Foreign super-fans defend divisive queuing system

( U2 super-fans in Auckland who are running a rogue ticket entry system have defended their line hack.

Local fans earlier said they feared they would miss out on a prime spot up the front of the standing area, after international ticket holders set up the unofficial reservation system. A group of about 30 international superfans are administering the system, serving four hour shifts around the clock. General admission ticket holders who show up early are given a number to keep their spot in line. This ensures they can come and go without having to camp for days, but reserves their prime position. 

Toronto waiter and U2 fanatic Marco Pitino was in the country for his 29th gig seeing the Irish rock group. He conceded the unofficial queuing method had caused some disquiet in other countries as well, but strongly defended the practice. “If you’re a huge fan of the band, you follow the band,” he said. “When they came to Toronto, I took the day off work, I took the day before off work.”

He suggested Kiwi fans should do the same and get amongst the queuing method if they wanted a prime position.

But it was not only foreign super-fans who had acquired their place in line in the unorthodox system. A young Auckland woman, who was holding vinyl LPs of War and Joshua Tree, had acquired a number in the first 20 given out. Her eyes lit up when talking about the profound influence Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr’s music has had on her.

“It’s just the soundtrack to my life.”

She also defended the system as a way to get a prime position without having to camp for days. As well, she said only about 100 people were on the list and there were 700 spaces up front of general admission. The fans began handing out numbers on November 4, five days before Friday’s gig, drawing heat from those who can’t “check in” because they’re out of Auckland, or have to work. Mostly locals were livid, according to online backlash. “Come get a number, then we’ll do a check in once a day and that way you keep your number so the morning of [the concert], you’re lined up according to your number,” explained line leader from the US, Elle Pea.

“It avoids having any sort of stampede of 300 to 500 people en masse on the day of [the concert],” she said.

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