Fans angry at late discounts

Steven Tyler in action at the Aerosmith concert in Sydney at the weekend. Photo by Aaron Saye/www.rockersphere.com.au
Steven Tyler in action at the Aerosmith concert in Sydney at the weekend. Photo by Aaron Saye/www.rockersphere.com.au
Aerosmith fans are crying foul over last-minute discounts to boost ticket sales for tomorrow's Forsyth Barr Stadium show.

It was confirmed yesterday fewer than 17,000 tickets had sold, dashing hopes of a sellout, 40,000-strong crowd touted when the five-band show was announced in February.

Concert organisers now hope for a crowd of 18,000 to 20,000, and insist the event will be profitable.

The show's promoters responded by releasing discounted tickets online, prompting some fans who earlier purchased full-price tickets to vent their frustrations.

Dozens of messages have appeared on the stadium's Facebook page, including one from Anne Stansfield, who said she was ''really angry and disgusted'' by the ''unfair'' discounts. Her student daughter had ''dipped into her hard-earned savings'' to buy full-price tickets to the ''silver'' section of the playing surface's standing area, only to later discover discounted tickets to the same area on sale.

Upset fans warned they would no longer support events at the stadium, or would wait longer before buying tickets. Others defended the discounted tickets being offered.

The deals included half-price restricted-view tickets for $49 and access to the ''silver'' section of the pitch, together with an offer of some free food and drinks, for $99, down from $149.

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden distanced himself from the discounts yesterday, saying in a statement they were ''an initiative of the promoter and not supported by Dunedin Venues''.

DVML asked the promoter to withdraw the discount offers yesterday, except those for restricted-view areas, although those already sold would be honoured.

The discounted ticket offers were expected to be withdrawn overnight.

''We are committed to protecting the interests of our loyal customers who supported this event by getting in early and therefore requested the promoter remove the discounted tickets,'' Mr Burden said.

The Aerosmith concert was announced by Australian promoter McManus Entertainment, but was being organised by the company's New Zealand agent, Jacman Entertainment.

Jackie Sanders, the owner of Jacman Entertainment, told the Otago Daily Times the discounts were intended to fill gaps in ''cheaper'' areas that were difficult to sell.

They were not being offered for premium and gold sections, where fans paid $199 to be closest to the stage.

''Anyone who has paid and bought early has still got their premium seat. They are not going to be sitting next to somebody who has paid less than them.''

She could not say how many discounted tickets had sold, but insisted it was a normal tactic.

''I can't think of a single show in this country in the last two months that has not done some discounted tickets in the final week or two.

''People don't tend to moan as much in Auckland, possibly because it happens all the time and this is just the way it is - if you want your seat you get in early.''

Ms Sanders said discounts attracted those who might not otherwise attend, meaning more ''bums on seats''.

Ticket tales stood at ''over 16,000'' yesterday, although it was hoped that could rise to 18,000 by the time gates opened tomorrow.

''But what I would love to see is 20,000,'' Ms Sanders said.

Despite the earlier hype, her company had budgeted for a crowd of 15,000, she said.

''Everybody was saying: 'This will be a sellout'. We know the market. We haven't got too excited that it will sell out ... it's in line with our expectations to start with,'' Ms Sanders told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

She believed Dunedin was doing well to attract such crowds, although people needed to be ''realistic''.

''We might not get 30,000 or 40,000 for a concert, but this is an amazing venue. It's going to look fantastic with 15,000 to 20,000 people in it.''

It would also be profitable for the promoters and DVML, although ''obviously everybody would have made a lot more money if we'd sold 30,000 tickets''.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Numberrs matter

Stevepf, the numbers almost certainly matter. I don't know the contract details for the Aerosmith event and neither do you, but suffice to say they would almost certainly not have been booked into a 20,000 seat venue in a one-only concert in a distant country. They are one of a handful of groups who can fill large stadiums. So someone will be less than happy, possibly a little pain shared by the promoter and DVML. And don't kid yourself. Discounted tickets were available online and as door sales right up to the start of the event.  

Buried deep

"It hasn't lost the ratepayers any money." Incredible! Locals should ask Dunedin City Council what astronomical figure it's underwriting the Aerosmith concert for.

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) is the venue operator, not Dunedin Venues Ltd. If people don't understand by now the corporate structure put to the stadium, what hope of them understanding the appalling financing and cumulative debt? Untold sand-blinding in our town.

Hasn't lost the ratepayers money?

Well, not yet. After the concert has been and gone and if and when the council give us any facts and figures there's a good chance that it will have. I don't recall any event that has been held that has returned a profit yet, and i don't see this being any different.

Time will tell but I won't be holding my breath

Not a desperate sale at all

Pukeko: It's not a desperate sale to make money. it was a decision by the promoter to get as many people along as possible...for him to make more profit.

It doesn't matter whether we have the population to fill it or not, as it doesnt need to be filled. 15-20,000 is a great turnout for a concert. It holds 35,000 but that doesn't mean every event will get 35,000 people. Eden Park holds 65,000, but how often would it even come close? That's reality. If it was a matter of filling, no concerts or sporting events would go ahead.

