On Saturday, September 18, Lady Gaga brought her infamous Monster Ball tour to Time Warner Cable Arena. On Tuesday, September 14th, David, my fiancee, gave our two oldest daughters permission to go if I would take them. If you read my last article, you’ll remember that Live Nation and Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre had me somewhat spoiled with their VIP package for the Kings of Leon show. A “Monster Ball” seems a little more threatening than your average concert, so we needed to be in another box or I wasn’t going to be able to handle it.I find her songs catchy, but Lady Gaga is notorious for being over the top as are her fans.
So, the mission I chose to accept was to find a box seat for Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball. Amidst a dancing and cheering couple of teenage girls, I began the task of locating tickets. I needed to make dinner soon and knew that that was all they were going to talk about so I went straight to Google. I Googled “Lady Gaga Monster Ball Tickets” The results were very vast. I got links to videos from YouTube, I got a Wikipedia link explaining the event, I got Ebay, I got Lady Gaga’s site, I got Ebay, and I got a ton of all kinds of random ticket brokers (I’m paraphrasing here, I don’t want to accidentally promote one) with names like TicketGimme.com, TicketAwesome.com, etc. I decided the best option based on those results would be Wikipedia, where my memory was jogged with the fact that Virgin Mobile is the promoter for that venue. I clicked on Virgin Mobile and I got their wireless site Nothing but phone sales, my fault, I should have Googled better.
I re-Googled “Lady Gaga Monster Ball Virgin Mobile”. I clicked the first link that was through Virgin Mobile but pertained to Lady Gaga. On that page, there was a tour schedule, there was a picture of Gaga, and above and below the concert promotion there were links to their mobile services, with all kinds of corporate info on the bottom of the page. Dead center, I could click on the huge banner for Gaga ringtones. Which was fine if I wanted to hear about a sick beat and a disco stick on my work phone, but I didn’t. I did not want to play a Love Game. I wanted to buy tickets for the advertised show. I clicked around the general area and on the schedule to see if it would just take me there. Nope, it didn’t work . So I got the pointer and poked her face in hopes I had uncovered some kind of inside joke. I had not. Clearly, I’m clever and can make fun of a frustrating situation! Why can I not find this evasive link? I scrutinized the website with squinty eyes, word by word. I finally found it in very small font encouraging me to click “here” for information on the tour.
I complied and clicked. Oh, look! I can register to get Lady Gaga to call me personally. I also could buy a phone if I wanted to. Oh, and way somewhere I don’t remember where, I clicked another link for “more information on tour”. It led to Lady Gaga’s website, but all I saw was picture of her in a crazy dress and a link to contact my congressman regarding “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” No information on the tour. Way down at the bottom of the link was another link to get into her main site.
I’m glad Gaga has found something she’s passionate enough to support, but doesn’t she need to sell tickets to continue her crusade? I want to help you Gaga! I’m ASKing you where your tickets are, so why aren’t you TELLing me? So, I click the link to the main site, and enter her “Haus” where I can find another public announcement about her cause, and I can find a ton of clips and videos of her and her meat dress and her Video Music awards. I can also see fan videos regarding “Don’t Ask , Don’t Tell.” There at the bottom, I can see a monster gallery of fans in their Gaga best, or I can “Monster Myself” whatever that is, and I can also click a link and submit a video of my best version of her song “Alejandro”. Who has time for this? I do not.
I needed to make dinner and I needed info on buying some tickets! The kids were hopping around and singing Gaga songs and I was so irritated I had to snap at them to make them stop. At that I realized that I had inadvertently monsterized myself without even clicking that link! There were four different windows open courtesy of Gaga’s site, and the internet dumped the connection. I was about to throw the laptop. Monster? Check. Still need a ticket to the Ball though….
I decided to just stop and make dinner, with a ban on Gaga talk at the table. I came back to the task with a clearer mind. This wasn’t such a pain in the Alejandro when I bought tickets for Kings of Leon…wait, lightbulb moment… Live Nation + Ticketmaster = Love!! I should check them for availability!! Now, if I hadn’t been rushed and had kids dancing around and singing and hopping and begging and all of that, I would have had the foresight to try them first. Unfotunately, it is very hard to concentrate when there’s texting marathons and facebook status updates gloating about tickets I can’t even find yet putting crazy pressure on me. I snapped! I Googled first!! I have learned my lesson.
