Don’t Panic: My Quest for Coldplay Tickets

I don’t normally write about music because I am not as much of an aficionado as music bloggers out there. I also don’t really have a diverse range of artists I listen to. But when I do listen to an artist, you can bet I have listened to most of their back catalogue of songs and would love to see them perform live.

Coldplay is one of those bands I’ve listened to over the years. While I can’t say I’ve grown up with their music (I was already in my late teens when they broke out with their album “Parachutes”), their songs were the soundtrack to much of my adult life. So when they finally announced dates for the Asian leg of their “A Head Full of Dreams” tour, I knew I had to get on the ticket train.

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In the same vein that I listen just to music, I don’t follow music industry news nor gossip columns — which is why I failed to pick up on the fact that “A Head Full of Dreams” is said to be Coldplay’s last album and this could be the last time the band goes on tour. This, aside from the Coldplay drought in the region for so many years, has driven demand for tickets sky-high. 

The Manila concert would be held in a glorified parking lot with high ticket prices, so I decided to go for the Singapore concert which would be held in a stadium with proper seats and elevation to ensure visibility of the concert proceedings even for those in the nosebleeds. Manila had presales for customers of Globe and Citibank, while Singapore had presales for Citibank customers and LiveNation members. I was confident I could get a ticket at one of these presales…

…And it turned into a week of stress in virtual waiting rooms while watching scalper ticket prices rise. I was able to secure Manila tickets for my sister, cousin, and their husbands at the Citibank presale, but only because I physically went to an SM Tickets counter. (In hindsight I should have bought a ticket for myself as well.) Online ticketing for everything else was a disaster.

I could tell you how I couldn’t get into the Singapore Citibank presale because my Citibank card wasn’t issued in Singapore. Or about the LiveNation presale where I couldn’t get past the virtual waiting room. Or about the general sale day for Singapore where once again I couldn’t make it past the virtual waiting room. Or about standing in line for a Manila ticket on general sale day and the system crashing so that by the time the second person was served, Gold, Silver, and Bronze tickets were sold out. Or about yesterday, when Singapore’s second tour date tickets opened and they still sold out while we languished inside the online ticketing system waiting for freaking seat maps to load.

But if you were one of those people trying to buy Coldplay tickets, you would know the story already. If you weren’t, then you don’t need to read me whining about things out of my control. 🙂

Meanwhile, tickets popped up for resale on platforms like Carousell and Viagogo. I had promised myself I wouldn’t buy from these vulture scalpers, but desperation can make you do a lot of crazy things. I bought my ticket at a price around 400% of its face value. To make things worse, I spotted a cheaper ticket (and better seat) in the Viagogo system after I completed my purchase.

I love Coldplay and I guess I found out how much I do this week. Now if only I could stop feeling like I still lost even though I finally have my ticket.

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