a good way to go, because it would take away some of the "control" that frequent GAers seem to think they have when it comes to trying to secure "their" spot on the rail.
Having a more formalized, U2 security-managed approach to the GA line could also help level the playing field, because it would mean it was a publicized system for queuing that would be consistent from one venue to the next, and would be fair to both the veterans and newbies to GA.
Any one else have any thoughts on this?
Edit: I was perusing Interference again, and just saw that there was a VERY long thread on July 30/31st about the same thing, so perhaps everyone is burnt out on this topic. But a good suggestion there was the "Springsteen" system of GA line, where people are given wristbands 1 to 4 hours before the GA line is let in, and the start of the GA line at entrance time is determined by random lottery (the same system Ticketmaster uses for lineups at the box office locations when tickets go on sale) . This seems like it would be a good system and much less labour intensive than the Vertigo lottery system that required every single GA ticket to be scanned.