Joe’s Guide to the U2 General Admission

This U2 General Admission (GA) Guide has been updated and will be refined throughout the Joshua Tree Tour 2017.

Wow! What a night – thank you Seattle. Next stop Santa Clara #U2TheJoshuaTree2017

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Ever since I began seeing U2 concerts during the Elevation Tour, I have preferred watching the band from GA. For those unfamiliar with GA – it is a concert ticket on the floor that is first-come-first-serve.  But the GA is more than just a ticket.  Because it is first-come-first-serve, there is the inevitable situation where dedicated fans queue (line) up early, in order to secure a good place on the floor near the stage.  Some cities have fans line up over night, while others wait for days.  Indeed, a community of fans have arisen out of these U2 queues.  As such, norms, understandings, and expectations have developed over time by fans on what to expect when we line up for general admission. I should stress that these are not my rules or anybody else’s set rules, this is a collection of behavioural observations I’ve noticed in 70+ GA lines I’ve seen around the world, throughout Europe, North America, Australia, and South America.

This is my “Guide” to the U2 General Admission Queue.  For the two legs of the Joshua Tree Tour, we are going back to stadium venues with floor general admission – similar to the European/Latin America/Pacific legs of the Vertigo Tour and all of the 360° Tour.  While I outline several aspects of general admission, I do highlight some of the ‘not-so-pleasant’ things of queuing up.  But in the end, it is important to remember that seeing a U2 show through GA is an amazing experience all together – for the fellow fans you meet, the music we hear, and the tribal community that gathers.

Table of Contents:
1) Introduction
2) Buying GA Tickets
3) Credit Card Entry and Transfer
4) Why does my GA ticket have ‘Row/Box/Seat’ on it?
5) Time to Arrive in the Queue
6) Camping Overnight and the Check-In System
7) Morning of the Queue
8) The Number System
9) Back-to-back shows and the GA
10) Saving Spots in the Queue
11) Fanclub Membership Line Does Not Exist
12) Meeting the Band
13) What to Bring to the Queue
14) What to do in the Queue
15) Security Checks
16) Navigating the GA Floor
17) What is it like on the Floor
18) Where is the best spot on the floor to see U2?
19) What if I arrive in the GA much later?
20) Pitfalls of the GA
21) Conclusion: GA Adds to the U2 Concert Experience

November 17, 2015 3Arena – Dublin, Ireland – With Fernando (U2valencia.com) and Remy (U2start.com) in the GA queue

1) Introduction

Thinking back on all the U2 concerts I’ve been to (the vast majority of which were through the GA) I thought it would be fun to post a ‘Guide to the U2 GA Queue’.  This page is not for everyone and is really intended for those who plan on queuing up early – for whatever reason they so choose.  Maybe because they want to get to the front or ensure they will end up on the floor.  I’ve received a few questions about this topic and felt a special page was warranted.

#u2ietour Vancouver GA line

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I find the whole GA queue to be more than just trying to get to the front or in the pit. I find the GA line to be a great U2 community experience, and a wonderful way to make new friends.  These are friends I’ve remained in touch with since Elevation, Vertigo, 360˚, and the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tours.  This may explain why out of all of the shows I will see during a U2 tour, all will be through GA.  For me, there’s no other way but GA!

December 13, 2010 – ANZ Stadium – Sydney, Australia

2) Buying GA Tickets

Q: Can I still get General Admission tickets even though Ticketmaster says the concert is ‘sold-out’?
A: I am not convinced that a concert is ever ‘sold out’ minutes after a sale occurs.  I think it’s a way to build up the hype.  In the end, tickets are usually made available days after a sale or near the concert date.  There are various ways to get GA tickets – but don’t ever get them through scalpers!

Gear ready with one more week to go before the kickoff of The 2017 Joshua Tree Tour. My U2 concert itinerary this spring and summer: – May 12: Vancouver – May 14: Seattle – July 22: Dublin – July 25: Paris – July 26: Paris – July 29: Amsterdam – July 30: Amsterdam – Aug 1: Brussels A sample of my concert pictures will be posted on Instagram, with photos to be taken by my @sonyalpha 6000, which will be paired with either a prime @zeisscameralenses 85mm or 55mm. Also tune into my Mixlr account to hear the shows live.

