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RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

So I had even more U2 tickets for Manchester and Birmingham. I was *excited*. This was going to be wonderful! I had decided to stay away from London during the U2 shows there, though. After Manchester, I was planning on heading north to admire Scotland before boarding a ferry for Dublin and Slane. It would be too hard to be in London at the same time as the shows that I wasn't going to.

One day, I had to work at night so I was home and I decided I might as well check the Ticketmaster UK site just to check. Just another compulsive die-hard fan behavior pattern, I guess. Anyway, I checked the BuyUpFront site and they were still listing London as sold out. Then, I went to TM and logged into the U2 Earl's Court option. Every show had a little "On Sale" sign next to it that hadn't been there before!

Trying not to get too excited since TM America does this all the time even when there isn't a ticket to be had, I clicked on one date and filled out a request for two tickets, International Mail delivery. I hit the Search for Tickets button and the next page that should have loaded didn't. Then I remembered. TM America is closed for the night after a certain time in order to reprocess itself for the next day. Maybe given the time change and everything, TM UK was doing that just then.

So I waited as it got later and later. I had to work that night at 11PM so I didn't have all night to stay up and try this. At just about 10PM, when it would be 3AM in London, I logged in again and tried for a ticket for the last night in London. I asked for two tickets the first time. The page I think every fan trying to buy tickets online is familiar with came up. "We are sorry, but we cannot fulfill your ticket request..." Blah, blah, blah. So they were sold out or something even when they had the little For Sale signs up. I think I tried for the rest of the nights asking for two tickets but couldn't get anything.

Maybe I should have given up since they all seemed to be sold out, but some desperate hope kept me going. I think I only persisted since the For Sale signs had just appeared that day.TM UK is guilty of less false advertising than TM America. If the For Sale signs were up, they were bound to be selling *something*. I just had to fool the server into letting me buy tickets.

Going to a concert by myself wasn't part of the plan for the UK shows, especially London. But the server wasn't giving me any pairs and I was running out of time. So, I put in for one ticket for the last night in London and waited as the reply page loaded. It was amazing. AMAZING. Instead of the stupid "Sorry we don't have any tickets" page that I've seen more times than I care to count, BOOM there was a little order sheet. My heart just about *stopped*. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. One ticket to see U2 their last night in London. I hated to go by myself but this was a godsend and I *had* to jump on it. I filled out the order sheet, hoping that the ticket would arrive in the mail before I left for England on the 23rd of July. What was even more exciting as well as kind of scary was that this was a GENERAL ADMISSION, standing room only ticket. My God... on the FLOOR in LONDON... by myself. Oh, well, if I died in the crush or something, at least I'd die happy :)

I was psyched. I couldn't believe I had gotten through. This was good news, though. I mean, this had to mean that other tickets for London were going on sale that very day and I had probably logged on just as they had started to become availale. Looked like I'd be camped out in front of the computer at work all that night.

It was already well after 1030PM so I grabbed my bag, shut the computer down and trotted off to work and no this is NOT the end of this story! :)

The people at work had been waiting for me to arrive since I got there pretty late (priorities, priorities). I got the scoop on everyone and set up meds etc in record time. Ticketmaster's website and the available London tickets were swimming around in my head like tantalizing surprise packages, just out of reach. Thank God it wasn't a horribly busy night and by 1AM, I was back online and Ticketmaster.

I tried ordering tickets for the Tuesday show, Earl's Court #3 and I marked the Overseas Mail option since I'm overseas and I wanted them mailed to me, right? Anyway, I hit the Look for Tickets button and something must have been horribly wrong. The page that loaded was neither the 'Sorry..." page or an order sheet. It was just blue. Blue, blank and useless. I hit reload about 4million times and still the same thing. Maybe it was just the

high demand. I tried for nights 1 and 2, but just got the "Sorry..." page even when I requested just one ticket. They must have been clean out.

