x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Tickets for Madonna concert sell out online

Tickets for June 3 concert sell out online, but are available for Dh5,500 on auction websites.

Madonna tickets went on general sale at midday yesterday and fans queued to buy theirs at Virgin Megastore in Mall of the Emirates.
Madonna tickets went on general sale at midday yesterday and fans queued to buy theirs at Virgin Megastore in Mall of the Emirates.

DUBAI // You have got to be very committed to beat Trudy Brusselman to a set of concert tickets – especially if the concert is one by a name as big as Madonna.

The Dutch expatriate thinks queueing is great sport, and once camped out for two weeks to buy tickets to a Queen concert.

“It’s almost more fun to stand in line than watching the actual concert itself,” said Ms Brusselman, 52, who has lived in the UAE for 30 years. “That’s why all my other friends say I’m crazy, but why not?”

Fans queued at Virgin Megastore from 7.30am yesterday to snap up tickets for Madonna’s first show in the Middle East.

Tickets for the June concert in Abu Dhabi, part of her MDNA World Tour, officially went on sale online and at Virgin outlets yesterday, although earlybird tickets were available on the website of the promoter, Flash, last Wednesday.

Ms Brusselman said she had to be on her toes when the doors opened at 10am to beat the rest of the fans for a front spot in the line, even though ticket sales did not begin until midday.

“Everybody started running,” she said, explaining she brought her maid along because there was an eight-ticket limit for each person.

Ms Brusselman has seen Madonna once before, in the 1980s; a show she said was “amazing”.

“Her performances are getting better and better,”she said. “She’s the queen of pop, so I just have to see her again.”

The first person to get hold of the hot tickets was Aniysha Seffendt, 36, from India, who skipped work to get in line at 7.30am.

“I’ve never seen her live before and this might be the last chance,” Ms Seffendt said.

Only the Dh495 regular standing tickets were available at the store. Others, ranging from Dh695 for reserved seating to Dh2,295 for a VIP hospitality package, were only available online.

About 80 fans, a cross-section of nationalities and age groups, had gathered by noon, waiting patiently on beanbags and cushions provided by the store.

Martin Broetel, 38, a visitor from Germany who was celebrating his birthday, had flown to Dubai just for the occasion.

“Tickets for her concerts in Germany and the UK had already sold out, so I came here,” Mr Broetel said. “I’m a huge fan so I’m not taking any chances.”

Julie Bartzik, 27, from Mexico, came to the store hoping to buy the Golden Circle reserved seating tickets for Dh1,095, but was told they were only available online.

Ms Bartzik, who had taken her laptop, was ready at the keyboard when tickets went on sale but said the prices had suddenly jumped to Dh1,750.

“I really wanted seating tickets because I will be at the end of my pregnancy in June, but Madonna is not worth that much, I’m afraid,” she said. Flash did not respond to requests for comment on the price increase.

By 1pm the line had dissipated, and by 2pm there were still about 80 tickets of the original 550 allotted to the store.

But the Flash website said all online tickets were sold within an hour.

“We knew from the day we announced the show that tickets were sure to sell out extremely quickly,” said a spokesman from the promoter.

Websites such as dubizzle.com are already reselling regular standing tickets, originally priced at Dh495, for up to Dh5,500.

The concert at Yas Arena on June 3 is the singer’s second stop on her world tour to promote her 12th studio album, which will be released on March 26.

molson@thenational.ae