Thursday 21 September 2017


I'm wondering if I love this band so much because their name spells FOOD without the D ? Nah , it's becuase they are super awesome beyond belief.

So, rewind to Tuesday 19th September. Eldest son and I emerge from the over-stuffed Jubilee line, blinking, into the September sunshine in Millenium Way , home to the O2. I get that thrill I always do when I'm about to hear live music. Not just any live music ... Foo Fighters Live. Does it get any better ?

The tickets have been pinned to my pinboard these last few months and the countdown to showtime has been agonising but here we are at last. This is the very first item on my bucket list and I can barely contain myself. Eldest son saw them live at Reading . Was I jealous ? Heck yes.

And then it all fell apart at the seams. Denied entry at the door because our tickets, bought through Viagogo ( one of the O2s recommnded partner agencies ) didn't match my ID. Naiively I didn't even realise there was a name on our tickets but there it was in tiny print at the bottom and it wasn't my name.

We weren't the only ones. Hundered of fans were similarly turned away . The whole place was a blubbery mess of sobbing fans incapable of believing that despite Viagogos claims that you will not be turned away if the name on your ticket doesn't match yours, this turned out to be a lie.

Those who know me will also know that "Don't ever take NO for an answer" is my motto ( incidentaally I'd like that on my tombstone ). I can't begin to articulate how indescribably disappointed we were. That word doesn't even come close.

The band were due on stage in 30 minutes. We had to walk the mile perimeter of the whole fecking venue to the Box Office to plead our case ... along with, by now , probably thousands of others in the same boat. The queue was a mile long - not a chance.

People who'd been bought tickets as gifts were also being turned away because they weren't the original purchaser. Groups of fans who'd arrived separately were being turned away because they'd planned to meet their friends ( and also original purchasers ) of their tickets inside the venue and they were already inside and had been told they wouldn't be given re-admission if  they came outside to meet their friends and prove their genuine identity . It was crazy.

The press turned up and took photos of the whole sorry mess. An angry mob had begun to gather and no-one was getting inside becasue of the backlog now of indignant fans who'd been fleeced . The fact that this stipulation had been implemenetd on the night with no prior notice ( despite what some claimed ) was appalling.

By 9pm half the seats inside were empty ... apart of course from all the record company execs and  hospitality freeloaders. At one point, a man in a wheelchair was denied entry because his partner ( whose name was on the tickets as original purchaser ) had used the disabled entrance separately to his partner who wasn't entitled to accompany him as she wasn't disabled , to access his wheelchair poition by the side if the stage. At this point I saw red.

I wasn't going to be bullied by the jobsworth at the gate in the high-viz jacket who was relishing the drama. I refused to move and wasn't going to be intimidated by his threat to have me evicted from the building. Fortunately I wasn't alone and we stood our ground ... a crowd of several hundered started chanting - " Get your manager here NOW ".

With a minute to go they finally relented. Stress levels on a scale of one to ten were about eleven.

So, what's the answer ? O2 management cannot not only endorse but actually operate in partnership with re-sale ticket agencies and then change the goalpost at the last minute. They are only too keen to offload blocks of tickets at a premium to agencies to do theitr selling for them when it suits them.

Get your act together O2 .

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