Madonna Concert: Cheers...and jeers, for ticket upgraders

Madonna Concert:  Cheers...and jeers, for ticket upgraders

On the day of the concert, some lucky fans were informed that they had received a surprise upgrade for the show.

Most of such fans The New Paper spoke to had bought the Category 5 and 6 tickets, priced at $288 and $188 respectively.

The eight categories of tickets were priced from $108 for Cat 7 to $1,288 for a VIP ticket.

Mr Alvin Chua woke up at 9am to a text message from Singapore Sports Hub telling him he had been "selected for an upgrade due to technical set-up".

He had bought a $288 Category 5 ticket with a friend because the Category 1 ticket, priced at $688, was too expensive.

The 39-year-old marketing and communications executive was told to go to the National Stadium Gate 1 from 5pm onwards yesterday and to produce his old tickets in exchange for the new ones.

He called to check if it was a prank, but was assured that it was the real deal. He was told that the staff was unable to confirm his new seats over the phone.

Later, he found out that he had been upgraded to Category 2 seats, priced at $588.

"I was happy and surprised. I have watched her before in Taipei so this is my second time and I treat this a bonus. I guess I got lucky," he said.

Miss Denise Ang, 29, a secretary, and her friend, civil servant Verity Low, also received last-minute upgrades. The two had bought $288 tickets.


Miss Ang said: "I guess this means that seats were available in that category. It is an unexpected surprise for me, but a relief after all the grief the website gave me during purchase."

She had experienced problems trying to book her tickets because her seats kept getting released when she got the payment page. This happened several times.

Civil servants Kelly Gui, 45, and Michelle Tham, 43, who bought $188 tickets, were also lucky.

Ms Gui said: "It's like winning a lucky draw. I do feel a bit bad for those who purchased the $588 tickets."

Fans who had bought more expensive tickets thought it unfair.

Malaysian businessman Ahmad Zaharul Zainal Abidin, 50, said: "I am a little angry and feel a bit cheated, but there's nothing I can do about it. This is not just an upgrade to the next best category. I guess that category was too expensive, with a slow take-up rate, so they wanted to fill it up."

He had bought the $688 tickets for him and his wife, who had flown in from Kuala Lumpur.

Project manager Yit Lai, 31, said: "To be fair, we should then get upgrades as well. I got the $688 tickets so perhaps I should be upgraded to VIP seats."

A senior official of Kinglun International Holdings, an investor in the concert, was quoted in a report saying the organisers decided to move up some of the seats of those who bought tickets in the higher-priced categories to avoid them blocking the view of some $188 ticket holders.

This article was first published on Feb 29, 2016.
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