This is a message to the Aerosmith manager, if she ever gets to read it.
I am a die-hard Aerosmith fan from Romania, always in touch with what Aerosmith does. Been a fan since 1993, the days of the old European Fan-Club, and a member of AF1 for more than 10 years. I'm writing this because I've never seen such a mess when it comes to promoting an Aerosmith tour (leg).
On November 3rd, Aerosmith was announced to play at the Download Festival in the UK. Great news! There was also an exclusive Aero Force One pre-sale so AF1 members could buy ticket for Sunday only, the day Aerosmith plays the festival.
On November 12, a video of Vladimir Putin was oddly promoted on social media via official Aerosmith channels. It looked like a teaser for a show in Russia. The following days, a few other videos were posted: one with Agela Merkel, one with the Pope and one with the Queen of England. And the message was to stay tuned for a big Monday announcement.
Monday, November 14, the tour was announced. The show list did not include a new UK date, only the already announced Download Festival. Fans were left wondering why the teasing for a show that had already been announced.
But a huge surprise were the "VIP" links - for all the shows. Great news! There were also Presale links. Most of all these links did not work, but I thought it was just the ticketing companies being late to set them up. On a closer look I noticed that, unfortunately, some of the links (like the Madrid presale link) were poorly coded into the website.
After a few hours, the VIP links vanished! Only the VIP button next to the Denmark show remained - a bit.ly link to a page on Ticketmaster.dk. There, the VIP packages were listed along with a detailed description and price. I called BubbleUp and Ifound out that, unfortunately, that button was left on the Aerosmith website by mistake - no VIP packages were offered at that time. And if they were going to be offered later, they will come as an upgrade, so I could go ahead and purchase tickets and I'd be able upgrade anytime if the VIP packages become available (again). A good thing, I thought.
Another few hours passed and the Denmark show VIP button disappeared as well. Luckily, the bit.ly link that I'd saved still worked - and I kept checking the Ticketmaster.dk website from time to time. After a while, that page changed, too, and it became clear that VIP packages were not going to be offered anytime soon. I went ahead and purchased 2 Golden Circle tickets and put the matter to rest.
I always keep an eye out for changes on the Aerosmith website. And, before long, on November 17, VIP packages were announced. They were the same as the ones advertised before on Ticketmaster.dk: a meet-up with Steven&Joe, one with Brad&Tom and one with Joey. Great news! After clicking the link expecting an upgrade option, I was perplexed to see only the festival tickets get an upgrade, not my ticket. So if I purchased a VIP package then, I'd be left with an extra ticket and lose 150 euros in the process. Did I mention I was a die-hard fan already?
November 19 - the package with Joey has been removed from the website. Aerosmith.com/vip only lists the remaining two VIP packages. Should I start worrying? I've already bought the M&G with Steven&Joe and I've asked LiveNation.dk for a refund on one of the first Golden Circle tickets I've bought. If the VIP package I bought is taken down, will I get my money back and lose my included ticket as well? There is no telling what can happen next!
Everything has been done so poorly and I'm curious to hear how all this happened. I'll probably never find out and I'm actually more interested in knowing that things won't go sour from now on. But how can I be sure, seeing what happened these last few days?
The ride is not over yet. Although the Aerosmith website has taken down the Joey VIP package (which is no longer sold on Ticketmaster.dk or Ticketmaster.es, for example), one can still buy it for the show in Switzerland on Ticketcorner.ch (website part of the Eventim network). The VIP link for the show in Koln, Germany (on Myticket.de) has no VIP packages listed, only regular tickets. Crazy or what? Same for Portugal, there are no VIP packages listed when you click the VIP link on Aerosmith.com. I will not comment on the fact that the Golden Circle tickets cost 89 euros in Portugal, 155 euros in Denmark and 179 euros in Koln, Germany. I will only point out that people in Munich pay 162 euros for Golden Circle tickets, a good 17 euros less than their fellow germans in Koln. But maybe there are reasons for that, I don't know.
November 20, 2016. I'm sitting here, reloading the Aerosmith.com/vip page and hoping there won't be anymore changes. Whatever happened while promoting this tour, it cannot account for the wrong coded links or for the forgotten VIP button that led me to buy tickets for the Denmark show. Still, it's all good as long as things are settled, no more ups and downs.
And one more thing that's annoyed me for years: if I buy a VIP ticket for Steven+Joe and one for Brad+Tom, that leaves me with an extra ticket. Who thought this up? Why can't the VIP experiences be an upgrade to an existing ticket? I've been told it's not a good idea to buy different VIP packages because they might overlap. News flash: the meet&greet with Steven&Joe only takes a couple of minutes and I'm pretty sure there's enough time to get to the second VIP meeting even if there's a queue for the first one.
I miss the old days of the Aerosmith European Fan-Club based in the UK. I miss Julia, fan-club president, who sent me a homemade tape of "Nine Lives" back in 1997, when I didn't have internet access or a credit card - or any money, to be fair. I miss Amanda, whom I met in 2007 in Munich and 2010 in Bucharest, my hometown. They made things work and, most importatly, they understood the die-hard fan.
Rant over. Aerosmith, see you in Denmark!