Just a few months ago, we were all on that high of just purchasing new tickets for the second leg of the USA/Canadian DNA World Tour. We all started booking flights and booking hotel rooms.
Then, come March, everything came to a screeching halt due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The South American leg of the tour was cut short with a postponement of the show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the leg for Australia and New Zealand was set to begin very soon, which has now been rescheduled to a year from now.
Now, this leaves the status of the USA/Canadian dates on hold with a potential postponement, as well. With that said, the thought of a tour taking place a year later is disappointing, but man, it also has me searching for more tickets for more shows, with hopes that maybe some prices for the seats I’ve been eyeing might go down in price. I mean, I would have some extra time to pay off those new shows, so YOLO, right?
I can’t be the only one with the temptation, right?
I was joking around with my friends on how I always seem to check Live Nation and Ticketmaster daily, just to see the tickets sitting at the price, or even worse, the seats I was zeroing in on, are now GONE! NOOOOOO!!!!
This then led the conversation to just how much easier we have it now when it comes to buying Backstreet Boys tickets currently compared to how it was when it was time to buy tickets for the Into the Millennium or Black and Blue Tours.
First, let’s start with how convenient it is currently when buying tickets. Nowadays, we are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to be members of the Fan Club, which comes along with access to ticket pre-sales with our own unique code before the general public has their chance to go on and buy their tickets.
On the subject of the Fan Club, along comes with the convenience of being able to purchase tickets online – whether we use our laptop or phone, and this also gives us the opportunity to buy tickets while at work or out running errands. The online ticket purchasing is so convenient that you can click on the section of seats you desire and actually click on the actual seat number and BOOM! In your cart, they go, and those bad boys are yours! Also, if you did not get the seats you wanted, we can just easily keep going back to Ticketmaster and see if new seats then become available. THAT is my current daily battle when it comes to fighting the urge to buy more tickets during the quarantine.
Now, let’s rewind to 1999 for the Into the Millennium Tour. The ticket buying process for this tour was a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BALLGAME, am I right?
First of all, when there was a major concert announcement for the area, we would have to be listening to our local radio station for the news. Besides AOL for dial-up modem internet use with some BSB chat rooms (yes, I TOTALLY had a BSB related screen name, what’s up KLSBSB130), we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., for artists to make their new tour announcements.
Once the announcement was made on the radio, it was the date of the concert and where, which it was the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, and I’m sure back then it was named something else.
Then, came the date of the ticket sale.
There were no fan club or radio station pre-sales.
WE ALL HAD TO GO AT THE SAME TIME AND WAIT IN LINE IN PERSON, OR CALL TICKETMASTER VIA PHONE TO WAIT ON HOLD AND NOT GET THROUGH AS TICKETS SOLD OUT. THE AUDACITY.
So, we just waited in line until tickets went on sale at 10:00 AM, so we just had to make sure we get there super early for a good spot. Seems pretty simple right? HA, not so fast. I am not sure how ticket sales took place for the Millennium Tour in other areas, but for here in Delaware, at Ticketmaster, which was located in the now no longer existing Strawbridge’s department store at the Christiana Mall, it was a lottery.
So those of us who thought we were slick and got there early, well guess what, that no longer mattered. We all were given a ticket with a number on it, and there was a drawing. The number on the ticket that was drawn is who got to be the start of the line to go inside to Ticketmaster. Neither of our numbers was close to the number that was drawn.
Thankfully, we still ended up getting tickets and we sat in the nosebleeds for Millennium. My 14-year-old self was just glad to be in the building instead of not at all.
Next, the following year came the announcement of the Black and Blue Tour, and better yet, the date of the Philadelphia show was on my and Kim’s (for those who don’t know me, I am an identical twin) 16th birthday! Seeing the Backstreet Boys on our Sweet 16 was obviously the best thing ever, so not attending this concert was seriously not an option.
Once again, you guessed it, the ticket sale at the Mall Ticketmaster was a lottery process once again. This time, we got smarter and planned ahead. We had a huge sleepover at our house the night before. We had our best BSB loving friends, who were also twins, spend the night, and our sister, Emily, also had her friend spend the night, and our parents agreed to take us over to the Mall super early in the morning. When the Ticketmaster employees announced that it would be a lottery, we all then decided to spread out in the line all over the place so we could all receive numbers far apart for a better chance at being close to the number drawn.
The number was drawn, and I kid you not, the number was in the hands of one of our friends, and the employee said we could all go in with her to start the line. OH HELL YES. Tickets sold out in under 5 minutes and we walked away with first-level seats with a great view of the stage.
We even wore metallic, shiny cowboy hats in different colors since that is when AJ was famous for his many cowboy hats, and we had an incredible 16th birthday with the Backstreet Boys alongside our BFFs. Our moms all went too and had seats upstairs and they said they could see our cowboy hats from across the arena. Memories.
Every time I go on and buy tickets for concerts currently, I will always appreciate the convenience of the online ticket buying and also now being an adult with a job so I can now save up for those front row/pit seats, which back in 1999/2000 were almost IMPOSSIBLE to buy.
You either had to win a local radio contest or maybe know someone who worked at the venue or for Ticketmaster who could try and help you get those dream seats or even meet them.
Myself and those same friends mentioned above even wrote letters to Oprah Winfrey begging for her to bring us on her show to meet the guys. Now we have the opportunity to purchase a meet and greet if we choose.
No letters to Oprah necessary.
Times have sure changed and I just now remind myself how lucky we are when there was a time that I almost didn’t get in the building for Millennium and many others did not.