Disclaimer: This is a non-travel related post.
Once upon a time many years ago during a visit to Southern California, I stopped by the Comedy and Magic Club to watch a show featuring comedian Jay Leno. At some point, one of comedians opening the show picked on an audience member sitting near the front of the stage. He asked him to introduce himself. He introduced himself as Scott, an agent in the music industry and he is working with a young artist named: Taylor Swift.
Taylor Swift wasn’t that famous then. At the time, I have only heard the single “Teardrops on my Guitar” (which I like). His introduction stood out to me. I did a little “woohoo” at the mention of the the artist’s name, while someone sitting not too far away says, “Taylor Who?”
I don’t think Taylor Swift needs any introduction these days.
Of course, when you are famous, you get the polarity of both the super-fandom and haters.
For my part, I’d consider myself a fan of her music, especially her Fearless album. I’ve attended 3 of her 4 concerts (Fearless, Red, and Speak Now tours). She always put on a good show.
Obviously, I’ve never had a meet-and greet with Taylor Swift in person, but I imagine that would be fun. She seemed down to earth, and I really laughed at this mock interview she did with Ellen:
While Taylor can’t be compared to vocal powerhouses like Celine Dion or Whitney Houston or Adele, perhaps that is never a fair comparison to begin with. She’s got her own style. She is a talented songwriter and singer in her own right. Her style of storytelling through her lyrics makes her very relatable.
While I also much prefer her country music (aka, the “old taylor”) over her recent foray into pop, she is experimenting and evolving as an artist.
Reputation Tour Tickets and New Fan Verified Program
Needless to say, Taylor Swift’s concert tickets go fast.
And I mean fast. Maybe they get snapped up by corporate bulk purchases. Other fans. Scalpers.
Sometimes her shows gets sold out in minutes after the public sale begins.
For two of the three concerts, I ended up having to buy tickets from Stubhub at a markup.
Surprisingly, I was able to get tickets to the Red Tour through the regular channel. Still, I had to get online the moment the sale window opens. It was not without technical hiccups since everyone is trying to buy tickets at the same time. You basically need to snap up the first seats you see before they disappear from the inventory.
So, when Taylor Swift introduced her newest Reputation CD as well as tour dates, I wondered if I should bother again.
Interestingly, she also introduced the Verified Fan program to try to get tickets into the hands of her fans. A few other music artists have done the same. The premise is simple: the more “fan-like” activities you do (i.e. buy her CD, watch her videos, referrals), the more ‘boost’ you’ll get.
Essentially, you are placed on a scale and your activities level is being compared to others who signed up as well. The higher your boost, the better chance you will have to get “access” to buy her concert tickets. This comes in the form of earlier “pre-sale” date.
It’s quite a good marketing strategy, actually.
New Fan Verified Pre-Sale Program
I tried out some of the boost early on but later dropped off from the activities. I still ended up faring reasonably well on the waitlist placement, when I was notified that I have a pre-sale date of 12/6.
There is a limit of 6 tickets per person.
I was texted the unique access code just as described the day of the pre-sale. It was an easy and smooth process for me — go to the link, put in your access code, connect it to the Ticketmaster account you used when you sign up for the verified fan program.
They weren’t kidding when they say you get access to excellent availability.
The cheapest seats way back in the stadium starts at about $50 per seat and it only goes up from there.
Floor seats were available, but I skipped over them immediately. I’ve tried the floor seats once and it was an absolute nightmare from a concert-watching perspective. People pay top dollars for those seats, but they just don’t work for me. People stood up almost the entire time. Not being particularly tall, it was not fun seeing the back of everyone’s heads or their phones. So, no thank you, not again.
How I Fared with the Pre-Sale
I don’t go to concerts as much these days, but I wanted the club seats which comes with access to an indoor arena. I feel like those seats are worth splurging on. It’s further from the stage, but that’s OK. I went for it.
Each ticket costs $124.50. There is a nominal order processing fee and a $19.35 Ticketmaster service fee for each ticket. Since I got 3 tickets, that’s almost $60 in service fees. What is this service fee? Why is it so exorbitantly high? Shouldn’t it be built into the cost of the ticket?
All in all, the total came out to a whopping $435 for 3 tickets.
Taylor, look what you made me do.
It’s certainly no chump change for a teenager or the parents of said teenagers if they want to take the kids to a concert.
Did the Fan Verified Program Work?
For my part, I think it worked. I actually had a real shot at getting the tickets as a fan, whereas it was a major hit and miss with the public sale. There was the promised “excellent” availability including access to the cheapest tickets. I was able to score some tickets. I was able to get tickets without any technical snafus.
Of course, the concert is in mid-2018. Booking something so early out means I won’t know if plans might change.
So I’m not quite Out of the woods yet.
I guess in an absolute worst case scenario, I could always resell them.
Call it what you want, but there’s no bad blood here, right? 😀
Did you participate in the Fan Verified Pre-Sale Program? What did you think of the program? If you participated, how did you fare in the pre-sale? Did you get the tickets you wanted?