Do I want to go to a concert? First, a few questions to answer. Am I a fan club member? Do I have a credit card from the bank sponsoring the tour? Will I have a chance to take a break from looking at slides in my office at exactly 9:00 am (9:01 will be too late) to log in? Do I want to go to see the show enough to make this all worthwhile? Or have my U2 days passed me by?
It used to be fun and exciting to get tickets for a show or concert or game. You could go to the box office and lay down cash. You could send a check to the stadium with a self-addressed stamped envelope (remember those?) and check your mailbox every few days in anticipation. For immediate gratification, you could call an 800 number, and armed with a BankAmeriCard or MasterCharge, order your tickets. Or if you were lucky, you knew an insider who had gotten a hold of a stack of tickets and would sell you a pair of great seats for face plus a bottle of Seven Crown. Ah yes, the Good Old Days. Barb and I saw a lot of Neil Diamond in those simpler times.
Then came the Internet, and Ticketmaster online, and automated bots getting all the front row center seats. The common consumer was left to find their way to the secondary market, the Stubhubs and Craig's Lists of the world. You paid your money and you took your chance, as our son learned after getting ripped off on a pair of Final Four tickets.
But now the artists and the venues are creating new party games, trying to make sure those valuable tickets find their way to the "real" fans. They are doing their best to get the bots and the brokers out of business. How? It's Pre-registration, baby!
For the last 3 weeks, I have been barraged by emails about the U2 concert at the United Center next May. Bono and the boys want ME to get insider access. Just a few things they want to know:
- Am I a fan club member? Well, I probably am, but I sure don't remember my username or password. And I really don't want to be on another mailing list.
- How about credit cards. Do I have the "preferred" one to gain pre-public access? Here I might be in luck, as my wallet contains enough plastic to build a tower to the newly discovered habitable planet 6 light years away. Citibank is the sponsor this time around and voila, I have a never used Citibank card that came with my now defunct Costco membership. So hallelujah, I am preferred. All I have to do is make the necessary preparations:
I have filled out and sent in my pre-registration form.
I have checked my phone and received my secret access code.
I have a timer set on my phone, set to go off at 8:59.
I have my Citibank card out on my desk.
My goal--tickets for 2, not too far back, not behind a pair of seven footers, and with a view of the Jumbotron. That's what I call preferred. I'll let you know if I succeed. In the meantime, what are your tricks to get the best seat in the house?
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