No Direction for One Direction
So there I was alert and alarmed, ready for action. The left forefinger was on the telephone button, the headsets were on, the right forefinger was hovering over the keyboard.
I was on a mission. One where failure wasn’t an option. I had been put in charge of purchasing tickets for One Direction, you know, that British-Irish boy band reducing teenage girls around the world into quivering emotional wrecks. Bigger than the Beatles they predict, and Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis were coming to Australia.
For the uninitiated, and for those who really don’t give a toss, the band rose to fame through the UK’s X Factor. Nice boys, gleaming white teeth, freshly washed and tidy, singing words you can understand. A lovely entree into the world of concerts for my teen, I thought.
It seems only a heart beat ago when my dad drove me and my hysterical, giggling mates to the Horden Pavillion, waiting in the carpark for us to emerge safely from seeing Suzi Quatro. It was a little disconcerting for him as hundreds of bikie fans also pulled up in a roaring noise of thunder. Remember, in those days there were no mobile phones, little security, the moshpit was a cesspit of smoke and alcohol and tickets were bought from random box offices for under $15.
Fast forward 35 years and here was history repeating itself, except I was fairly confident no Hells Angels nor Gypsy Jokers would be rocking up to One Direction.
All I had to do was secure some tickets. A doddle. Having never bought concert tickets online I was briefed comprehensively by another more experienced mum and given tips by younger colleagues. But nothing could have prepared me for the stress, not a lifetime in newsrooms where pressure is a daily reality. I didn’t get within a sniff of those damn tickets.
Step one going online to Ticketek was simple enough. I sat there happily checking my emails waiting patiently for 9am, when up popped a screen informing me I was now in a queue. No problem, I’m good at queueing, I’ll wait. At 60 seconds to 9am, still waiting patiently in my online queue I dialled the phone number, a good backup according to my strategists. The line was engaged, ok, it would clear.
By 9.10am my situation hadn’t changed. But my demeanor sure had. My gentle redial presses and keyboard pushes became more urgent. I started jabbing, silently screaming for someone to respond. By 9.15 I’d given up on dignity and was stabbing hysterically at both buttons whimpering pathetically for someone to help me. It was about then my strategists informed me the tickets were sold out.
What? And before I could stop myself I wailed what my daughter so often wails at me.
“That’s not fair!’’
I was exhausted, I was defeated, I was bewildered. I was angry when I saw my tickets selling on eBay for more than $1,000 each half an hour later.
The teen took my failure better than I did, informing me other mothers struck out as well. In fact, we don’t know anyone who succeeded.
All I do know is that fighting hairy, sweaty Gyspy Jokers in the moshpit for a glimpse of Suzi was a doddle compared with battling Ticketek to get so much as a look in at Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis.