Arcade Fire go for the gold on formal wear world tour

It’s not dress or no dress – it’s VIP, Platinum or Economy Class for show tickets

 

Here’s a real First World problem. Some of Arcade Fire’s fans got themselves into a tizzy when the band asked them last week to “please wear formal attire or costume” to their upcoming Reflektor world tour dates. Some got it into their heads that the wearing of formal attire or costume was mandatory and that they’d be turned away at the door if they weren’t dressed by Lady Gaga’s wardrobe team.

Arcade Fire had to release a statement: “To everyone upset about us asking people to dress up at our shows – please relax. It’s super – not mandatory. It just makes for a more fun carnival when we are all in it together.”

That was that cleared up, though the “all in it together” sounds a bit odd, given the myriad ticketing options available for Arcade Fire’s shows. There are eight different options (with options within options), including VIP and “Platinum” packages. These will ensure that fans holding expensive tickets ($325) won’t be “all in it together” with fans holding cheap tickets ($38.40).

A multi-tiered ticketing system is not unique to Arcade Fire; all bands have these options in place. But taking just one upcoming US show as an example, a potential buyer would need a calculator, a slide rule, 3D vision and an honest sense of one’s social status before deciding on which ticket suits best.

In addition to the cheapo “Full Price Ticket” (and there’s even a choice within the choice here, with prices at $38.40, $55.75 and $71.80), there’s also the sexy sounding “Official Platinum Seat” ticket. Well, maybe not so sexy when you consider the cheapest Official Platinum Seat is $175 and the dearest $235. But it says that this Platinum option gives you “some of the best seats in the house” and “you have special bragging rights before and after the show!” Fans with more expensive tickets having bragging rights over those with cheaper tickets; that’ll make for a good atmosphere alright.

Onwards and mind your language because we’re going into the VIP area now. A Gold VIP ticket (just like Willy Wonka’s!) will cost you $275. Gold VIP or not, you don’t get a seat, you have to stand. But you do get an early entrance to the venue; a pre-show bar with beer and wine (it doesn’t say if it’s an open or cash bar, which sort of makes all the difference); an Arcade Fire lithograph (these are “limited and numbered” – goodness me); an exclusive tour gift bag; a tour programme; a commemorative VIP laminate; crowd-free merchandise shopping; parking (where available); and an on-site VIP host. Most of these “benefits” I would pay to avoid.

The big one here is the Silver Reserved Package, at $325 a pop. You get all the tat above but with a seat instead of the indignity of having to stand at a rock concert.

There are also options to bundle-in the band’s new CD with your ticket or get “Allocated Seating” depending on which credit card you use, but these are honestly too boring to go into.

VIP wannabees on a budget aren’t left out. The Bronze Fan Package gives you all the tat of the Gold and Silver packages, but for $200 don’t even think about getting early entrance to the venue or use of the pre-show bar. And, instead of the commemorative laminate, you have to make do with a commemorative ticket. Mortifying.

And they say the Ryanair site is difficult.

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