'get people from worst seats to the front rows'

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Hartmut
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'get people from worst seats to the front rows'

Post by Hartmut » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:26 am

'I send my road crew out to the back of the room when the audience comes in and they get people from the worst seats and bring 'em in to the front rows'

'Backstage With Billy Joel: The Billboard Cover Story Interview'

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/ ... page=0%2C1
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Mabeanie1
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Re: 'get people from worst seats to the front rows'

Post by Mabeanie1 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:25 pm

Bit hard on the real fans who buy tickets with real money for personal use as soon as they go on sale and get maybe half way back in the room. Meanwhile, those who buy the cheapest seats and/or who buy at the last minute so are seated at the back end up at the front. On balance, I have far more sympathy with those artists like Leonard and David Gray who try to deliver the best seats to the fans through regular ticketing channels.

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Cate
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Re: 'get people from worst seats to the front rows'

Post by Cate » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:17 pm

Sounds like scalpers were really cheesing him off and of course it's a great feeling to get moved up. Not sure why he thinks that people who can afford the front rows aren't as big of a fan though. I doubt that economics play into how much you like your music or appreciate an artist.

I don't know if anybody has been moved up to the front row at a Cohen concert but I do know that people have gotten moved up.

I purchased tickets to the cheapest section to the last concert in Montreal; as turned out I couldn't go. A forum friend bought my tickets from me (I suspect he was being kind). The concert did not sell out and so they, whoever it is that makes these decisions, decided to close that section and move folks to better, unsold seats. I thought that was very nice and was happy that my, 'I just want to be there' tickets, turned out pretty good.
cohenadmirer
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Re: 'get people from worst seats to the front rows'

Post by cohenadmirer » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:23 pm

Hartmut wrote:'I send my road crew out to the back of the room when the audience comes in and they get people from the worst seats and bring 'em in to the front rows'

'Backstage With Billy Joel: The Billboard Cover Story Interview'

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/ ... page=0%2C1
That's his way of getting 'real fans' at the front. Leonard achieves the same by the forum presale - and i hope for another opportunity!
Leonard's work resonates
Brighton 1979; Dublin , Manchester june 2008; glasgow, manchester Nov 2008; Liverpool july 2009 ; Barcelona Sept 2009 ;marseille, lille september2010: Ghent August 2012;Barcelona October 2012;Montreal x2 November 2012: 2013; Saint John NB April 2013; Brussels June 2013;Manchester August 2013; Leeds , Birmingham September 2013; Amsterdam September 2013
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Hartmut
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Re: 'get people from worst seats to the front rows'

Post by Hartmut » Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:45 am

So do we all ...
scocoh
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Re: 'get people from worst seats to the front rows'

Post by scocoh » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:32 am

"We never sell front rows, we hold those tickets at just about every concert.[...]We now hold those tickets, and I send my road crew out to the back of the room when the audience comes in and they get people from the worst seats and bring 'em in to the front rows.
Never been to a concert by Mr. Joel and probably will never go-- so am unlikely to see this play out in person. But this sounds like a bit of hyperbole from the Piano Man. We are to believe that the front rows sit empty until just before the show and then the crew takes valuable time from prep and setup to go climb stairs to the top of the venue looking for friendly souls?

More likely he occasionally saves a handful of those prime seats and then has one of his team go out and pick out the lucky few.

I understand the sentiment as I've done similar things at Leonard shows with extra tickets and not long ago accompanied a forum friend in finding a couple from the rafters to be the recipient of her front row tix. It sounds like a quick effort but doing it takes time-- time away from getting ready for the show as the clock ticks down.
For years, the scalpers got the tickets and would scalp the front row for ridiculous amounts of money.
Scalpers are a terrible thing and of course we are so so thankful for the presales here. I'd imagine that Billy Joel has a worse scalper problem than Leonard as Joel plays to a wider audience. but I don't really know. As far as front row boors go, I more often blame not the scalpers but the local promoters who hold those best seats for doing favors and catering to business types. I'd be interested in what others think about that.
Our tickets are cheap, under $100, some in the $80s, the highest is about $150.
Please note, folks, that $80-150 is considered "cheap" ( ! )-- I guess we should stop complaining now. :razz:
I'd look down and see rich people sitting there, I call 'em "gold chainers." Sitting there puffing on a cigar, "entertain me, piano man." They don't stand up, make noise, sit there with their bouffant haired girlfriend lookin' like a big shot. I kinda got sick of that, who the hell are these people, where are the real fans?
I've sat next to plenty of similar people. They are usually drunk and usually talking throughout. But I've mostly sat next to very dedicated real fans who have spent their own "regular" money and are so happy to be able to see Leonard and UH and are reliably enthusiastic.
It turns out the real fans were always in the back of the room in the worst seats.
Very dubious about this one. Most people in the worst seats are people who have put it off or are unconnected to the real dedicated fanbase and info stream.
(Good example-- Recently Bob Dylan came to town. I love listening to Dylan CDs and have seen him in concert a couple times. But I don't keep up enough with him to know he was coming and by the time I heard about it there were only far away seats available-- still expensive of course. So I had to make a decision-- I really like Dylan but the "cheap" seats were $92 or something. And I can barely understand what he is singing live anyway, so I didn't go. But if I did go, I would have sat in the back back-- would that make me a "real fan" over the many people who jumped on the ticket sale of their favorite artist?

Of course there are very dedicated "real fans" who are sitting in the lowest-priced seats-- but the lowest price category is for several sections, not specifically the last row. Those "real fans" who are currently only able to purchase the lowest price will snap up the closest lower-priced seats they can. Take the above Dylan example-- Someone more connected to the Dylan info stream would've known he was coming and would have snapped up the best "cheap" tix available asap.

All this is to say that the idea that the best fans are in the last row is nonsense. If you want to generalize, I'd say the best fans are in the first several rows of each price section. People buy what they can afford and most "real fans" are up on upcoming sales of their top favorite artists and therefore buy the top tickets available to them in their personal current price range.
scocoh
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Re: 'get people from worst seats to the front rows'

Post by scocoh » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:33 pm

.
.
Oh duh! :oops:

Apologies to Billy Joel-- just figured it out. Smart move by him I think:

What he is doing is solving a problem his shows have. His fan base is getting older, and the older ones are the ones who can afford the top tickets and so the front rows end up being mostly older folks who are more likely to sit and enjoy-- not being energetic and boisterous. The front rows often set the tempo for the rest of the crowd and if those rows are quiet then the rest of the crowd will be quieter and less enthusiastic as a result.

So he saves a handful of seats, finds enthusiastic young people to sit in those front seats, and their enthusiasm affects the rest of the crowd-- which helps the show and then word of mouth spreads about how great his shows are. All while he gets to blame the scalpers and present himself as a "power to the people" kind of guy.

It's simple. And genius. Bravo, Mr Joel. :D 8)
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