A Live Nation spokesperson has shared a statement with Pollstar explaining that Billie Eilish’s Chicago fans who had their Aragon Ballroom GA tickets bumped to upper level seats in the United Center will be getting a few perks as her team tries to make good.
The statement reads as follows: “In light of Billie Eilish’s recent venue upgrade in Chicago, we are honoring fans that were relocated to the 300 level with early entry to the arena and a special food and beverage gift card redeemable at the United Center on June 9th. Additionally, these fans will get exclusive presale access for tickets to an upcoming Billie Eilish show in Chicago, when announced.
“Due to the size and logistics of production, and the travel time needed to get to Chicago, the same-day Billie Eilish shows at Aragon Ballroom were transitioned to the United Center. After accommodating as many GA ticketholders as possible with floor seats at the United Center, the remainder of ticketholders were placed in other great locations where they can fully experience the incredible show.
“Billie and her team are disappointed that fans have been unintentionally affected by this venue change. The intention was to elevate the Billie Eilish show experience, not take away from it. Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Aragon Ballroom, the United Center and all teams involved are working hard to accommodate fans as best as possible.”
Budding superstar Billie Eilish bumped up her venue size in Chicago from two shows at Aragon Ballroom to one at the United Center earlier this week, creating a situation which has left some fans hollering from the nosebleeds.
Eilish was originally scheduled to perform two shows at the Aragon Ballroom June 9, but Live Nation Chicago announced May 20 that, due to production issues, the show was being moved to the larger United Center on the same date.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Hey Chicago, due to the large scale production, <a href=”https://twitter.com/billieeilish?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@billieeilish</a>’s two Chicago shows at the <a href=”https://twitter.com/AragonBallroom?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@AragonBallroom</a> on 6/9 have been moved to the <a href=”https://twitter.com/UnitedCenter?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@UnitedCenter</a> on the same night. All originally purchased tickets have been exchanged for the new show—check your email for details! <a href=”https://t.co/BobcFPc7Kn”>pic.twitter.com/BobcFPc7Kn</a></p>— Live Nation Chicago (@LiveNationIL) <a href=”https://twitter.com/LiveNationIL/status/1130520915584921600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>May 20, 2019</a></blockquote>
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Tickets were “exchanged” for the new show, but there was an unfortunate disconnect moving from the 4,873-capacity Aragon Ballroom to the 23,000-capacity United Center: a source with knowledge of the market said the original shows, which undoubtedly sold out, likely sold 8,000 GA tickets to the Aragon, but the United Center’s configuration probably only had room for about 2,000 GA tickets.
This would mean that through the ticket exchange a majority of fans – many of whom got their tickets through a Verified Fan presale – would not get a GA ticket. Some did not even get lower bowl tickets and, through the exchange, got bumped to the upper levels, and many of those fans did not hold back on Twitter.
“I love how I used my entire paycheck months in advance to attend the #BillieEilish Chicago show, scavenged for deals, waited in presale, and find out that the change in venues “blessed” me with nosebleed seats in the 300’s when I paid for GA at the Aragon 🙂 Love that,” one fan wrote.
The second Aragon show was added to the routing in February, along with additions in New York and Los Angeles and a venue upgrade in Salt Lake City. There will be a general onsale for the remaining United Center tickets, though the date has not yet been disclosed.
Pollstar has asked promoter Live Nation to detail the nature of the production issues, as there are at least two other venues of comparable size on the routing which were still scheduled to go ahead at press time: The Met Philadelphia and The Great Saltair in Salt Lake City.
Some fans also complained their tickets had been canceled. A source with knowledge of the matter told Pollstar Ticketmaster would likely not cancel any tickets purchased through its own platforms, but other secondary market platforms might not require resellers to transfer the exchanged ticket to its previous holder.
In other words, people who bought tickets on secondary sites may have had their tickets canceled and could now be without any exchange option, as Ticketmaster would only offer exchanges to the original purchaser of the ticket and may not be privvy to subsequent transactions.
While Verified Fan may be cutting into the number of brokers, multiple sources confirmed with Pollstar that the program is not 100 percent effective at keeping brokers out, and there is a high likelihood that at least some brokers procured and sold tickets to the shows.
One source said once the wrong venue is booked it’s difficult to change venues after tickets have already gone sale. One can refund everyone’s ticket and do another onsale, but then fans who are unable to procure a second ticket will be outraged. Exchanging peoples’ product for something that they didn’t initially purchase is in itself not good business, but the source said there is essentially a damned if you do, damned if you don’t dynamic where you are either giving some customers nothing or a lesser-quality experience.
Billie Eilish is repped by Paradigm Talent Agency. Neither Live Nation or Paradigm could be reached for comment at the original article’s publication time.