The biggest fans get the worst deal

SIMON SWEETMAN
Last updated 10:25 22/01/2014

So it was announced yesterday that the Queens of The Stone Age/Nine Inch Nails double-bill is now coming to Wellington.

Terrific news - the press release was quick to point out.

But I couldn't help but feel sorry for Wellington's biggest QOTSA and/or NIN fans. You see, Christchurch and Auckland shows were announced way back, last year. This meant, logically, if you were a Wellington-based fan you had to get in quick, book your time off work - hope that you could get that! - and then get tickets, flights, maybe book some accommodation. You can spent a grand, easy, sorting such things. Even if you're catching up with mates, going in a group, and therefore not springing the big dollars on a hotel and stretched hummer from the airport you're still spending more than you would if the show was in your hometown.

Now, two months out from the show happening, the news is announced - as if it's instantly and obviously wonderful - that all that stress and preparation was for nothing. And guess what - you're out of pocket. You might not be able to flick off your out-of-town tickets, and do you take that gamble - or is it too late? In some cases, people will just go to the Wellington show too and consider themselves lucky to see their favourite bands twice - but very few would have planned the trip if they could have had the choice.

What hurts about all this - is it's the biggest fans, those keenest, that are copping the rough deal of now hearing that all that time and travel wasn't actually necessary.

Hey, I didn't like the latest QOTSA album but I have seen the band before and though I think the rumours of them being the second coming are greatly exaggerated I did enjoy the live act. I'd sit through them again, no trouble. I did quite like the latest NIN album (although, in saying that I really haven't returned to it often) and I've also seen Nine Inch Nails before - and it was amazing. Really great. Excellent. I'd love to see them again.

I also like that the bands - who have played together a lot now - are treating the shows as a genuine double-bill; taking turns at opening and "headlining", it isn't just Queens opening for the Nails or vice versa. That's kinda cool I think.

I guess the promoter of this event feels they're doing the right thing - sharing the love around the country, ticket sales were so strong that they added a show and decided to plonk it in the capital rather than an extra show in Christchurch or Auckland. That's probably why they patted themselves on the back concerning the gesture.

But it kinda stinks that part of the high ticket sales allowing a show in Wellington have come from Wellingtonians prepared to travel in order to see bands they love.

I'm not sure there's a solution here - you'd like to think a ticket exchange could be set up, proof of purchase of a Christchurch or Auckland ticket matched to a Wellington address could be straight-swapped for a Wellington ticket if the person so desires - but it just reminded me that there's a cruel irony in the biggest fans sometimes getting the roughest deal.

A bit like when they would release the bonus disc version after the people who clearly all wanted the record in the first place had rushed out to buy it.

This seems a far tougher deal though. Don't you think?

So were you excited with this news? Or is it of no interest to you because you don't like either band? Are you one of the upset punters who has a ticket and travel plans for one of the other shows already? And has this happened to you before? Or is it a chance to see the bands again - so in the end a very good deal?

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