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Extra GAs held by fans could be found in the queue, if the venue is paper ticket entry (as it will be at the Brussels Joshua Tree Tour concert).  At concerts where it is credit card entry, spare GAs will be harder to find, presumably, this is a measure to curb or stop scalping.  Consequently, it has also made it harder to transfer tickets between fans.  However with this said, I know of instances during the iNNOCENCE+eXPERIENCE tour in which fans in the GA who trusted each other, had spare GAs on a different credit they owned, and lent that extra credit card to the other fan in exchange of a piece of collateral (like a driver’s licence).  After the show, the fans met up and credit card and drivers license were returned.  I was amazed at this high level of trust between strangers, but mutually shared a love for U2.

At venues where the GA is credit card entry (i.e. ticket-less entry), I also know of many instances in which fans were able to buy GAs a few days before or the morning of the show from Ticketmaster or from the box-office.  This is perhaps your best chance to find tickets to a ‘sold-out’ concert.

3) Credit Card Entry and Transfer

Relatively new to concert entry experience over the past few years is ‘credit card entry’, which makes it impossible to transfer tickets ahead of time.  Unlike paper tickets, you enter the venue by swiping the credit card used to purchase all the tickets for that show (even if the credit card had expired).  While venues say they will check an ID against the credit card, at all of the U2 concerts I saw last tour that used credit card entry, the venues never checked ID.  I think they did not check IDs because it would have been a cumbersome and lengthy process to scan tickets and check identification.  The venues seemed to care more about security and getting fans through in an expedited manner. That’s not to say that I’ve been to all U2 concerts and I understand that at the Glasgow concert during the iNNOCENCE+eXPERIENCE tour, the venue did indeed check credit and ID (thanks Christine for the feedback!). So you can take your chances of trying to get into a concert with some one else’s credit card, but be warned in the off chance the venue security actually checks!

There has been lots of questions on whether credit card entry tickets are transferable.  According to Ticketmaster, “That’s up to the artist, team, or venue! If they give the green light you’ll see a Sell button when you click the order number under Order History in My Account.”  From my experience with credit card entry, if you want to transfer (or sell) your ticket to another fan, you have to be present at the door to have your credit card swiped.  In other words, this system doesn’t help those queuing up early unless the person selling you the ticket is with you in line.

Q:  I’m going to the concert with a credit card that has since expired.  How does this work with entry and the queue?
A:  At other concerts I’ve been to with credit card entry (where I had bought tickets with my credit card and had since expired), I was told by the box office to bring my old credit card to swipe me and my guests in.  It worked just fine.  If you have discarded your old credit card, but the numbers are still the same, I’ve been told that new new will still get you in.  Since venues set different entry policies, it is always best to call and ask the venue.

Q:  If I bought 4 tickets with my credit card, and that credit card is what gets all 4 of us in, do we need to queue up together?
A:  It depends on how the line is being governed.  In some queues, line managers permitted the credit card holder to sign in the party in the GA book, even if they weren’t there (like away for work or flying in from a different city), and were expected to explain to their line neighbours why someone was coming late. In other queues, it is expected that the entire party on the credit card had to be together when signing into the queue and lining up, because the venue needs everyone together upon scanning in.

I’ve run the each type of queue. For start of the i+e Tour (2015) in Vancouver, the first person to arrive in the queue was able sign up their party who were arriving late. Credit card entry into the GA had never been done before, and this new process turned out to be problematic for line management. I remember getting yelled at because some people who had lined up well ahead of time were cut in line because those ahead of them had friends arriving late, and literally walked up to the front of the queue just before doors opened. As you can see, this could be troublesome because an individual can sign up a party of 6, with late arrivals cutting the line and be unfair to those who did line up. Later in the tour, the norms around the GA changed so that the entire party had to be there together at the time of sign-up and check-in. [The check-in and number system will be further explained in section 8].

At the Joshua Tree Tour opener in Vancouver, we continued with the norm of having everyone together on the card sign up and check in with everyone else, but I was also yelled at by a few fans because it seemed unreasonable to have everyone together at sign-in and check-in times, especially when young children are involved. That too was a difficult position to be in and I don’t know if there is a happy medium. If discretion was left to line managers to decide who could and couldn’t sign people up ahead of time, then this could open up the possibility of people abusing the line. If you have ideas of how to balance being fair and reasonable, and have run a U2 line before with 500+ people queuing up, please let me know!

Q:  If I bought some tickets for family on my credit card, but I’m not going to the show, do I need to be there to show my ID and let them in, or can I just give my family members my credit card so they can enter the venue?
A:  In my discussions with some venue security, they are too busy scanning tickets, with an urgency to get the queue in quickly and safely.  Checking IDs is time consuming and therefore not done.  With this said, it’s possible to lend your credit card to friends or family if it was purchased on that card, so you don’t have to be at the venue to let them in.

4) Why does my GA ticket have ‘Section/Row/Seat’ on it?

Q: Are there seats on the general admission floor?
A: No, there are no seats on the floor.  Pay no attention to the section/row/seat on a GA ticket.  I think it’s just a way for Ticketmaster to keep track of how many GA tickets they printed.  All U2 general admission is standing only, and operates on a first-come-first serve basis.

Electronic confirmation of GA for Seattle concert – May 14, 2017

Q: Why does my GA ticket indicate different entrances?  Does that mean there will be various entrances and sections to the floor?
A: The majority of venues during The Joshua Tree Tour do not indicate separate entrances on the venue.  However, some other venues, like Amsterdam Arena (Amsterdam) or Croke Park (Dublin), offer two distinct entrances depending on the ticket you bought.

July 29, 2017 – Amsterdam Arena – Amsterdam, Netherlands – GA ticket buying options for the Amsterdam concert

In the Dublin example, looking at the floor layout of the concert suggests that the GA floor will be divided into sections.  When I bought the Dublin GA, there was an option to buy a GA ticket for ‘Pitch 1’ or ‘Pitch 2’.  Buying ‘Pitch 2’ grants access to a divided access to the floor closer to the stage.

July 22, 2017 Croke Park – Dublin, Ireland – GA ticket buying options for the Dublin concert

Keep in mind that the majority of venues do not offer the option to buy GAs with different entrances or sections of the GA pitch, but rather they sell tickets to a wide open GA field.  When you arrive at the venue, there is a possibility of having multiple entrances and/or multiple ticket gates (e.g. Stade de France had dozens of entrances and queues; Olympic Stadium in Berlin had a single queue, single entry point, but multiple ticket gates upon entry).

July 8, 2017 – Layout shows a wide open GA pitch – Twickenham Stadium, London

5) Time to Arrive in the Queue

Q: What time should I show up to the general admission queue?
A: It depends on where you want to be on the floor and type of show. Keep in mind this is just a rough estimate, and vary between concerts.  For example, lines will start earlier and be longer for tour/leg openers and closers, and cities that attract a traveling contingent of fans, like Chicago, LA, Dublin, or London. Other shows that are ‘local’ (meaning they don’t attract a traveling contingent of fans, may have shorter lines.  I always advise people to visit the venue the morning/day before the concert to see what’s going on with the queue.

If it is an opening show for a leg of the tour, there will be pent up demand.  I remember there were a lot of people camping out three days before the opening show in Barcelona for the 360 Tour.  I expect this to be the case for The Joshua Tree Tour in Vancouver and London (the opening cities in North America and Europe, respectively).

June 4, 2011 Qwest Field – Seattle, USA

As it was during the Vertigo Tour, there were fans lining up 35 hours before the concert started at the 1st Dublin show. Like 2005, the shows at Croke Park were special. There were legions of fans converging from all over the world making their pilgrimage to the U2 holy land. I have never seen a more international crowd than the one I saw at Dublin I.  I can anticipate the show(s) to be played in the Croke Park in Dublin to have a great showing of international fans.

Again, what time you show up to the queue also depends on how fanatic the fans are at each venue.  At the Latin American shows I’ve attended, fans there line up a week ahead of time!  But in my general observation with North American and European crowds, early morning arrival should be good enough if you want a good spot near the rails.

