Confessions of a Directioner's Tita
I enjoy listening to songs of One Direction and maybe to a certain degree I adore them but that's as far as I'll go. My niece on the other hand is a twelve year old die hard Directioner. Like any Tita I support such fangirl obsessions but when she gets really crazy I usually end up rolling my eyes and reminding her that there are other important things in life. That's not to say though that I will not make an effort to make her teenage dreams come true even if everything pertaining to it, the hysteria and the ticket prices, seem rather ridiculous.
The news of One Direction coming to Manila has been around for years now. My niece even got the year right. I secretly think that her prayers always include making the Philippine show and her being there a reality because why else would the information about the May 19 announcement of the Manila show fall on my lap without me asking for it. I braced myself for what's about to happen next all the while managing her expectations and down playing the chances of getting a ticket the Friday of the same week the concert date was made known through social media.
I spent the next few days researching about what the producers called launch event. I kept checking social media sites of the producers and learned how to use hashtags to my advantage. As the day neared we had set our plans. I will take care of Plan A - lining up in MOA and then all the way in Davao where my family is residing there will be someone in charge of Plan B - someone in front of a laptop ready to electronically hustle and Plan C - someone in front of the line at an SM Premier Mall near our village.
For my part I hired the brother of a staff and his friend to line up for me the day before because I couldn't miss two days of work just for this. They were there at 2PM and were surprised to find out that there were already almost 300 people in front of them. I was not at all that surprised and made calculations in my mind that I will still be able to get VIP tickets because only a maximum of 5 tickets per person was allowed.
The next day I was there at 5AM, with another staff who stayed with me until 7AM, to take the place of the two boys. After 7AM I was on my own. I'm sure that by now you've seen so many footages of what happened on the day itself so I'll simply confirm what I saw with my two eyes and share some opinions but first I am glad that I am not as emotionally invested, and very tired as those who stayed overnight, as the other people there otherwise you would have seen me on TV, not crying because I'm not a fan, but angry that after all the effort I failed to get a VIP ticket.
1. People, sadly parents and kids alike, were cutting in line and since I was alone I could have done so myself but I refuse to because what kind of example will I set for my niece. The organizers could have done a much better job of at least adding more people to man the lines to at least minimize or discourage people from cutting in line because it really is frustrating. As I said I was maybe at maximum the 300th person but I got served at past eleven already.
2. Strangely the VIP tickets ran out really fast. Sure, people were cutting in line, but I am also wondering if they indeed sold 1800 VIP tickets and followed the maximum 5 tickets per person rule.
3. A note to the organizers: you are dealing with obsessed teenagers so DO NOT provoke them to act on this obsession in a negative way. When the emcee officially announced that VIP tickets already ran out, there was collective crying in the arena. I refrained from laughing because I know these emotions are real for these kids. As if to appease them, the emcee then announced minutes later on that a second show is being requested and that you may now reserve VIP tickets for that show and then they opened the barriers at the back which was meant to hold the lines. Who in their right minds would do that?! Of course there was stampede. Of course the lines were gone. Of course parents got mad.
A better way to have dealt with number 3 would have been to have people like us who were already next in line before the chaos ensued to have been given the option to buy any ticket for the first night and then still reserve for a VIP ticket for the next show date or risk it all and just reserve for a VIP ticket for the yet to be confirmed show. There's more justice in that rather than the free for all that happened.
I heard that second show is already confirmed and I am really hoping as a Directioner's Tita who have witnessed everything first hand that ticket selling will be implemented in a more organized manner as it is the second time around and if ever it won't be then at least I'm hoping that sharing my experience can help other Titas, kids and parents out there prepare themselves. Good luck to everyone!
Oh and before I forget,
I did manage to get a set
of Diamond tickets for
my niece and her