That said, I got on Ticketmaster via Livenation.com and all of about ten seconds later I learned that I was not going to be able to purchase a box seat. I could get floor tickets and I could sit in a very high section with a possibly limited view. I called Ticketmaster and learned that the suites at that venue were leased privately and tickets for those would go through the individual suite owners who lease usage of them them on a season basis. Honestly, I am not trying to write another feature on Live Nation or Ticketmaster, but I have to say that they came through again. Redundancy be damned, Shannon + Live Nation = Love. I asked for information, they delivered quickly. It wasn’t the answer I wanted, but there were no unneccessary advertising or popups, no politics, and I did not want to throw my laptop. I didn’t know how to deliver the bad news to the girls though. ” I’m crowdphobic and I need a box seat.I’m afraid of getting glitter in my eye.” That will not go over well. There are tickets…just not what I wanted. I needed my space Period.
The fact that they’d already gotten excited made it a little stressful. Usually, parent permission is 95% of the battle, but this time it was procurement. I am not getting beer sloshed on me on the floor. TicketCrazyDealorWhatever.com says they have VIP tickets..but it sounded sketchy and I was not , I repeat not, going to risk spending money on some random site and be scammed.
So, I did the next thing I could think of…Ebay. Perhaps a good honest person with a scheduling conflict and a VIP Box Suite would meet me in person and let me see the tickets first before purchasing them. I needed a box seat at an affordable price. I needed a fairy godmother to get us to the ball.
Enter Shawn O’Donnell from EventWitness.com. I saw that he had several listings for premium seats and box seats with VIP amenities. I also noted his excellent Ebay feedback. I clicked the link to his actual website and was very impressed. He boasted the ability to provide hard to get, premium tickets to sold out shows including VIP suites. I noticed that his website was very professionally done, he specialized in the local area, and he also had a link to laws that protected consumers from ticket fraud. I also noticed he had his phone number and direct email, which was very reassuring.
I decided to email him and ask for his help. The email I sent Shawn was very clear, I wanted last minute VIP suites with all amenities. I also told him my budget. He responded within 5 minutes of that email which started a chain of emails that resulted in three VIP luxury suite tickets for a very , very reasonable price. There was give and take on both ends, but both parties were satisfied.
We agreed to meet at a coffee shop that was convenient to me the next day, where I would pick up the tickets. He was there at 10am on the nose. I was a little anxious because I felt like I was doing a drug deal. I had the cash and he had the goods. Worst case, If the tickets looked fake, I’d leave, and I’d still walk away a winner.
I got there early. I knew who he was because he had an envelope with his logo and my name on it. He handed them to me and went to order his coffee. I could have totally run off with them , not that I would, but just saying. I hadn’t paid him yet! I already appreciated him. When he got his coffee, we sat down and I took the tickets out – complete with a professional thank you note and a map of the venue as well as where my suite was located. There were also lots of business cards implying he obviously intended me to spread the good word.
He sat with me and explained everything, and wished me a great time at the show once I was satisfied. As soon as I left Starbucks I did the happy dance in the parking lot. I didn’t even care who saw me. Then I told everyone I knew which resulted in some more sales for Shawn. I was even able to help one of my girls’ friends get 4th row seats a few hours before the show for a great price.
The show was great,we got early entry and there was wait service for food and drink ( it had to be in bulk and bottle service, respectively) So we just split the cost with the other people in the suite. They also bought their tickets from Shawn. Inevitably, people started comparing prices,and I empathized with them about there being a difference, so I contacted Shawn later. He assured me the seats were agreed upon at a cost that was satisfactory to all parties involved prior to purchase.
Shawn’s service was professional, expeditious, and necessary for me if I wanted to go to the concert and not willing to risk a “Bad Romance” with a ticket scammer. Long story short, Shawn turned a pumpkin into a carriage. If you want VIP or premium seats, and Ticketmaster.com isn’t offering them, I’m urging you to contact Shawn. He got us to the ball where we “Just Danced” all night. Without him, the magical night wouldn’t have taken place for myself and my girls.
For more information please visit EventWitness.com