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Hahninator

North American Tour Presales

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Yesterday, presales launched for Linkin Park's first North American Tour in three years. The band did something different than usual, by partnering with Ticketmaster for a "#VerifiedFan" presale.


Announcing the tour, they said,


"Get ready for the summer 2017 #OneMoreLight North American Tour (announcing soon). We want tickets to get in the hands of real fans, not scalpers or bots, so register for our #VerifiedFan pre-sale powered by Ticketmaster and stay tuned for a full announcement.

All fans, including LPU members, need to register in order to get access to pre-sale tickets. If you are an LPU member, you will receive another email with more details."


Everyone, including LPU members, were to sign up for the presale. To gain a better spot in line, fans were to purchase as many copies of the new album as possible and were to socially engage the tour by blasting tweets and Facebook posts about it on their social media accounts. Not only that, but they were to buy copies of One More Light. As you would expect, fans ran out to buy a lot of copies of the album... to "get a better spot in line" to buy tickets before other fans.


However, problems started occurring the day before the show.


1. Changing par with previous tours, the LP Underground was not given priority as assumed in the presales. At first, LPU members were indeed set to go in the first two presale groups. Ticketmaster started changing what "spot" in line people were (meaning which group they were in) the day before the show, with some LPU members today reporting to us that they were in groups 3 and 4 instead of groups 1 and 2 - set to gain access to tickets hours after non-fanclub members.


2. However, the entire "grouping" scenario was thrown out the window as soon as the presales began. In an essential "free for all", any fan who had signed up for the presales at any time was given access to the tickets starting at 1:00pm when group 1 was supposed to go. This resulted in mass numbers of fans attempting to buy tickets at once and of course pit tickets, etc for some shows were gone almost instantly. Were there "drops" of tickets continually each hour throughout the presale? No one is sure.


Some fans even had their accounts bumped from their spot in line all the way to the end, and the company responsible was not available for assistance. This was done by Ticketmaster/Strobe to try to weed out potential scalpers or fake accounts. The problem? It ended up weeding out fans who had done a lot of social engagement and friend/family referrals to get a better spot in line. Or worse, people who had purchased the album many times.


3. Ticket limits (4) were suddenly changed to 2 tickets per person per show as soon as the presale began, with no explanation.


4. Presale codes meant to used for "one city only" on the tour were available to use for any show on the tour and could be shared amongst friends.


In summary, the presale was poorly managed (and advertised) by Ticketmaster. In the past, the LPU has been given access to tickets first via a code usually redeemed on Ticketmaster. However, problems of course can result from that as codes can be shared. Do we have a solution? No - but that was obviously a more effective system than an essential "free for all" that resulted on Ticketmaster yesterday.


The band itself is not to blame here as they don't run their own presales and usually have a third party handle them, but Linkin Park is going to have to work to find ways to improve the presale experience for fans. The system yesterday did not prioritize fanclub members, falsely promoted a "grouping" scenario, and falsely promoted a "ticket limit" and "one city only" code limit. Hopefully future Linkin Park presales stay away from Ticketmaster as Ticketmaster has been and continues to be part of the problem.

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Bad stuff all around. Like you said, the band isn't to blame. But I do wish their management had chosen better partnerships and thought this through. Previous LPU presales ran fine, and LPU members are probably the MOST likely to buy tickets to multiple shows. Limiting them to one in the presale just hurts them, and probably does more to get tickets in the hands of scalpers. A lot of people didn't get their codes, Strobe updated line positions slowly, and then tickets being limited to just 2 instead of 4 yesterday caused a lot of disasters for people.

 

I got my tickets to all my shows, so it's easy for me to be happy, but that shouldn't happen for the reason that I have a Citi credit card. It should happen because I'm an LPU member. The only lesson I learned from this was have a Citi card and have an AMEX just in case because that gets preference from Live Nation too.

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My presale never even started. Got an email saying they messed up and it would actually be on May 19th..only to find out that date was also wrong and it's now May 16th.

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What a clusterfuck, I ran into the quantity problem, I needed 4 tickets, was only able to buy 2. I wasted like 10 minutes hoping the quantity thing would be resolved, until I said fuck it and got the 2 tickets because my seats were getting worse and worse. My brother who isn't LPU, somehow managed to get the 2 seats next to me because I told him the group times didn't matter. I seriously doubt they're even going to address the issue.

