For Montreal3 they opened up the official RZ line up area (with velvet ropes, a sign and a table! ) at about 5 or 5:30 pm. My husband and I arrived at the Bell Centre (venue) at about 2:45pm from Toronto as traffic was a lot better than we had anticipated. Instead of hanging around downtown for a few hours we decided to check out the RZ entrance. There was already a fan in line so we stayed and became numbers 2 and 3. The security guard laughed at how early we were and the ietour lady (Emma? - in charge of RZ) commented at about 4pm that we were waay early for RZ! Several RZ-ers came by and checked it out but nobody else lined up until just after 4pm-ish. After that time the line steadily increased though by 5:15pm when they started the RZ check-in the line was still pretty short (about 40 people?).
Once you check-in using your ID you are handed hard copy tickets as well as souvenir tickets, your wristbands (one for GA and one for RZ), and an entry to the backstage tour draw. At that point the line up was split into North side and South side. The lady in front of us was South (Edge) side so my husband and I became first and second for North (Adam). We were let into a holding area just outside the seats at about 5:50pm and held there until about 6. We had to descend a bunch of stairs and GA-ers stampeded across the length of the floor. It looked like were were let in around the same time.
We had contemplated going into the GA section but the RZ-ers have to run/walk to the bottom of the RZ barricade and then back up the floor area to the main stage (if you want a spot on the rail there). A few tried to hop the rail and were swiftly stopped by the security. We opted to stay in the RZ and go right to the edge where the GA and RZ rails meet at the main stage. The GAers were fast and I'm pretty sure we would've been shut out of a rail at the main stage had we gambled with the GA area. Likely we would have had a rail spot at the B stage but we are saving that for Toronto.
The concert was incredible and I loved my first RZ experience! Bono repeated the last couple of lyrics of Iris right in front of us and it was intensely beautiful. Adam spent a lot of time in front of us as well.
I did end up on stage during Streets and I was beside Bono for Still Haven't Found. THAT was surreal and nothing will top it!
Hope you have a great experience in RZ. I think it is very well organized and you will definitely enjoy your proximity to the action as well as your view of the screen.
Thank you so much for all the great info! What a great night for you!!! I have done RZ before/GA before. Been right next to Bono/Edge and been very lucky -- met them both a couple of times. I was once engaged to a man (still good friends) -- back on ZooTV tour -- I had a great spot -- there were two opening acts. I remember that Sugar Cubes was one of the acts. Anyway, my fiancé wanted to go back to our seats (which we had lucked out and got front row, but I KNEW that Bono usually picked a girl from the walkway to grab on stage during the show). I threw a fit. Anyway, we left and a girl took my spot. THAT girl was plucked on stage. My fiancé felt SOOOO bad and still apologizes to this day about it. (we did not break up over this, but I tease him that it was the main reason… tee hee!)
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy (fronted by Michael Franti) was the other opening act on ZooTV with the Sugar Cubes (or as they said "We are the Ice Cubes from Sugarland")