British Columbia

Not the Sweetest Thing: long lines for Vancouver U2 show mar experience for some

Some fans reported waiting over an hour to get into BC Place

CBC News

May 13, 2017

At 7:45 p.m. Friday night, lines were still snaking through Terry Fox Plaza to get into BC Place. (@ChadPawson/Twitter)

Some fans of U2 who wanted to catch the band's Joshua Tree tour Friday night found themselves stuck in a line they couldn't get out of.

Extremely long lines to get into the sold-out show at BC Place meant many fans missed opening act, Mumford and Sons.

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Some reported waiting an hour or more to get inside and the anger was palpable.

"We came all the way from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario," said fan Andrea Reibmayer. "This was my Valentine's Day gift and we missed Mumford. That's one of the main reasons we came.

"Mumford should have played With or Without You as their first song!"

On social media, fans expressed their anger.

Fans with floor seats were told to only use Gate E to get in.

However, on Twitter, BC Place reassured fans just before U2 was set to take the stage that they wouldn't miss a thing.

Cites anti-scalping strategy

Laura Ballance, a spokesperson for BC Place, said the long lines were caused by an anti-scalping strategy the venue was implementing for the first time.

The verification system requested by U2 required concert-goers to present the credit card they used to purchase the tickets.

Ballance said "the processing time per transaction for that amount of people" eventually caused a massive bottleneck outside of the venue.

"We saw this large group of people arrive around the 7 o'clock hour, and that combined with processing time, and in some cases guests not understanding the details of the credit card processing technology, seemed to combine for a very slow intake," she said.

Ballance said her team will be advising the next venues on U2's tour, who will be implementing the same system.

"We were the first and largest deployment of this technology ever," she said.

"It wasn't the way that we had hoped, but the reality of it is somebody has to be first."

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