14 May, 2009

I fall on the floor and I'm laughing

So here's the thing.

A few months ago, an announcement was made that Simon and Garfunkel would be travelling to New Zealand for one concert, in Auckland. And I was excited. I remember in 2003, when the duo reunited and went on a US tour, thinking how incredible it would be to see them perform live, and how sad it was that I would never get to have that experience. But now that experience was there, it was possible. And I was thrilled.

On 17 April 2009, tickets went on sale for the concert. And at 9am on that morning, I was sitting at my computer, hurriedly refreshing the Ticketmaster website as fast as possible, waiting for the "tickets are not yet on sale" screen to change to the "make your selection" screen.

Then it happened. Tickets were now on sale. Quickly I selected my options, made sure I was ordering the $150 tickets, went through the security check intended to separate humans from automatic systems, waited while it conducted a search, and then told me it couldn't find any tickets for my criteria. What? Tickets only went on sale one minute ago, they'll hardly have sold out the whole arena already. I tried again and again, with no result. After a few minutes, I stopped searching by price. Just give me anything. And after ten minutes of searching, it offered me a ticket. A $350 ticket. I nearly bought it, but with the clock in the corner of the screen counting down until the tickets would be offered to someone else, at that moment of pressure, I decided not to buy the ticket. I like Simon and Garfunkel, but not that much. I continued to try and search, for literally an hour, hoping it would offer me something in a cheaper price range, but it never did. I later learned the show apparently sold out in 19 minutes. For the last 40 minutes, I was just wasting my time with no chance of achieving my goal.

There were rumours that an announcement about a second show would be made in the next few days, but the announcement never eventuated. And eventually I moved on, pausing every now and then to kick myself. I should have bought those tickets when I had the option. They're never coming back here. It's literally a once-in-a-lifetime show, the only chance I'll ever have to see them. And I'm not a music person at all, there are few groups I would even consider going to see live. But Simon and Garfunkel are one group that I would love to see. And I turned it down because it might cost me a mere $200 more than I intended? What was I thinking? There were times when I found myself going back to the site and searching, just on the off-chance that tickets may appear. They never did.

Then, yesterday, long after I had given up on the announcement ever occuring, it was made. A second show, the night after the first. Tickets go on sale next Tuesday. I was excited, until I realised the date. With work commitments in the following week, the time I would need to take off to go to a Sunday concert rather than a Saturday would be difficult to justify. Dammit. But then, things changed again. For long and complicated reasons that I won't go into, something unexpected happened, and suddenly it looked like I could actually make a Sunday concert work with my job requirements. Hooray! Now I just need to get the tickets.

So it was that today, I went onto the Ticketmaster website, just to confirm the information about when tickets go on sale. And there it was, the second concert, sitting right beside the offer to search for tickets to the first concert, with no indication that show sold out a month ago. What the hell, I thought, and did a search for tickets to the Saturday concert, although I knew it was pointless. The show's sold out, I thought as I passed the security check. I'm wasting my time, as I sat there watching it conduct the search. Hey, that's different, as the search result came up with a screen that didn't tell me there were no tickets to offer. Instead, it said it had a ticket for me, a $350 premium ticket for me for the Saturday concert.

And immediately, I was unsure. Should I just wait and see if I can get cheaper tickets to the Sunday show. I actually closed the webpage down, and immediately started berating myself. You bloody idiot, I yelled at myself (in my mind - I'm not insane). You've just spent the last month angry at yourself for turning down tickets, and now you're turning them down again in the vague hope that you might be able to get something a bit cheaper in the future if you're lucky? What are you thinking? You're right, I responded to myself. I am an idiot, I will buy the ticket. You'd better hurry, my mind advised me. Every second that passes, someone else may find that ticket and snatch it up, and then you'll be annoyed with yourself all over again.

Now I was in a hurry. I knew that ticket was there, I just needed to get to it before anyone else. Every click on the website became agony, as I waited for the page to load up, but every click brought me one step closer to my goal (or further away, since at one point I clicked the wrong link and found the site offering to sell me tickets to the Pussycat Dolls and Disney On Ice - quite a variety of shows at the Vector Arena). Finally I made it through, got my tickets, somehow managed to make it through the purchase without messing it up, and now I am going to Simon and Garfunkel.

Although, $350. That's a lot of money...


And this seems like a good opportunity to share the best Simon and Garfunkel joke I've seen in the last few weeks. Okay, it's the only Simon and Garfunkel joke I've encountered in the last few weeks, but it's still a legendary joke.

From How I Met Your Mother, 4.22, "Right Place Right Time"


Anonymous said...

You have SO done the right thing. I saw them in 2004 it was one of most wonderful and amazing events of my life. Mind-blowingly, knock-your-socks-off, history-in-the-making, SO-worth-it-event. "The best concert I have ever been to" does not do it justice. I SO wish I could get there myself.

Matthew L said...

Thank you for that. The more I think about it, the more I think "Yes, I made the right choice", and it's nice to have that confirmed.