Trypticon Strudel.

Getting the Fucking Tickets

So you want to go to a concert in Japan? Perhaps start raging early, it will save you time later.

Tickets for this concert were sold through a lottery system which appears to be very common with concerts in Japan. So even if you try to book, if the concert is popular there is still a good chance that you won't get tickets.

On the very first round of lotteries we used Celga to do the buying of the tickets. They're pretty good to deal with, but perhaps a bit pricey. Unfortunately they do have their flaws when it comes to following instructions.

On the first round of tickets we won tickets to Mikupa (the first concert.) Kanshasai (the second concert) remained un-won, and that's where the stress began. Even though we had the first pair of tickets fairly early in December, the lotteries were spaced out quite a bit, so multiple times in a row we had to enter and wait an excruciatingly long period of time, only to find out that we didn't win. This continued for every round of tickets until the crunch period.

Right at the start of January, a bunch of ticket lotteries started at roughly the same time. Fine, we just get Celga to book all of them, right? So we get that order in well ahead of time. But no response comes for quite a while (it's around Christmas time, remember?) The response finally comes right at the end of December, but they tell us that they have only entered us in one round of the lottery because if we won, we would have to pay for all the tickets. Shit, this sort of thing would not have been a problem. And thanks to their "good" intentions, things turned remarkably bad.

I reply, saying, "no, please just buy them all. I will pay for all of them if it happens that we're so lucky." But then it rolls into the new year. Some of you might know that Japan have this period right at the start of new year which is basically a gigantic public holiday like Easter where almost every business shuts down. It seems that Celga is one such business, because they didn't reply to any emails. I panicked. Searching for other proxy buying services, most of them were closed at the same time. I finally find one who was replying to mails, and get him to enter the lotteries.

The excruciating wait continued, partially because the guy was really slow at responding to mail (I guess he was busy) but also because it seems this round of tickets was slow at notifying people that they had won.

Turns out they all lost anyway. Additionally, Celga finally get back with their news about us having lost the one lottery round they did enter us into. Fail all around.

Eventually we go to Yahoo and pick up the cheapest buy-it-now ticket we can find. The prices on each ticket listed seem to be gradually increasing by this point, so entering more lotteries looks like it will only hurt more if we don't buy soon. Additionally, I had been told that the earlier you get the ticket, the lower the number it will have. And the lower the number on the ticket, the better your place in the venue will be.

When February comes, auctions for tickets start appearing which are listing the location of the seating. So in the end, it turns out that all seating was allocated in advance. Although there is nothing to do about it at this point in time, panic sets in anyway. What if we get shitty seats? What if we get shitty seats even on the ticket where we paid several times the price for the ticket?

I wanted to die.

A couple weeks before the trip we finally get the tickets and the seat numbers are not too bad after all. But it's far from the epic seating which I expected when buying such a seemingly-good ticket.

Lessons learned:

  • If you're going to buy tickets and you have any option other than a proxy buying service, use it. Proxy buying services are unreliable when it comes to the crunch.
  • If you're going to resort to Yahoo Auctions, wait until people are selling the ticket itself (with a picture of it) rather than tickets which will be issued in the future.
  • If you care about seating at all, don't even bother entering the lottery. Wait until Yahoo Auctions has tickets in the area you want, and aim to win those. It will cost more, but you will get the seat you want.