Buy U2 tickets Ticketmaster in-store or on the website?
January 28, 2005 5:52 PM   Subscribe

U2 tickets are going on sale this Sunday morning, at least for the San Jose show in April. Not having any inside contacts, what's the best way to get a pair of tickets (Ticketmaster in-store or on the website)?

The wife is absolutely wanting to go. We rarely go to concerts, Springsteen on The Rising tour was the last time, and (for reasons beyond my ken) there wasn't enough demand to sell out so my rush to be at a TM outlet that morning was unnecessary. I'm thinking that U2 will be a different story. Help? Thank.
posted by billsaysthis to Shopping (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would suggest going to a TM outlet for U2, shows for famous bands usually sell out under 15 minutes.
posted by riffola at 6:05 PM on January 28, 2005

It's been a few years, but I always reloaded Ticketmaster until I got what I wanted. I'd start about thirty minutes before ticket sell and go a few hours beyond. Sometimes great seats would open up when people would 'release them' either through error or necessity. Do realize the website can be a frustrating but fruitful experience. I never enjoyed physical lines.
posted by sled at 6:06 PM on January 28, 2005

Especially after the fan club presale fiasco this week, I'd go to an outlet before I'd test my luck with Ticketmaster online. There are lots of very cranky people frothing at the mouth for tickets. Get there early. I'm waiting for the alleged third leg in the fall myself -- supposedly 30 U.S. dates as opposed to this skinny little spring leg.
posted by kittyb at 6:10 PM on January 28, 2005

In the pre-web days, we used to call a local Ticketmaster number in a different state. Usually worked pretty well.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:31 PM on January 28, 2005

What is this rumored third leg? I'll probably wait for that too, if there is one.

I'd love to go, the Elevation show I went to was incredible.
posted by josh at 6:45 PM on January 28, 2005

On The Rising tour, I'd go to the outlet and get a number and, if I got a good number, I stayed, but if I drew a bad number, I went home and bought tickets online.

Like kittyb said, after the presale fiasco, I'd go to an outlet.

Good luck.
posted by whatideserve at 7:03 PM on January 28, 2005

In the pre-web days, we used to call a local Ticketmaster number in a different state. Usually worked pretty well.

This can still work, a co-worker of mine did it for a Springsteen show last month. The show was in Asbury Park (in a bar), he was in Philly, he called Pittsburgh TM 10 minutes before tix went on sale. She was nice enough to allow him to spend 10 minutes requesting bogus information, while she "looked it up" for him, and at the top of the hour she hit the magic button and scored him a pair.

I guess it depends who you get.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:00 PM on January 28, 2005

Single tickets are easier to get than multiples. Get two single tickets that are in the same general section, then work your way over next to each other once you're past the ushers. Works best if seats are only used to stand in front of, as at a U2 concert.

It's a little iffy as a date, but it works good for friends.
posted by smackfu at 9:27 PM on January 28, 2005

I'm waiting for the alleged third leg ... What is this rumored third leg?

We call that a "penis."

(I'm only sayin' it because the question's been well-answered already.)
posted by kindall at 9:33 PM on January 28, 2005

Response by poster: It's a little iffy as a date, but it works good for friends.

I did mention this is for my wife and me, the seats need to be together trust me.

Thanks everybody for the input.
posted by billsaysthis at 9:53 PM on January 28, 2005

I've had to go the TicketBastard route on more than a number of occasions for Phish tickets, which sold out in seconds for smaller shows, if you can believe it. Here's what I learned.

Civil Disobedient's Great Guide to Getting Face
  • 1. Avoid TM if at all possible. Being a member to, or a friend of a member to the fan club can get you access to the batches of tickets eligible for pre-order.
  • 2. Find a TM outlet far from a population center. Any TM outlet will do, the point is, you have to be first. So, the less remote the TM outlet, the most people will already be waiting in line by the time you get there.
  • 3. Find an outlet that doesn't do bracelets or ticket numbers. This is a bullshit policy where if more than a certain number of people show up in line before tickets go on sale, they distribute numbered tickets to everyone. Then at a pre-ordained time, they draw a number out of a hat. The person with the number becomes first, and the next person in ticket number order follows. If got the first ticket, but they called somewhere down the middle of the batch, you won't be getting in line until the group is half done.
  • There won't be any tickets left after three people.
  • 4. If you're really nice and convincing, give the TM outlet person all your information right before the clock strikes. When the second arrives, they only have to click a button to submit it. Larger blocks sell out faster, closer seats sell out faster. You want 2 tickets, anywhere closest.
  • You can always get rid of extras later.

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:54 AM on January 29, 2005

If it sells out or you get bad tickets, keep trying. The venues often reserve blocks of seats for promotions (radio stations, local corps.) Sometimes, if these seats go unused, they will open them up in the final days leading up to the concert or the day of the concert. I got extremely good tickets to Aerosmith and Eric Clapton on Ticketmaster 2-3 hours before the concerts started. Both shows had been sold out for months. Often these tickets that open up are often on the side of the stage (very close but you only see one side) but sometimes are in the front rows.
posted by Yorrick at 9:43 AM on January 29, 2005

I have a fair amount of experience with populat tours like U2, so let me add my own bits:
Have one of you use and the other get ready to do the online thing. Have friends help out online if you can. As someone already mentioned, you can sell extras. But, keep someone in the TM line as if done properly, it is the best way to get into the concert. I know it's too late for my method, but the best way is to scout TM sites. The last two Springsteen concerts of which the last one broke some kind of sales-time record, everyone at our location got tickets, and by everyone, I mean 3 people. And this was in suburbian Atlanta. The reason is because there are always a few outlets that people just don't know about, and I happen to have found one. In the future, it is best to know a place like this where your chances of a short line are magnified so you can actually be in the lottery for tickets. And, good luck!!!
posted by jmd82 at 9:47 AM on January 29, 2005

Ticketmaster has a partnership in some capacity with American Express -- you can read more about that here. In the past I have been able to get seats for "soldout" events that were reserved exclusively for AmEx (Gold-level or above) card holders.

Good luck.
posted by fourstar at 8:51 AM on January 30, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks everybody. Here's what happened, for closure:

In the end, we went to the local TM outlet but, after the starting number was drawn, ended up 53rd in line. As we were only eight minutes drive from home with 25 minutes to go before the sale began, we drove home. At 10, we both started dialling and hitting the web page; within about four minutes we each got through on the website. Just to be safe, we bought both pairs because I really need an aisle seat and they don't tell you the seat number until after the purchase. One pair is definitely not on the aisle while for now we're unsure about the other (since there's nothing online I found that tells the highest number in a row). Both are in a decent location, given that we were only willing to buy the cheapest ticket price, so I expect we can trade up and/or resell to get the aisle in a similar location without too much trouble.
posted by billsaysthis at 10:45 AM on January 30, 2005

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