6) Camping Overnight and the Check-In System

Q: What about camping overnight?
A: Camping is certainly not for everyone. If you choose to do so, the necessity to camp is contingent on where and when. If the show is in a city where there is an unusually high demand or is highly anticipated (i.e. some cities in Europe and anywhere in Latin America, or is the last concert of the entire tour, I foresee plenty of fans camping out. While I recognize that some North American venues do ban fans from camping, the die-hard fans will still stick around over night regardless of venue policy. During the Chicago and Boston 360 shows, there was a sort-of roving queue that was maintained off the venue property. Once the venue officially opened its grounds the next morning, the queue just moved and resumed on the property.

June 27, 2009 Croke Park – Dublin, Ireland – Camp out on stadium grounds

Q: What if the venue bans camping overnight?
A: I think this is the reason why the “check-in” system started, which I noticed to first appear in 2009 during the 360 tour.

This was the case at the first show in Vancouver for the IE Tour and Joshua Tree Tour (and indeed at many cities where venues do not want to be liable if something happens to a fan on their property over night).   Security did not want people to camp, because of the sensitivities around tent-cities being built and homelessness in the city.  But they were willing to let 5 of us to manage the queue by collecting names and putting numbers on people’s hands.  People were asked to return at periodic times to check-in and the morning of the show for ‘roll-call’.  If people were not present during check-in times and during roll-call, they were scratched off the queue list.  This was very effective during Las Vegas (360 Tour), where security cooperated completely, and actually kicked late-comers out. Lesson to be learned: you can’t just collect a number and expect to show up 2 hours before we’re let into the venue. Mind you, not all venue security act as cooperatively, and may not care about the numbering system. It’s up to fans to implement and self-police the queue.

May 11, 2011 Mexico City – Mexico – Our tents in the GA queue

7) Morning of the Queue

Q: What happens if a venue tells us we can’t queue up until a certain time? Would we be arrested?
A: At Chicago during the 360 Tour, the police and security told us we couldn’t line up until 6AM the day of the show. If we did, security told us that we would be given a verbal warning, then a written warning, and then arrested. I’m not sure if they have that authority or willing to go to that extreme (see United Airlines fiasco), but that is their threat.   At any rate, while a numbered queue system started the day before, we never did camp out overnight, and decided to return that morning with the expectation of respecting the numbering system. However, we found fans queuing up at around 4:30AM the day of the show – there were about 100 people in line already.

September 11, 2009 Soldier Field – Chicago, Illinois – Threats made by security

I remember during the Vertigo Tour in Boston, people camped out overnight in front of the Fleet Center.  At 9AM, the venue issued wristbands with number to all those in line.  They told us to leave and return around 4 PM to line up again in the sequence we received our wristbands.  It was the best system because it meant you can leave for the day to rest and eat, and then return to the line refreshed without losing your spot.

The point that I am making is that although the venues may proclaim a certain time to allow queuing up, fans will continue to line up somewhere regardless of ‘official policy’. My advice, check out the venue the morning/day before the show and see what is going on. Chances are there will be fans queuing up, and ask how the queue is being organized and then show up at a time of your liking – whether that same day before, early in the morning the day-of, or later in the day-of the concert.

September 11, 2009 Soldier Field – Chicago, Illinois – Meeting Edge

Q: What if I can’t make it early in the morning because of work or other commitments?
A: The floor should fit about 10,000+ fans (depending on the size of the venue. As mentioned earlier, because of the two stages and the catwalk, as well as how small the floor is, you will be closer to the action than anyone in the seats.  Those who line up early or camp out, do so because they want rail to lean on, be closer to the stage, or just like the community of fans who they can connect with.

July 2, 2009 Camp Nou – Barcelona, Spain – With my friends Paco and Jessica

8) The Number System

Q: What happens when I get to the queue, do I get a number for my spot?
A: Unless it’s like Boston (as mentioned above) where the venue offers numbered wristbands to keep the queue organized, the majority of places are self-governed and self-policed. When you get to the queue, go to the front of the line and ask who’s handling the numbers. A fan will have a marker and will write a number on the back of your hand and may even write your name down in a book. This is all informal mind you. In a way, it is necessary, to hold order in the line. The self-governed number system does not happen at all U2 concerts. In 2005, I never saw this at Milan, Oslo, Berlin, or Munich.

