Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Let Me Out

Continuing my rant on the gig going process.

Springsteen at the MEN Arena is my worst in recent memory. I work close to the venue so thought I'd pop in on my way to work. When I arrived at the box office I couldn't quite believe what I saw - The Boss's demographic had radically changed. Clearly he'd had a massive Radio 1 smash that I'd been unaware of and here was a queue of pre-teens. But no, they were being herded by a latter-day Fagin in order to get round the 4 ticket limit. The security guards were ignoring this despite the bile rising in the queue's post pubescent members.

So on to work and the internet. I eventually got some decent tickets via Ticketline. Good for me. Except, a couple of weeks later, they moved the stage back to allow more people in - moving my tickets back and meaning I didn't see the man himself all evening. Oh, and then the promoter released the whole of the front stalls on the afternoon of the show - not a couple of unneeded guest list tickets, or returns, but whole blocks. Thanks, Harvey.

I also think it's slightly naive to picture the touts outside the venue as not being that bad. I hope each and every one of them gets audited inside and out by the tax man. Just try selling a ticket to a fellow queue member without allowing them a cut of the deal and you'll soon see their ugly side. A pox on them all.

Hospitality packages. Jesus wept. These drive me nuts. They essentially mean that people with more money than sense pay £150 for some wine and sandwiches pre-gig, and if you're particular unlucky, an open bar. My experience of Genesis was not ruined by simply being at a Genesis gig, but by being sat behind a group of these hospitality abusing monkeys who got utterly pissed and spent the entire time going back and forth to the bar. Enough.

And why can't I buy tickets direct from a venue any more? Booking fees are usually less, for starters, and sometimes they even have an understanding of the building. Last week, Seetickets managed to sell me tickets for Goldfrapp which physically didn't exist in the venue and swore up and down that they did when I called them. A few days later, I got an email admitting their mistake.

I assume this is just a continuation of the Carlingisation of music where every venue is reduced to Beername YourTown Venuename format. No, I don't want a White Room card. Sod off.

Remind me again, why do I keep doing this to myself?

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