How do you get GA Floor tickets to high demand concerts?
September 9, 2017 4:40 PM   Subscribe

Ticket sales restrictions have changed so much in just the past few years that I'm wondering how people even get their hands on floor tickets for bands like U2.

I got in on the fan club presale for U2 tickets in Minneapolis and even then all of the GA Floor tickets were sold out. I saw them back in 2009 and was 6 people back from the center of the stage with Floor tickets that I bought on Craigslist for face value 2 days before the show, but due to new Ticketmaster restrictions on big shows like this you can't do that anymore (you don't actually have real tickets, you basically have a reservation that is tied to your name and credit card that you must show when you enter the venue).

If the GA Floor tickets were all sold out during the presale, and there was no way to buy them secondhand from Craigslist or StubHub, how did people actually get them?
posted by buckaroo_benzai to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Some events have tickets for corporate sponsors that get a number of tickets. Many events have promo tickets for radio stations, charity, what have you.

And I imagine scalping still works, somehow
posted by Jacen at 6:32 PM on September 9, 2017

On many (most?) events, you can re-sell tickets officially on Ticketmaster. It looks like the Minneapolis show already happened, but I looked at another U2 show and they are allowing Ticketmaster resale. So even though you can't sell on Stubhub, you can still sell (and buy). I have gotten tickets to "sold out" events this way several times within the past couple of years.
posted by primethyme at 7:03 PM on September 9, 2017

Nope, there was no reselling on Ticketmaster for this. Nobody even got paper tickets or PDF tickets. When viewing your "ticket" in the Tickemaster app, it clearly says "This is not a ticket. You must show your credit card and ID at the door for entry." The "Sell" and "Transfer" buttons were not available. Total lockdown. I called Ticketmaster and they said "Fan to Fan" and authorized reselling were disabled by the promoter (which I assume means U2?) --- there were some people selling on Craigslist and StubHub, but you had to agree to go through the line at the show with them (so it would really only apply to someone who was going to the show, but had an extra ticket, and that's a risky proposition to agree to). You could not even call and change your ticket from John Doe to Jane Doe. Nothing. Huge pain in the ass.

Plus there was a special entry for people who had Floor tickets versus everyone else who had seats, even though the people entered the Floor by going down the same aisles as the seated folks. It was totally crazy, I've never seen anything like it. U2 screwed up big time. Not only was the ticket situation a complete PITA for no good reason, the venue they picked had the worst sound of any place I've ever seen a show (and I've been to 300+ different concerts). Last time I'll ever waste my money seeing them.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 7:44 PM on September 9, 2017

Huh. I bought u2 tickets 2 days before the Vancouver show on stubhub, so it wasn't u2 preventing the resale.
posted by Valancy Rachel at 7:49 PM on September 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

I got in on the fan club presale for U2 tickets

I'm not entirely clear on this. Were you online and tried to buy tickets the instant that tickets went on sale? That's the only way I've ever gotten floor tickets. (Not to U2.) Wait a few seconds and they're gone.
posted by Vispa Teresa at 8:18 PM on September 9, 2017

I saw tickets for sale on StubHub and was curious how that would work, so I bought one. Then StubHub called me 2 days later and said that the seller could not fulfill their obligation to sell the ticket. It seems like, at least for the Minneapolis show, any tickets for sale were due to seller ignorance that the tickets couldn't actually be sold.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 8:18 PM on September 9, 2017

I had GA tickets to one of the Chicago shows, and got them by being online exactly when the preorder started and grabbing the tickets as soon as they went online. Ticketmaster was slow that day, so I ended up being unsure if I had a pair or not. I tried again and ended up with two pairs.

GA tickets for U2 were tied to the original buyers credit card, but that didn’t stop folks from selling them. They’d meet in person at the floor gate, and come in together as one party. So plenty of GA tickets were available on Craigslist, at least for the Chicago shows. It just would have taken some extra coordination to meet and come in together.
posted by Jomoma at 10:04 PM on September 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

Here is a link to a Bob Lefsetz column on paperless tickets. Lefsetz writes a music industry newsletter. He has written extensively on ticketing policies. Check out the archives from his blog. Here is a link to a search on his site for "Ticketing"
posted by AugustWest at 10:32 PM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

There were floor tickets available for resale via TM exchange for the L.A. U2 shows. Some of my friends got them via the regular onsale as well. I'm still somewhat aware of U2 online fandom topics, and of the many complaints I've heard, GA availability hasn't been one--seconding that this may be another failure of the (as you say, I'm unfamiliar) cruddy venue.
posted by tyrantkitty at 10:43 AM on September 10, 2017

I went to several of the U2 shows this year with GA tickets. For some of the shows, I used my fan club membership and had several open ticketmaster windows at once, refreshing until I got through.

After I'd used my presale codes, I bought tickets for the other shows on the day the tickets went on sale. A couple of them, I was able to get in pretty quickly. For a third, I waited an hour or two and then was able to get into ticketmaster immediately.

Further, more floor tickets were released periodically; each show and the GA in general have facebook groups and someone usually posts "ticket drop right now for Boston!" for instance, and/or just keep checking.

My processes went very smoothly this tour.
posted by Occula at 1:25 PM on September 18, 2017

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