#tbt to the start of the #U2 General Admission odyssey. First concert of the #u2ietour in Vancouver, Canada. I'm pictured here with Pat (USA); Mat and Judith (FRA); and Benjamin and Bruno (SUI). A pleasure and honor to start the GA with them! Scott, Sarah, Anna, and Joseph (all from Edmonton), Betsy (LA) and Nick (SF) were amazing people who also helped with the GA. Quality people!

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October 23, 2009 Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas, Nevada – The GA Book

9) Back-to-back shows and the GA

Q: What do I do if I am attending back-to-back GAs?
A: If you are up for a marathon of GAs and have the stamina, I would recommend after the first show, immediately go back to where the queue was being organized the day before. In all likelihood, you’ll find the queue organizers there giving out numbers for the following night. Conversations of who will start organizing the next night usually takes place on the day of the first show. In Vancouver, it was agreed upon that the organizers for night 2 would be those who had seats or didn’t have tickets for night 1. Once the GA line for night 1 entered the venue, the organizers for night 2 would then start taking names and giving numbers for night 2. I’ve heard of some bad stories of the queue being organized by GAers while they were in the GA of night 1. This was completely unfair because it advantaged those already at the front of the GA for night 1 – so a decision was made in some cities so that those who weren’t in the GA for night 1 would be the organizers for night 2.

When I attended the Mexico City shows during the 360 Tour, it was back-to-back-to-back GAs. It was awfully tough on the body, but a great chance to get to know the fans from Mexico. I now look back at those times with a lot of pride because of the endurance and the fun I had with the people I camped out with.

10) Saving Spots in the Queue

Q: Can I get the queue early and save spots for my friends who will arrive later?
A: Touchy issue. It depends on the people running the GA queue or explain the situation to those around you. There is no official policy about saving spots, it’s really just about being considerate to those who spent many hours in line. In so far as GA etiquette goes, saving spots for friends can also upset those who lined up for hours in the queue. I was in Montreal for the Elevation Tour, and my friends and I were numbers 7,8,9 in the line (we arrived at the queue around 6AM). Person number 5 got there an hour before us, but when 8 of his friends arrived at 4PM and cut us in line, and we were naturally pissed off.  They obviously didn’t learn their elementary school manners of not cutting in line. In the end, we got front row centre and they were at the back of the inner circle – karma I tell you :)

April 9, 2011 Estadio Morumbi – Sao Paulo, Brazil

Q: Can I temporarily leave the queue and come back? Will I lose my spot?
A: Yes you can leave the queue, but not for too long – possibly an hour or so.  This is simply GA etiquette. I’ve seen people come really early, get a number written on their hand, leave for the entire day and then come back an hour before the gates open. This ruffles the feathers of quite a few fans who ‘did their time’ in the queue. As mentioned before, at the Las Vegas and Vancouver gigs, security kicked those out who got numbers the day before and didn’t bother to show up until late the next day. Fans who noticed queue jumpers simply told security, and the authorities dealt with the problem. Again, not all venue security are as compliant (e.g. Pasadena), but it’s always helpful!

October 28, 2009 BC Place – Vancouver, British Columbia – Great security

What I found generally more acceptable is informing your friend or those around you that you will be away briefly (eg. to go to the washroom, get a shower, or get food – tasks that should not take more than an hour or so), and kindly asking them to hold your spot. If you need to leave the queue, it’s at your own risk, but the risk is much higher closer to the time when the gates open (4-5PM). If you need to briefly depart from the queue in the morning, there shouldn’t be any issues.

August 6, 2009 Slaski Stadium – Chorzow, Poland

11) Fanclub Membership Line

Q: Will there be special access for U2.com members?
A: Doubtful.  There has been no evidence so far that there is a special entrance for U2.com members on The Joshua Tree Tour.  At some North American arena venues during the Vertigo Tour, there was a separate line for fanclub members; however, I very much doubt there will be any for The Joshua Tree Tour.