It hasn't lost the ratepayers any money. DVL have done the right thing and pulled the discounted tickets. End of story.

Desparate sale

As was warned by those opposed to its construction, based on constant facts of the past the place would never - or rarely fill. It didn't even happen with Elton John, the stadium’s supposed debut ‘honeymoon period’ concert.  Prices at the last plummeted to sell more tickets.

Such a progressive asset to the city at a bargain price (to make a Tui billboard ad) is the stadium! Simply, we do not have the population to fill it, nor the transport infrastructure.  Those in power would not listen to the obvious facts and concern of ratepayers, and now the chickens are roosting and pooping on us all as the debt and costs all become a bigger millstone. But where are most of the spear-headers that bulldozed it onto us? They’ve moved on - no skin off their nose. Such is accountability these days. [Abridged]

Maybe the outrage is OTT

Don't get me wrong, I'd be super angry if I had paid full price then they had been discounted but... we don't go round getting angry at clothes shops etc. when we buy a dress for $200 only to find there next day there is an 'end of season sale - 50% off dresses'  and that same dress is $100. 

I know its not quite the same because I often think 'oh, wait for a sale,' and the dress is still there, but with concerts it does encourage last minute ticket buying and could shows to be cancelled - I understand that. But maybe the outrage is a bit OTT? 

Not sure where I stand on this, just though I'd put my opinion out there.

I'm going to keep waiting

I'm going to keep waiting and hold out for the free tickets that will become available at the very last minute, as happened with Elton.  If the area in front of the the stage is too sparse, they'll need it filled to make it look like a rock concert at least :)  Come on double diamond platinum freebies!

Sucked in... again

The early birders have only themselves to blame. Very funny how 15-16,000 is now being touted as a face- saving 'success' in a venue that could hold more than double that number and given Darren Burden's earlier prediction of a full house.

The stadium farce gathers pace. 

Confusion

It doesn't matter if they sell tickets at $1 or $1000. The stadium will still make the same return. This is being run by the promoter who sets ticket price and takes the risk. What matters for the stadium is the numbers, as they get the $8 a ticket on top of the cost of the ticket.

Must be the Scottish heritage

Selling the tickets at $49 may fill some seats but it won't help the event run at a profit.

This proceedure may be common practice, but it does nothing to make people want to get in early and get tickets next time as they will wait for the cheap ones after being burnt paying full price previously.

And this is exactly why a lot of concerts coming to Dunedin are cancelled due to poor bookings. If this proceedure is allowed to continue, all future concerts will be cancelled before they get here. 

Buy more tickets please

I tend to agree with "kris", as surely market forces are at work here. The tickets were originally sold with good will and, hopefully, according to the terms and conditions of ordinary ticket sales.

I want people to buy tickets to make the concert work as it refects on the stadium's success or failure. I am fed up with it failing to perform and I want to see us all, as shareholders, make some money out of it.

Profit

How can they still be making a profit if the tickets are discounted at least $50 off and then also include food? Does that mean the ticket prices were too high at the start and that they were making a massive profit?

Bad move

Dunedin people are notorious for waiting for the last minute to commit to going to anything. They will now not commit because they think they will get discounts if they wait. This will lead to committed numbers being too low to bring artists out here, so once again Dunedin will drop off the list of venues. Will they never learn?

Dunedin's booking culture

One of the reasons I opposed the stadium was my memory of countless touring music, comedy and theatre shows announced "coming to the Regent" and a few weeks later cancelled because of lack of bookings. Dunedin was notorious for patrons booking at the last minute or not at all, turning up on the night in the belief there would be seats available. OK for us, not so much for promoters who didn't know till the night whether they had a profit or a loss.

That was the Regent, and sometimes the Regent actually sold out ahead of time, sometimes very quickly. We know now that for some people who booked well ahead for various events, sound or sight were unsatisfactory. Because each show is different and because there has not been time for build-up of experience it is not like the Regent where the best seating is obvious.

If there were anything I wanted to see at the stadium I certainly would not rush into booking. Not for a venue that big, not in Dunedin. It is not a travel hub that buses, planes and trains stop at on their way to - and for the good of stadium audience numbers, from - hundreds of other destinations. If it were within a bull's roar of selling out we would hear all about it weeks before the night, if not I'd hang on and wait for the discounts. That's deeply embedded in our "booking culture" and an oversized venue will only strengthen it. Bad new for the stadium, bad news for fans as I found, disappointed when acts cancelled the Dunedin part of their tour, but that's how it goes.

Going going gone

Seats seem to be selling well at $49 so the crowd could be a lot bigger yet. They're available on the grab-one site. I doubt if there will be much to stop you 'upgrading' yourself once the show gets going.

That's business

Tickets didn't sell so the day before the show they are gonna try to sell some more. This is done on Broadway and all over the world. We are not being singled out here. Relax, take in a show and try to remember whatever you paid was worth it to you at the time.

 

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