Monday, August 22, 2011

The Process of Getting Coldplay Tickets

One fine Friday evening, whilst normal people my age began their weekly binge-drinking session, yours truly sat drinking a cup of tea and creeping the Big Concerts Facebook page. I did this often, but tonight one word that appeared in several posts jumped out at me, as I skimmed through the page: COLDPLAY. I slowed down and re-read the posts, many of which said something along the lines of “are you bringing Coldplay to SA this year?”. I wondered why everyone was suddenly asking this, and my question  was answered seconds later, when I read a post that indicated that Highveld Stereo claimed to be making an announcement about a Major Rock Band that would be coming to SA within the next few months. Hmm. A normal person may have cast this out of their mind, and simply waited for Big Concerts to announce the show, but not me. I think that this is the time when I declare my love for Coldplay. I became absolutely obsessed with them in June of 2008, and I’ve stayed that way ever since. Although I consider The Killers to be my Favourite Band Ever, Coldplay come a close second, I absolutely adore them. I had held no hope that they would ever come to South Africa, and thus earlier in the year I had been at the point of looking up flights to Scotland, as Coldplay were playing at T In The Park music festival, which just happened to fall perfectly within my university holidays… I’d eventually given up on the Scotland plan, getting tickets seemed like an almost impossible task, and so I’d decided that next year I would attend a major overseas festival and see Coldplay.

Anyway, back to that fine Friday evening. I set up a live stream of Highveld Stereo on my laptop, and began to listen out for any mention of the Announcement. I didn’t have to wait long. Soon, the DJ’s began talking about the announcement, which was going to be made on Tuesday. They hinted that it was a British band composed of four men, one of whom being married to a famous blonde. Hmm. This was the first time that I allowed myself to freak out a tad. This was also the time when I sent my mother a message, telling her that Coldplay may be coming. After I’d explained the story, she told me to calm down, not wanting me to get my hopes up in case it wasn’t them at all. This was also around the time that I started messaging Lauren saying things along the lines of “LAUREN, COLDPLAY ADHSHFGUIDGJIOERGJRTKLJG COLDPLAY!!!!!!’. Her first reaction was to ask if I was drunk. By now, I was completely distracted, I’d left my two friends who were at my house to their own devices, while I continued my online creeping, pausing occasionally to whisper “Coldplay” in a voice that must have sounded rather manic. After a long while, I managed to rip myself away from the open tabs of Big Concerts, Coldplay and Highveld Stereo websites, and I went out to enjoy my evening. But I never stopped thinking about the announcement.

The next day, my Highveld stream went on again, and by now the adverts were becoming more and more obvious. My favourite one went something like this: “We’ve seen the best bands in the world…” Human by The Killers plays in the background, cue fangirl scream “..but one has eluded us…until now!” And then Viva La Vida began to play. I literally screamed out loud. Still, however, I would not allow myself to believe that it was really them. Surely they wouldn’t be making it so obvious if it was? Plus, it was Coldplay, I cannot even express how much I wanted it to be them, but it just seemed unreal. The announcement was then going to be moved to Monday anytime from 6am, as opposed to Tuesday. I began to count hours, and became much too distracted to concentrate on work for the rest of the weekend. Now the stress set in, it was all very well that my favourite band might be coming, but I do have commitments to my studies, if the shows were during the week, I wouldn’t be able to go at all, unable to miss lectures of practicals, plus the little issue of exams was ever present.

My alarm was set for 5.55am on Monday morning, I had to be awake in time for the announcement. I even got a message from Lauren at 6.58am: “2 mins til the announcement!”. The actual announcement was anti-climatic- DJ Ryan O’Connor of Highveld’s Cape Town sister station, KFM tweeted “COLDPLAY heading to SA in October.” The dates were Wednesday the 5th in Cape Town and Saturday the 8th in Johannesburg. That meant that I would be able to go to the Joburg show, no problem. I had thought that once it was confirmed, I would be jumping up and down and squealing my head off, but I wasn’t. I was completely calm, and texted my mother to tell her the news, then ate breakfast and headed off to my lecture.

My next mission was to convince Lauren that the trip across the country was worth it, as were Golden Circle tickets. This wasn’t very difficult, one play of a live version of ‘The Scientist’ later, we were planning our strategy to acquire tickets. Tickets were to go on sale on Thursday at 9am, and the next worry in our lives was that tickets would sell out before we could get them. Luckily, neither of us had early lectures, so we would be able to queue at the outlet to purchase tickets. Attempting to buy tickets online would have been a bad idea, as the system is known to crash when it becomes overloaded. At 8.20am, I was at the Computicket outlet, and Lauren joined me after a few minutes. We were third in a line which had snaked its way out of the door by 8.55am, and we’re from a tiny town. Later, I gasped in horror at the photographs of the lines in larger towns, and breathed my first and last sigh of relief at the fact that I didn’t live in Cape Town. The people who were first in our line purchased seven tickets for the Cape Town show, the girls second in line bought two seated tickets for Joburg, and then we were up. I had never been so relieved to see the tickets begin to print out of the machine. I checked and double-checked that these were Golden Circle tickets for Johannesburg, and then Lauren and I spent about ten minutes standing in the street outside the shop, screaming. However, I still couldn’t quite get my head around the fact that I was really seeing Coldplay! Upon logging onto Facebook, we saw that Golden Circle tickets for Joburg had already sold out. It was now 9.35am…we had gotten our tickets 20 minutes before they had sold out!

Of course, I talked off the ears of anyone who would listen for the next few days, going on and on about Coldplay and how I was seeing them. I’m sure my friends wished I would shut up, and I’m sure they’ll be wishing the same thing when I return from the concert. My outfit is ready, my flights are booked, I have park-and-ride tickets, I have a place to stay, everything is in place, now bring on the 8th of October!  

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