Author Topic: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?  (Read 2120 times)

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Offline Rising Sun

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How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« on: January 22, 2017, 09:33:34 AM »
For the War, Unforgettable Fire, Conspiracy Of Hope, and Joshua Tree shows in Los Angeles, I bought hard tickets at either the venue box office or record stores months before each show.

In those days, at least for the War and Unforgettable Fire tours, you could count the number of people ahead of you in line and estimate your chances at getting tickets.  I think the venues and record stores each had X number of tickets to sell. 

I don't remember how I got ZooTV tickets for shows in Worcester or Foxborough, MA, but probably also at whatever record stores sold tickets.

Just before the internet, I think I bought tickets for the PopMart show in Seattle at the Wherehouse record store.  Vague memories of asking clerk to refresh his computer to see what other tickets might be available while worrying that people were buying tickets at other Wherehouses elsewhere--first computerized ticket buying experience, I think.

For the 360 Tour show in Seattle, I bought two front row seats to the right of the claw for $15 each the night before the show on StubHub. One of the printouts didn't scan at the gate, the other did (luckily my friend canceled at the last minute or one of us wouldn't have been able to get in).

Compared to contemporary computerized ticket buying experiences (refresh, refresh, refresh, sorry no tickets available), I miss the days of waking up early to stand in line somewhere and having hard tickets in hand after it was my turn at the window. 

How did you buy tickets in the old days?

« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 09:37:05 AM by Rising Sun »



Offline imaginary friend

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2017, 09:41:29 AM »
Box office, record stores/dept stores in the early days of CTC and then Ticketmaster.

Also did mail-order for a couple of shows: Zep in '80 and The Who in '82. I don't know how the Zep show would've turned out, because Bonham died a couple of days after everyone in the Detroit area sent in a check or money order, but The Who one worked very well.

Offline Rising Sun

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2017, 10:01:56 AM »
I saw The Who in '82 too.  L.A. Coliseum, about three fourths towards the back of the stadium, way up high, no video screens, but The Clash opened and my high school memory of the show is that it was epic.  I looked up the set list recently...amazing.

Online So Cruel

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 10:07:54 AM »
Normally box office in the late 80's/early 90's but for Zoo TV arena show I remember calling Ticketmaster for tickets (had my moms credit card in hand as I was only 18) and the demand for tickets knocked down Vancouvers telephones for over an hour. It was on the news that night that so many people were calling for tickets to the U2 show that it knocked the whole system down. Ended up getting into that show by lining up the day of the concert as they released about 100 tickets

Offline tigerfan41

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2017, 10:45:14 AM »
360 tour was Ticketmaster. First show, no presale code and I had to fight with the bots to get decent seats behind the stage at Soldier Field. Second show, presale code and I easily scored two GA tickets for the East Lansing show.

On this tour, I had presale codes again and was unsuccessful in scoring Chicago tickets initially, so I grabbed Cleveland GA instead. I also bought tickets for my mom and was able to easily secure accessible $35 tickets through Ticketmaster's system.

Offline nunoricardovaz

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2017, 11:17:53 AM »
The tickets were awesome in the old days.

Offline il_capo

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2017, 01:59:54 PM »
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Normally box office in the late 80's/early 90's but for Zoo TV arena show I remember calling Ticketmaster for tickets (had my moms credit card in hand as I was only 18) and the demand for tickets knocked down Vancouvers telephones for over an hour. It was on the news that night that so many people were calling for tickets to the U2 show that it knocked the whole system down. Ended up getting into that show by lining up the day of the concert as they released about 100 tickets

In the 80s and early 90s best tickets were bought from the box office - the longer you queued the better seat you got unless it was a GA venue like the Brixton Academy.  You could also mail in for tickets if you lived too far from the venue to queue.  From Zoo TV Arena you could buy tickets over the phone - but I recall there were very few lines and you'd be on the phone all day long trying to get through.  One time I literally tried to call from 8am through to 4pm before giving up.  A very frustrating experience. 

Offline an tha

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2017, 02:06:32 PM »
Record shops and venues.

Record shops used to do ticket and coach deals for gigs that were down in London for example.


Offline il_capo

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2017, 02:54:18 PM »
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Record shops and venues.

Record shops used to do ticket and coach deals for gigs that were down in London for example.

Trust you to be elbowing in on our London gigs and making it difficult for us to get tickets down south :P

Seriously, I do remember loads of coach travel packages to gigs - must've been fun making the journey with other fans.

Offline an tha

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2017, 05:38:44 PM »
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Record shops and venues.

Record shops used to do ticket and coach deals for gigs that were down in London for example.

Trust you to be elbowing in on our London gigs and making it difficult for us to get tickets down south :P

Seriously, I do remember loads of coach travel packages to gigs - must've been fun making the journey with other fans.

some bevvies on the coach AB, Zooropa and Pop on the coach radio then knocking out my 100 spares to tourists once in that london....halcyon days!  :)

Offline John Galt

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2017, 06:10:44 PM »
Fan club membership priority booking through the post.
Direct from the venue box office.
Travel agent who sold the ticket and coach travel.


Offline Johnny Feathers

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How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2017, 10:10:11 PM »
My first show was Zoo TV. The local video store was going to sell the tickets. Because of the demand, they were giving away wrist bands with random numbers the week of the sale--but they were plastic, and fastened to you, one per customer. Me and a buddy each got a wrist band. But, in addition, my mom was sneaky, and somehow managed to get 2 more, unfastened. She literally took them when the clerk wasn't looking! Very devious, giving us 4 chances instead of 2. So my buddy and I show up the morning of the sale, and there's a growing crowd of people. The clerk draws a number at random, and that dictates the start of the line. I realize that one of the ones my mom snagged, which were in my pocket, was the closest one I had to the front of the line. I quickly ran to my car, cut off the one I was wearing, and put on the best one, praying nobody would notice. They didn't. Didn't get too close, but we were 100 level, behind and left of the FOH booth.

For Outside Broadcast, a buddy and I planned to get in line super early. I crashed at his place the night before. Morning of, we woke and realized we'd overslept--it was nearly time. We raced to the same video place, and found no line at all. Guess it was because we were buying for Pittsburgh, in NE Ohio. We get first place in line. The next guy shows up, and said he'd stopped several times already that morning, but left when he saw no line. Too bad for him--we got second row tickets, but didn't know it for sure at the time, because they didn't have a map of the venue. When we got to the concert, we just kept getting waved closer and close to the stage until we discovered how good the seats were.

Those were good days.


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« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 10:14:01 PM by Johnny Feathers »

Offline U2Crush

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2017, 10:22:20 PM »
Dialing on a rotary phone to Ticketron or whatever it was back then, waited out over night at the Orpheum to get tickets to Sullivan Stadium (now Gillette Stadium) and ending up in the clouds, and waiting in line at Ticketmaster outlets like Filenes!  Those were the days!

Offline JFW

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2017, 12:06:27 AM »
I never buyed tickets at a store or something. During Popmart it was my first year on earth - so don't blame me! Well it has some disadvantce, I think. I'm going earlier to school now hoping I'll be the first in row at ticketmaster. I couldn't do that if I had to go to a store  ;)

Offline John Galt

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Re: How Did You Buy Tickets In The Old Days?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2017, 12:21:39 AM »
I bunked off school to buy Rattle and Hum when it came out.