Dear Ticketek, ushers, late arrivals, cellphone addicts

Can’t cope with an evening out without your cellphone? Then perhaps you aren’t quite ready to mix it up with the grown-ups yet.

Wednesday night’s Leonard Cohen concert in Christchurch was amazing but there were a few things that peeved me relating to the arena and to Ticketek.

  • Ticketek, if you sell people tickets to an event and the name of the venue changes after you’ve sent said tickets, surely you could use your online database to email those customers to let them know? We bought our tickets the day they went on sale (June 3). They said the event was at the Westpac Arena.¬† The venue’s name is now the CBS Arena.¬†This caused confusion all round, even at the hotel. I had to use Google to find a news story published in the Press months ago explaining the name change.
  • Still on Ticketek, the start time was also confusing to all concerned. Did the concert start at 7pm? Well, no actually. It started at 7.30. However the doors opened at 6.30. This was confusing for anyone not familiar with the area and how long it would take to get to the venue. Hell, even the locals I talked to at the concert were confused by the start time. I only worked it out during my Google excursion to find out where the hell the venue actually was: on Ticketek’s site, they listed the exact times for the doors to open, opening act, main act, intermission etc. Shouldn’t that have been on the ticket? Especially when it wasn’t on the site when I bought the tickets back in June.
  • People arriving late. Grrrr … if you want to arrive late, that’s your choice I guess. But holy crap, why did the ushers have to let them in during the concert? They should have been made to wait until the break. We didn’t have to deal with late arrivals shuffling past us as they did in some of the other rows (which meant having to stand up to let them through, interrupting and blocking the view for those behind and alongside). And don’t the ushers realise just how annoying and distracting those bloody torches are?
  • The echo was a bit distracting at times but talking to the locals, it seems that this is a normal “feature” of the venue. Fortunately, the great man himself was good enough to take our attention away from it most of the time. However, I’m glad we weren’t sitting towards the back of the arena because I imagine it’s much worse there.
  • Cellphones: if you can’t go for a few hours without texting your mates, stay home and let the grown-ups enjoy the concert without you. We had someone behind us who was getting texts all night, and didn’t seem to understand that they could mute their phone, so we had the chirps announcing arriving texts, along with the tappity-tap-tap sound effects as they were typing their replies. Ugh.
  • The seats: no leg room and they were like sitting on concrete. No, hang on, concrete might have been more comfortable.

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