This post deserves a new category: OMFG
The formal announcement from the event organizers through One Direction Philippines came on May 19: the boys are indeed coming to the Philippines on March 21, 2015 for a concert at the MOA concert grounds–and tickets were going on sale on May 23. Cue the outrage. The ticket selling date came much too soon; many people couldn’t scrounge up the money in three days, and the concert’s practically a whole year away. Couldn’t they start selling in December or some date closer to the concert itself?
I suspect they couldn’t: I imagine One Direction’s management wants to make sure that bringing the boys here will be worth it and that tickets really will be sold. They needn’t have worried or doubted the 1D fandom in the Philippines. As early as 2 p.m., May 22, people had already secured their spot in the line, ready to pull an all-nighter. The number of people lined up grew throughout the night.
TJ, Macy, and I couldn’t line up earlier, so we were there at 5 a.m., at which point the lines were already so damn long. Long story short, Macy and I were inside the Arena’s lobby a little before 10, and we got inside the Arena Bowl before 2. We thought we were home free until we noticed that the line wasn’t moving at all. It took ages before it started inching along with some regularity, and we finally got our tickets–though not the VIP ones we were hoping for—after 5 p.m.
Fucking 5 p.m.
Meanwhile, outside, people were suffering in the heat, tempers were rising, tears were falling when people heard that some tickets have already been sold out. TJ reported that there were some scuffles and a lot of crying kids and angry parents.
All in all, it was an experience that I will never repeat and I will never do for any other band or person ever again. Buying a concert ticket shouldn’t have to take more than 12 hours, but I’m pretty glad we were able to get good tickets anyway—made the +12 hours worth it.
What the One Direction ticket selling organizers got horribly, horribly wrong
The biggest mistake they made that I can think of is being unprepared. I can’t say they underestimated the crowd; they said in their announcement that 15,000 people are expected to show up at the event. If they’re expecting that many people to show up, they should have ensured that they have enough people to control the crowd and guide the people. In addition, there shouldn’t have been only eight fucking counters inside the Arena Bowl and the concourse for the other tickets. I kept saying, “Two rows of 10 or 12 counters! One row on two sides of the arena! Don’t make people form a snaking line! Make them queue at each counter, and if they can’t fit yet, then that’s when the others should wait as part of one big line!” One dad was even saying that cash and credit card transactions should be separate, which makes more sense, because cash transactions are faster.
They also should have limited the maximum number of tickets per person to two, not five. Less chances of the tickets running out, less chances of scalpers buying up as many tickets as they can. Apparently, scalpers would immediately sell the tickets the minute they exited MOA Arena; VIP tickets went from P17,800 to P21,000–P23,000.
Another mistake is that we didn’t hear from the organizers. Inside the lobby, there were sporadic announcements about ticket availability, and then someone announced that they were requesting management for a second show. After that, we didn’t hear from at all. It would have been moderately reassuring if they would show up occasionally to tell the crowd why the lines weren’t moving and what they plan to do to make everyone’s lives easier.
What the organizers will probably get wrong the day of the concert
They’ve already made a mistake by choosing the MOA concert grounds. It’s a flat, level surface, and people with the cheaper tickets will not be able to see anything much from where they’ll be sitting. According to a comment on the 1DPhil page, “magkakariot” if they just use the monobloc chairs. It’s very likely that many people will be unhappy. Why pay any amount at all if all you’re going to see are people’s heads or their backs?
One thing I think they can do is to create elevated seats for the people in the back, giving everyone a fair shot at getting a look at the boys. I don’t think that’s very likely, however. BUT. SM can construct an entire building in a year. A seating section in 10 months shouldn’t faze them at all. And make sure they’re proper seats that people can’t dislodge and throw at the organizers. Get the fuck on it, people.
Over at the 1DPhil Facebook page, there are more than a few people saying that of course the VIP and Diamond tickets were sold out first, because it’s only the rich kids who aren’t real fans anyway who are snapping them up. To that I say, that’s completely untrue. Blame the scalpers who would go in in threes and buy five tickets each. Aside from those assholes, based on the VIP/Diamond crowd I saw yesterday, it was a mix of happy hardcore fans—who were seriously unhappy 1 to know that the tickets they wanted were gone—and parents and older relatives who are doing their best to get tickets for the kids in their families. So enough of the rage at the “carrot fans” and “fake fans.”
Many thanks to Macy for just being so cool in line and for urging me to go on when I felt like walking the hell out of there. But most of all to TJ for waiting outside for us in the heat and the crowd even though I know he was thisclose to losing his shit and was angry about the whole situation the organizers put everyone through.
- That’s an understatement. ↩