real-alan wrote:[I think we've reached a situation where the benefit of a pre-sale is marginal at best.... it is so widely flagged (inadvertently and deliberately) that the world and his wife know about it.... hence the number of new "members" signing up to get the better tickets (whether for themselves, or for eBay) - it's impossible to identify the "real" fans in these, so I think what Ann & others are suggesting is not a two-tier (or any other number of tiers) system, rather a straightforward public sale.....
I notice that most of the comments of this ilk appear to be coming from our Irish members - or, at least, people who were looking for tickets for the Dublin shows. For whatever reason, there seems to have been particular problems with the tickets for the forthcoming Kilmainham shows. I did OK with my purchases of single tickets but I am well aware that a lot of people were bitterly disappointed.
At the end of the day, how successful you are in a pre-sale depends on two things: demand and/or which tickets the promoter decides to put in the pre-sale in the first place. Promoters often keep the very front seats for the "great and the good". If they are not allocated to anyone, the tickets are then put on sale to the public. That's why it's often possible to buy great seats shortly before a concert. That's how Tony and I ended up centre front at the two London O2 shows in November 2008 - I just happened to be at a conference in the Indigo on the day of the first concert, took a comfort break roughly about the time the box office opened and got very lucky (our existing indifferent seats on the side remained empty ...) I may have misunderstood but I got the impression from some comments Rob H made on Facebook that AEG may not have been entirely happy with the way the local promoters handled the Kilmainham pre-sale.
So far as demand is concerned, because of the reputation of past Irish shows, there was particular "excitement" about the forthcoming Dublin shows, both from the existing membership of the forum worldwide and from "new" members who may have joined to take part in pre-sales. This all increased demand exponentially so many, many people were chasing the best seats at the same time. Of course, it doesn't help that Ticketmaster advertised that there would be a fan club pre-sale but Ticketmaster always lists details of the various On Sale dates for all artists, not just Leonard.
I think we are in grave danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water by focussing solely on the problems with the Dublin pre-sale and saying as a result that there may as well not be any pre-sales in the future. Other pre-sales have gone well in so far as forum members have reported that they have great front row seats for many shows e.g. Ghent, Berlin, Moenchengladbach, Verona, Lisbon etc etc despite some problems with the mechanics and timing of the pre-sales themselves. Such success with these and past pre-sales may have raised expectations for the Dublin shows which proved to be unrealistic because of the way the Irish promoter has played it. They won't be the first promoters to (apparently) save the best tickets for themselves and they won't be the last.
Mark - I think your idea of cascading passwords down via e-mail is great in theory but totally unworkable in practice. There must be 1,000s of active forum members who would be interested in them and even if you could find a way of letting so many people know by e-mail there is a great danger that someone would get missed out, for example where a forum member uses a different e-mail address for the forum from their everyday address (as many do). Also we must remember that Jarkko and the other moderators have lives outside the forum. Jarkko's life must get swallowed up by forum matters at times like these. It is time consuming enough for him that he has to liaise with AEG and post the various links on the forum at the right time without the added burden of having to organise cascades of e-mails. E-mail only worked for Helsinki because it is a relatively remote location and there would be limited numbers of forum members wishing to go to the show. Even then it must have meant a lot of work for Jarkko.
I for one am very grateful for the pre-sales and I hope Leonard's management and AEG continue to offer them to us in the future. They may not be perfect, we may not always get the tickets we want but when it works the pre-sales are an amazing facility which we should value and be careful not to abuse.