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June 12th, 2005

Probably been covered before but... @ 08:20 pm

slave2thelaw:
Hiya! I've got a question...

I've never been GA at a U2 show. Every time I've gone, I've always had seats. I got some more U2 tickets for another show this year since I thought Seattle rocked so much and I got GA tickets with the hopes being really close to the stage. I'm planning on getting to our venue really, really early, but can anyone who feels like bestowing some information on me let me know just what exactly happens after you show up and park yourself ready to camp out all day in the name of U2 because you want to try to be one of first in? Wristbands? Numbers? Places in line? When the venue opens do people just BOLT for the stage? This is foreign to me, so I'd love it if you GA-going people with the experience could fill me in. I know about how the upgrade to the center goes down, but not anything else. I'm so excited for this one! It'll be totally different!

Thanks so much!
 
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From:eidolon_bird
Date:June 13th, 2005 09:01 am (UTC)
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I don't have any GA experience, but I've read through a bunch of posts made by people who did.  There's normally some variation of numbered wristbands and someone with a notebook taking names to keep people from making their own wristbands.  People might leave for short periods of time (go to the restroom, grab food, try to meet the band as they're coming in for the soundcheck), but I think they mostly stay in their spot in line.

From what I saw from my place in the stands, there's no bolting for the stage.  Each person has to have their ticket scanned twice - the first to get in the venue, the second for the bomb-shelter thing - and receive a wristband.  As there are only two lines for the GA crowd (as versus the dozens of lines for people with reserved seats), it takes quite some time to get everyone in.  That pretty much takes care of the problem of large crowds stampeding toward the ellipse.
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From:wydok
Date:June 13th, 2005 10:19 am (UTC)
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Some of this, mind you, depends on the venue. When you show up in line, there is most likely going to be someone there with a notepad and a sharpie. You right your name down, and you get a number written on your hand. This is your spot in line. You can then pretty much come and go as you please, as long as your number doesn't rub off of your hand. The list and numbers is usually run by a fan, not venue security. Eventually, you will be split into the u2.com members line and the regular losers line. After that, you might end up getting a new number (confusing, no?).

(Some venues are more anal. They will have security give you a numbered wrist band, and they don't like people getting out of line. I've heard complaints about this kind of stuff from the Rutherford, NJ shows and the New York City shows.)

Security will tell you when you have to put all your stuff away (coolers, camp chairs, etc) and then you will get corralled into the actual line with guildrails and things. Once they open the doors, they scan you for explosives and crap, then you get your ticket checked and given wristbands.

After that is the mad dash for the stage. Although the dash is usually cut short by another security person at the enterance to the floor who checks wristbands and directs you to inside the Bomb Shelter or just on the floor. After you get by the last security fool, there is another mad dash to security your place against the rail (if you show up early enough).

And once you have your spot on the floor, don't even think about moving. No food, t-shirt, or going to the bathroom. You are stuck there until the show is over.

As for when should you show up? Well, we showed up at the 5/22 Philly show at 5:30AM. We were 25th and 26th in line, and when they split into u2.com and regular GA ticket holders, we were 6th and 7th in line. Our security person was slower than the u2.com line's security person, and quite a few u2.com people got in ahead of us. We didn't end up at the tip of the ellipse, but we were certainly along the rail. General rule of thumb is the first 75 people or so in each line will get a spot along the rail.

Still, if you are able to camp out all day, come as early as you'd like. The first person in line was there since 7pm the previous day.
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From:zooropababy
Date:June 13th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)
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After you get your spot make nice with the folks around you. If you have a friend with you take turns running to the bathroom or the snack stand or whathaveyou. If you're solo (as I always am) asking the people nearby very nicely to hold your spot because *tell 'em why* seems to work for me. After the opener plays there's always a bit of jockeying for position, but just hold your ground. It's kinda like.... Battleship. Or chess.
From:slave2thelaw
Date:June 13th, 2005 01:29 pm (UTC)
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You guys rock. Thanks so much for the info. :)
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From:billhelm
Date:June 14th, 2005 04:24 pm (UTC)
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One thing to point out-I had GAs several times on the last tour and also was not able to camp out at the venue all day. We got there about 1-2 hours before starting time on the tickets, were pretty far back in line, but still able to get pretty close to the stage. You won't get right on the rail, but Bono and the Edge will still be not more than 10 feet away.
From:slave2thelaw
Date:June 17th, 2005 04:13 am (UTC)
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Ok, thanks for the additional info! :D

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