I don’t even know where to start, and I am still recovering from body aches as I write this up, but I feel that the longer I wait, the more I will forget about the whole event. So I have decided to start from the ticket part of the “journey.” Behold, my story of the Infinite One Great Step tour concert in New York City as a college Journalism student in Kentucky. Warning: This might get a little lengthy and will be split into parts but it’s most definitely interesting and worth the read (???), I promise!
A little background: The concert was part of a world tour where the KPop group Infinite (7 members) of Wollim Entertainment were going around to perform in different CONTINENTS for the first time. Yes, I said continents. It was what I can call a legit world tour, unlike those others who had claimed the status of a world tour and then proceeded to only go to Asian countries. Thank you. The venue hosting the concert was the Manhattan Center, providing the Hammerstein Ballroom. Infinite had stated earlier in a video greeting for fans that they had wanted to perform in New York for a long time now. I was so happy and felt excited not only about them but for them.
I have been an Inspirit since their debut in 2010. Plus, they’re in my age group and I share a birthday with Woohyun minus a one year difference. February 8th. He is the only KPop idol I share a birthday with as of this point. Though, my bias has always been Sungjong and has not changed/wavered even once. My sister is always complaining about how I like all the ones who share certain facial features and look girly. Taemin, Sungjong, Heechul, the Jo twins… etc. I have no shame.
Before I start this chapter, special thanks to those who participated and offered all sort of help on the INFINITE ONE GREAT STEP TOUR @ NYC [NOV. 16, 2013] Facebook page started up by Jay Cee. It was probably the source I used the most for anything that had to do with the concert prior to it and even after. Thank you so much all of you! ❤
I shall start with when I ordered the wrong ticket on September 17, when the window opened at 4pm. My friends and I were gathered around in the living room area of one of their apartments, Ticketmaster windows open on laptops and excitement (and anxiety building up). I actually felt pretty calm for the most part, or maybe I’m just really bad at showing the appropriate emotion during times of panic… Kept refreshing the Ticketmaster page and making sure that it wouldn’t suddenly crash or something horrible along those lines.
The prices did add and shift up a bit, as I think Ticketmaster was confused or something before the window was open… This was the final price breakdown for the Hammerstein (Ticketmaster had an extra $25 fee for the e-ticket while Powerhouse had $3 for snail-mail):
$180- Early Entry standing
$150- General Admission standing
$120, $90, $50- Pre-assigned seating in the balconies
A rough layout of the room. In reality: the floor was completely open minus maybe the 4 ft or so high bars at the very front and sides close to the stage. There was maybe 5 feet of open area between the front barriers and the stage itself. There was no separation between the Early Entry and GA sections, so you can pretty much tell what happened.
(chart from Powerhouse site)
When it came time for the window to open at 4pm EST, it was like scrambling for life. Everyone started to freak out when they could not get the generated best “seating” we all wanted. I was the first to stumble across a General Admission (non-early entry ticket) and asked out loud if that was the one I should get. I got a bunch of “YES”es, though at the time, no one had realized what they had just said yes to since we were all frantically trying. I went ahead and bought it. Then two others got ahold of early entry. The rest started to call Ticketmaster and even Powerhouse, the sponsor. One friend got through the line to a representative was about to buy two general admissions until the other found a few on Ticketmaster and Powerhouse. She bought an Early Entry for me as well. Another one was on the phone with an automated machine the whole time and managed to get Early Entry with her name spelled wrong, having the ticket mailed to her by the next day.
The thing is, the tickets would only be held for a certain short time, and if you didn’t buy the ticket within that frame, it would be gone from your grasp and pop up for someone else. I also think many people were trying to see what ticket they would get even though they wouldn’t be going, and others were buying and hoping to resell them. Chaos. I tried to call in to cancel my wrong ticket but of course I had to get the same rep like three times on the phone and he absolutely refused to cancel it for me even though some other people were having success. The other rep I got through to was nicer and suggested that I sell it to another fan. Then I started advertising everywhere.
The rush. THE FREAKING RUSH. If only we knew. After that hour of intense site traffic, there were TONS of Early Entry left on both sites. But then by the next day, Ticketmaster was pretty much sold out for the time being. I was stalking Tumblr and many were freaking out about not being able to buy tickets because they were all “sold out.” Powerhouse still had some, people started to discover. But the third-party selling and buying got real. I had to get rid of my GA ticket too. To make this short, I found three potential buyers total. One could not come up with the money due to circumstances, and another ended up getting a ticket from a parent. The third bought it from me $174 and the transaction and ticket transfer was flawlessly and quickly done. I rounded down so she wouldn’t have to pay that annoying 24 cents. Like, two days after I sold it, Powerhouse released more tickets, making it harder for individuals to sell theirs unless they lowered the price. My intention was not to make extra money so I was more than happy to just get rid of mine.
Now, to actually receive that Early Entry ticket from Powerhouse.
Here was the problem: I was the only one out of our group who did not get the ticket physically in any way within a short time of buying it.
So, when did I actually get the ticket? Four days before the day of the concert. My friends and I had booked the hotel first, then got everything else ready to go. We all made matching shirts. They all had their tickets. I didn’t. It was time to panic. And Powerhouse was really bad about sending out the tickets as a whole and also providing different information for callers. Since my friend was the one who ordered the ticket for me since I had to get the GA one out of my hands first, she had to call Powerhouse and email them countless times. I’m really thankful for that. I was also relieved that my ticket was not turned into a will call one. Powerhouse had apparently called some people and said certain tickets (and all the rest of the seating ones and some standing) had to be picked up at the venue on the day of the concert due to the whole situation with moving the Virginia venue to D.C.
Basically, I spent over a month worrying over a piece of paper worth $180 to come in the mail. It is really sad, but little did I know that that was only the beginning of it all.