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Never signed up for presale. Haven't spent a penny on the album. Didn't share or click on one link the entire campaign. Still got my presale tickets just after 10 am PST. Great job as always Ticketmaster!

Edited by Hybrid1988

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I wrote this originally as part of the thread but we took it out for the sake of being quick and to the point. Luckily, this post doesn't have to be brief.

 

This is an editorial on the state of Ticketmaster and the ticketing economy in terms of everything going on with it, even beyond this pre-sale. Enjoy.

 

------------

 

Ticketmaster has proved time and time again that they truly one of the most deplorable companies to ever exist. Let's step back from the disaster of this pre-sale and look at them as a whole. Expensive ticket prices are understandable. People have to get paid, production needs to be covered, venue needs a share - we get it. Having to pay an additional fee that's a substantial percent of your ticket to Ticketmaster (disguised as a "venue" or "service" fee, or something along those lines)? Disgusting.
What we have here is a nearly total monopoly of the ticketing franchise in North America (and probably beyond, but I only know as far as in terms of the United States). Ticketmaster is allowed to get away with ridiculous fees and inflating ticket prices because they own nearly every major amphitheater in the United States, thanks to its 2010 merger with Live Nation (who, by association, are also fucks). Any amphitheater you can think of, Ticketmaster probably has a stake in it. In order to keep those venues running, they have a service fee that comes with every ticket. Also understandable, as these places need to be kept going for running.
What isn't understandable is how every single ticket purchased by every single person comes with an minimum of $20 service fee. What isn't understandable is how even after being sued for this, they continue to be able to ruin the magic of going to a show.
I bought tickets for West Palm Beach and Tampa today, and I had to worry about a lot of things. Let's start small, with this pre-sale itself. Firstly, I had to worry about being able to use my pre-sale code whatsoever. I'm from New Jersey, so I was in line for the Flushing show, but I learned after the dates were announced that I wouldn't be able to go to any of the shows in my area because I'll be on the west coast. For reasons that will not be said (at the moment), going to a show on this tour poses something really awesome, so my family and I decided to go to Florida for a vacation to coincide with the shows. I was, at the peak of things, #13 in the entire NY area for the presale, so I wasn't about to give that up and change my location (I ended at #55, which is still pretty damn good). Thanks to the lack of communication on the pre-sale management side, I wasn't even sure if I would be able to buy tickets in the first place.
Luckily, I was able to, which brings me to the second point of worry: actually purchasing the tickets. I needed to buy 3 tickets for each show: one for me, my dad, and my sister. I went for the West Palm Beach show first. I had brought my laptop to school just to buy the tickets, and lo-and-behold, the promised "four tickets per code" had turned to two, as that was the most amount of seats I could select. Whatever, I'd just buy one separately. I was able to secure some great seats for WPB, but at a cost - literally. The two initial tickets I bought cost me almost $300. The seat themselves were $117 each - so for the seats I paid $237. That means I paid $60 in fees alone, or $30 per seat. $300 for two seats, and I still had four more to purchase? Oh boy.
I managed to get all the seats I wanted to buy (I have front section seats in West Palm Beach and seats behind the mixing board in Tampa, which were about $30 less), with everything coming out to be between $700 and $800. For two shows. How much of that is fees? Roughly $360. I understand that maintaining a venue must be hard work and definitely must be costly, especially considering how many they have to keep up. But now consider this: how many people are buying tickets daily to these hundreds of venues across the country? Can you imagine how much they make from just these goddamned fees? I don't know how much it is to maintain a venue, but I know for a fact that after collecting all of these fees since 1971 and still being able to stand so confidently, they are overdoing it.
This monopoly hasn't gone unheard, but the victories in the rebellion against it were only brief. Allow me to bring some APUSH knowledge into this, to help explain how blasphemous this is: the Sherman Antitrust Act. In the 1880s and 1890s, many businesses were building monopolies, finding ways to essentially eliminate any other small competitors in the process. The Sherman Antitrust Act stopped one of such ways of eliminating smaller businesses: by manipulating prices of the major brand such that they will be lower than the competition, and then once the competition goes out of business, to raise the price again. Ticketmaster was, in fact, sued over the fact that their practices did not fall in line with the Sherman Antitrust Act in 2003, and lost the case, though the settlement was never made public and it's still uncertain how it affected them. The act also stipulates that an "innocent monopoly," or one that is created by having actual quality above the rest, is perfectly fine.
The sad part is, that isn't what's happening here. Ticketmaster has effectively recreated this scenario, though in different terms: it's not that they lower prices to eliminate competition (ha, lowering ticket prices. funny jokes). It's that they have eliminated any possibility of competition whatsoever. They own a huge majority of the venues in the United States, so they have exclusive access to pretty much all of the ticket sales for all of them. The bigger venues they don't hold will go to Ticketmaster to drive sales, because they are the only available market out there. The closest thing Ticketmaster has to competition is scalpers, which is a whole other argument.
Ticketmaster hasn't come out of this monopoly unscathed, but they've found ways around it. Many of you may remember when Ticketmaster lost a lawsuit in 2013 (Schlesinger v Ticketmaster, which began in 2003), which was filled against them for not explaining their excessive fees. As a settlement, Ticketmaster issued out $2.25 vouchers for those who bought tickets via their website over a decade and a half prior. On the grand scheme of things, it definitely took a bite out of the company, but they were able to heal quickly. A maximum of 17 vouchers were issued per person, and you could only use one per ticket (so, if you hit the max, you had $38.25 to spend on tickets, but not all at once). Additionally, there were only select shows that the vouchers could be used for. Those vouchers expire some time in 2020, but don't hold your breath: the list of shows that were applicable hasn't been updated since they actually made the list in 2015.
Even looking at how Ticketmaster has tried to appear more fan-oriented will show that they truly don't know how to do things right. The system that this pre-sale used has been in practice for a few months now - the Verified Fan Presale. I first encountered it earlier this year when Muse and Thirty Seconds To Mars announced a tour together, because all of you who know me knows I wouldn't be missing that. From that starting experience until now, this presale system has always proven to be a disaster. The day of the Muse presale, I didn't receive my pre-sale code until two hours after it had started (they hadn't made the "group" concept public). The presale promised that the band's truest fans to get first access to tickets; after the pre-sale happened, it became clear this wasn't the case. New fans who had signed up hours before got their codes at the start, while fans who signed up early (including one guy who was a fan since 2005) were left waiting in confusion. This has only continued from there - I'm still waiting for my Ed Sheeran pre-sale code that I signed up for a few months ago.
Long-story short, Ticketmaster is the epitome of capitalism gone rogue. They are allowed to exist with their corrupt monopoly without any competition or anyone fighting against them, and unfortunately things aren't going to change. If this pre-sale has proved anything, it's that everything Ticketmaster does is either a faulty system or a corrupt bargain. This forum post really sums it all up, and you don't even know how many times the announcement of this North American tour was pushed back, just for this to happen. We need change, but we can't get it if we don't fight it.

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wow great post! I didn't know Ticketmaster was this powerful on the market, but now I fully understand the situation. How can we fight it when LP is selling their tickets via Ticketmaster? Sure we could boycott Ticketmaster, but we all wanna go to LP's concerts.....

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I think Soul covered the ticketmaster portion of this pretty well, so here's my piece on LPU having some level of responsibility.

 

First, this sucked all around. We were basically scammed into buying cds and LPU, considering it promised presale. While technically I did get in, if you try to log into LPU right now it pops with a disclaimer saying you needed to be part of LPU earlier to get into this presale. So it's fairly obvious that being in LPU implied we get presale before others. It's the only reason I renewed.

 

As it turned out you didn't need to spend a dime to be in group one to buy tickets. I absolutely feel cheated and manipulated. FYI I have a bunch of copies of OML now.

 

They didn't explain ticket limits which really screwed up my friends. They didn't explain city limits. They activated all the codes at once. And they removed legit people in line.

 

Cherry on top for me was being part of the Houston presale, which was through the Toyota Center instead of Ticketmaster. And here's where I'm pissed at LPU. Houston presale is May 16th at 10am. This was never conveyed until multiple fellow Houstonians called the venue. Credit to Toyota Center for responding, but this is something that should have been told up front. This should have been part of the tour announcement to begin with. No way they didn't know about this beforehand. I wasted an hour at work trying to figure out what happened.

 

So you can say this is all stobelight and ticketmaster, but LPUHQ should have been monitoring this. It's what I paid for. It's infuriating to me that they still have yet to say anything about this. You might contract someone to do a job, but you still have to manage it.