So I went back to night 3, and this time, just cuz I had nothing to lose, I clicked the UK Mail option instead of the Overseas Mail. Boom. Order form for two General Admission tickets came up almost without hesitation. But I couldn't use that to get my tickets mailed to me cuz I wouldn't be able to get my address squeezed in there right. And I couldn't use my cousisn's UK address cuz the mailing address has to be the same as the Mastercard billing address or else my order would get canceled and the tix would go to someone else.

But maybe since this time it had worked, maybe the other Overseas option would work now. Maybe the whole thing had been screwed up for a while. I kissed the tickets I couldn't have goodbye and I went back and filled out the request with the Overseas Mail box ticked. Again, the blue page smiled back at me. What was this??? Some weird form of nationalism??? What the hell??? I tried all the other ticket delivery options. It offered me tickets, 2 GAs for all the UK and Ireland customer options but the same blue page thing happened with the Overseas Mail option and for the Will Call option for foreign people, it offered me the two tickets but it wouldn't say what kind of tickets they were. It just said "Section," (comma included). WHAT was UP?

Entirely too frustrated and pissed off and hating Ticketmaster more than ever, I e-mailed my friend in Ireland. I mean, it was 3 AM by then. That was 8AM Dublin time. She might, she just might be getting her e-mail at about that time or sometime that morning anyway. I wrote her this really irritated, pissed off e-mail saying that London was on sale and I was trying to get us tickets but the stupid system was rigged or something cuz I couldn't get it to give me tickets though I KNEW they were available. I could see them but couldn't buy them. It looked like it was selling to UK and ireland people only. She had to try and get them right now if she could.

I sent the e-mail and went back to Ticketmaster to more of the same frustrating nonsense. Seeing that I wasn't getting anywhere, I went back to check my Yahoo e-mail with my fingers crossed. And... Oh, my God! A reply to my ranting e-mail. We were online at the same time! What I read made me sooooo angry, though. She said she had called Ticketmaster that morning and they had said they were sold out! She had argued with them but without any luck. So she couldn't buy any tix cuz they told her they were sold out and I couldn't buy them cuz I was facing a very Anglophilic server that wasn't letting me buy anything cuz I wasn't British! Aaaaah!

She gave me her street address to see if I could use that but I couldn't cuz of the credit card billing address problem. I considered going over to my credit card's website and changing my address to a British one temporarily, but they wouldn't take overseas address changes at the web site (DAMN!!!). By this time, my firend who I'll call Susan had her boyfriend on the phone with Ticketmaster, she was online trying to get tix that way and I was online on the other side of the Atlantic.

No luck.

Finally, knowing that these tickets wouldn't be around forever, I logged in as a Will Call and requested tickets that way. The stupid description for the two ticket came up "Section." but by this time I just needed tickets. I bought them. To this day I have no idea what kind of tickets they are. Ticketmaster never answered my e-mail asking them to please clarify. The Will Call tix are available only an hour before the show per Earl's Court policy. So if these are GAs, then we're SOL... but at least we're going.

I e-mailed Susan and told her the news plus the news that I had ONE GA for the last night in London... hadn't been able to get anymore of them. It was a little while before she mailed me back, but she had great news. She had finally gotten through to TM online and bought two more GAs for the last night in London, Wednesday. So all three of us were going Wednesday, GA-style, and Susan and I are going Tuesday with the mystery tickets. Awesome.

Of all the shows, of all the venues, of all the dates on this Elevation tour... or any other tour, London meant the most to me. I had given up hope that I'd be able to go until that night. I was going along with some friends I had wanted to go with and we'd be GA also. Amazing.

Now, all that's left is picking up the Tuesday tickets at 6PM GMT on August 21st in London and until only then finding out what kind of tickets my $100 bought. Oh well. At least we'll be in the building :)

So the moral of this story is to persevere... and that Ticketmaster is evil. Very very evil. There's rage against the ticket machine...

 

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