April 25, 2005 Key Arena – Seattle, Washington – Separate U2 queue for U2 fanclub members during the Vertigo Tour

12) Meeting the Band

Q: Can I meet the band?
A: This was an easier task to handle at the arena venues than at the stadiums. While I’ve never had the opportunity to meet the band at a European stadium (it was much easier at the North American venues because the point of access for the band was normally close to the GA line), I believe this strategy will still be applicable.

May 10, 2017 – Chatting with Bono in Vancouver, Canada, before U2’s rehearsal.

If you know where the band is staying, there is a good chance you can meet them before they head out to the venue for their sound check. By chance, I was able to see and get autographs along with other fans outside their hotel in Zagreb. It was around 2:30 PM, just before they left to Maksimir Stadium.

August 10, 2009 – Meeting the band in Zagreb, Croatia.

If you know where the band is entering at the stadium, make sure you are there in the afternoon (usually around 3-4PM) when U2 come arrive for their sound check. I did this at the Boston, Vancouver, Toronto, and New York shows. (NOTE: Check out the platform shoes of Bono and Larry; and look excited when you see them, otherwise they won’t acknowledge you and think you’re an eBayer wanting to sell signature U2 memorabilia).

Bono coming out to meet #U2 fans. Told us his voice isn't strong today. This means it'll be a great show tonight! #u2ietour

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13) What to Bring to the Queue

Q: What should I bring to the queue?
A: Bring all that you can’t leave behind.
There are two scenarios to consider which items to bring in the queue.

FIRST, if you plan to camp over night, bring a small tent in case the venue allow “camping” (as defined as sleeping in a tent).  If no tents are allowed, bring an air mattress and a sleeping bag.  I usually buy one of those cheap $10.00 pool mattress to sleep on and a blanket or sleeping bag to keep myself warm.  If I don’t have a tent to use, and in case it rains, I’ll usually bring a Survival Bag to stay dry from the elements.  These can be bought at any camping/hiking store for about $5.00.

In the early morning of the show, people are asked to bring their larger queue items (such as tents or inflatable mattresses) back to their cars or hotel rooms.  Throughout the remaining morning and early afternoon, many bring lawn chairs to sit on or blankets to lie on to keep themselves comfortable.

By the early afternoon, usually between 2 and 3 pm, security will ask you to put away your chairs and other larger items that will not be allowed into the venue.

October 20, 2009 University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Arizona – Jeff, Josh, and Bowman playing poker

SECOND, if you plan to arrive in the queue the morning of the show, feel free to bring a lawn chair to sit on throughout the day.  Between 2PM and 3PM the day of the show, security will ask you to put away your chairs.  Many bring cars to put their stuff away, or have someone drive by the stadium to pick up their stuff.  If you don’t have a vehicle, try to make friends in the queue who can help you out.  If you have no one to rely on, put your stuff away earlier in order to give you time to make it back to your hotel/hostel and back again before 2PM.

On the day of the show, I normally bring a minimal amount of personal belongings and food.  This allows me to have the ability to get through security quickly with only my camera and ticket (or credit card for the ticket-less entry) in hand.

April 12, 2011 – Outside Estadio Morumbi, São Paulo, Brazil – Staying dry in my survival bag and getting read for a night’s “rest”

These are a list of items I usually bring with me for queuing up on the day of the concert:

June 18, 2011 – Outside Angel Stadium, Anaheim, California – Taking a nap on inflatable surfboard

14) What to do in the Queue

Q: What do you do all day in the queue?
A: There were several things I’ve done to occupy myself in the queue at the various cities I’ve visited. I’ve met several new and old friends from all over the world (all cities); read books, newspapers, or caught up on social media (all cities).  On the 360 tour, I’ve drunk beer (Dublin III, Las Vegas); slept all morning on my inflatable mattress (Chicago II); ordered and ate delivered pizza (Chicago I and II); got angry at security (Zagreb II); played games on my iPhone (Barcelona I); and bought U2 T-Shirts (London II, Dublin I).

October 27, 2009 – Outside of BC Place – Vancouver, British Columbia – Chilling out, literally

During the Vancouver 360 overnight queue, we had a propane heater and a BBQ fired up, which we later returned when it was time to put our materials away the next day. It was a lot of fun to literally and figuratively chill out!  We had such strong memories from the BBQ, we did the same for the Winnipeg queue.