 

But even before this LPUHQ was fine pushing off FAQ's for fans to LPL, so I guess I'm not surprised.

 

This whole experience put me off LPU again and I'll wait till it's revamped again, and hope it's run better.

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I think Soul covered the ticketmaster portion of this pretty well, so here's my piece on LPU having some level of responsibility.

 

First, this sucked all around. We were basically scammed into buying cds and LPU, considering it promised presale. While technically I did get in, if you try to log into LPU right now it pops with a disclaimer saying you needed to be part of LPU earlier to get into this presale. So it's fairly obvious that being in LPU implied we get presale before others. It's the only reason I renewed.

 

As it turned out you didn't need to spend a dime to be in group one to buy tickets. I absolutely feel cheated and manipulated. FYI I have a bunch of copies of OML now.

 

They didn't explain ticket limits which really screwed up my friends. They didn't explain city limits. They activated all the codes at once. And they removed legit people in line.

 

Cherry on top for me was being part of the Houston presale, which was through the Toyota Center instead of Ticketmaster. And here's where I'm pissed at LPU. Houston presale is May 16th at 10am. This was never conveyed until multiple fellow Houstonians called the venue. Credit to Toyota Center for responding, but this is something that should have been told up front. This should have been part of the tour announcement to begin with. No way they didn't know about this beforehand. I wasted an hour at work trying to figure out what happened.

 

So you can say this is all stobelight and ticketmaster, but LPUHQ should have been monitoring this. It's what I paid for. It's infuriating to me that they still have yet to say anything about this. You might contract someone to do a job, but you still have to manage it.

 

But even before this LPUHQ was fine pushing off FAQ's for fans to LPL, so I guess I'm not surprised.

 

This whole experience put me off LPU again and I'll wait till it's revamped again, and hope it's run better.

Honestly, unless you want a chance to meet the band or Reeeally want the merch there's not much benefit to being in LPU anymore compared to its early years. I'd say California (more specifically LA) gets the most benefit from a membership. Back in the day when I was too young to go to the events, I'd renew solely to interact with people I met on the forums. Now, with social media, there's no point.

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Honestly, unless you want a chance to meet the band or Reeeally want the merch there's not much benefit to being in LPU anymore compared to its early years. I'd say California (more specifically LA) gets the most benefit from a membership. Back in the day when I was too young to go to the events, I'd renew solely to interact with people I met on the forums. Now, with social media, there's no point.

You're right. I've already canceled. I'll be wrapping up my membership next April.

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I disagree, $10 for a M&G and early entry is more than worth it to me. We complained for an extraordinarily long time about LP not offering EE and now that they have it I'll definitely take advantage of that.

 

Summits will return and those are LPU only too.

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Found the Boston show on Groupon for $20. Its lawn, but if the deal works with new member coupons, not a bad deal I guess. I don't trust that the setlist is worth driving3 hours for though. Sticking to webcasts :)

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I'm the one who tweeted about being bumped to the back of the line. (Group 4). I found out later that I wasn't just bumped to the back of the line, I was removed from the line completely. Strobe emailed me and said that they sometimes have to remove accounts that are fraudulent. Because apparently buying the album and referring one friend is fraudulent.

 

They said that spots would be locked in at 5 pm PDT on Saturday, but at that time, I was in spot 40, and group 1. Early on Sunday afternoon when I checked, I was in spot 35. On Sunday evening, I was in spot 32, then on Monday, I was in spot "#" and group 4. (In other words, not in line at all anymore).

 

I'm not sure why, but they emailed me again on Tuesday afternoon, about half an hour after the pre-sale started, with a link and a code to buy tickets. I only wanted one, so the issues other people had with being told they could buy 4, then only being allowed to buy 2 didn't apply to me.

 

This was my first time participating in a pre-sale, and it was an absolute mess. I'm still annoyed that being an LPU member apparently didn't make any difference as to when people could buy tickets. One group was supposed to get access at 1 pm, another group at 2 pm, etc, but it seems like at 1 pm, the gates opened, and it was a free-for-all. I really don't understand why they bothered to have things people could do to move up in line, or groups at all, when it seemingly didn't matter.

 

This was the most aggravating experience I've had in years, especially since I bought an LPU membership mostly for the pre-sale access, and until the last minute, it looked like I wasn't going get access to the pre-sale. I was livid.

Edited by SherriAxby

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