On the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour, I was busy helping manage a few queues.  Since the check-in systems are more-or-less the norm, waiting in line on aggregate is much shorter.  Still, worth bringing something to read, or just chat it up with fellow fans.

May 13, 2015 Vancouver, BC - Craig Evans (SVP Global Operations - Live Nations Global Touring) delivering pizza to us in the queue care/of the band!

May 13, 2015 Vancouver, BC – Craig Evans (SVP Global Operations – Live Nations Global Touring) delivering pizza to us in the queue courtesy of the band

15) Security Checks

Q: What is security check like? What is allowed and not allowed?
A: At most venues, security will line everyone up in separate pens, and ask you to open your bags for inspection. I try to avoid bringing a bag in order to avoid slowing down entry.  To make my entry process as quick as possible, I role up my sleeves (so that the wristband they will be putting on me is visible), hold my camera and phone in one hand, and my ticket (or credit card for those ticket-less entry shows) in the other hand.

Generally speaking, point-and-shoot and mirrorless cameras are alright. I’ve seen people sneak in pocket digital HD camcorders. I haven’t seen any issue so far with people bringing in signs to wave to U2.  What are harder to bring in are large dSLR cameras.  Each venue has different policies, but normally disallowed are “professional” cameras that have lenses that are longer than 2″ long or with lenses that are bigger than 35mm. Vancouver states that camera bodies and lenses cannot exceed 3″ in length.  With that said, I did see dSLRs at Madison Square Gardens in New York, so this policy is really venue specific.

Other things I’ve generally noticed that security disallowed entry into the venue: alcoholic beverages, chairs, umbrellas, and weapons (obviously).  Some venues allow water bottles in, others don’t. Some allow water bottles without caps, in which case, hide a spare cap in your pocket (for when you buy water inside and is given to you without a cap). Some disallow outside food, while others don’t mind snack bars and such.

For any items you are uncertain if these can be allowed inside, I highly recommend approaching security in the morning of what is allowed and not allowed. It helps to look for the head of security because they have better knowledge of venue policy. Remember, if you want to get through security check quickly, carry all that you can’t leave behind!

If you are bringing in a small bag or a backpack, make sure you have it wide open for inspection. If possible, have no bag at all and just carry in water, your camera, and your ticket – all in hand – so security will not have to sift through your belongings, which will cut down on time being held up in security.

Video: May 14, 2015 Rogers Arena – Vancouver, British Columbia – GA Entrance (I was the guy in the brown jacket at 0:11)

16) Navigating the GA Floor

Q: Do you run or walk once the doors are open?
A: For stadium shows, security will strongly insist you walk, but in most cases fans ‘fast-walked’ and then broke out into sprints.  It will be well worth it to practice your speed-walking skills and ability to skip down two stairs at a time.  If you notice others breaking into a run,  it’s your call whether you want to follow them or not.  Golden rule is to exercise safety first and avoid a stampede (which I’ve been through before in Milan and Berlin on the Vertigo Tour).

May 12, 2017 BC Place – Vancouver, Canada – GA layout

Q: Once I get through security, how do I get to the floor?
A: For first-timers, the run in can be really confusing once you get on to the floor level and determine where to go.  Once you get into the venue, you will want to ask security which way to the floor.  It can be a labyrinth upon entering the grounds of a stadium, so keep asking, follow the crowd (if you’re not first), and keep walking fast!  Pay attention or ask ahead of time the way onto floor level.

Where the venue issues your GA wristband will vary.  Some will do it at the point of security check, where they pat you down, and look inside your bag (if you have one).  They may then tie a concert wristband on you and then you proceed (walking fast).  At other venues I’ve been at, the wristband will be issued at ground level.

It’s also important to mention that there will be a main stage and an extended ‘Joshua Tree-stage’.  After seeing U2 on The Joshua Tree Tour, I’m convinced there isn’t as much rail space compared to the 360 Tour.  So if you really desire a rail spot, check out the queue the day before the concert.  The closed off area for the ‘Red Zone’ fans is situated very close to the stage this tour, on Edge’s side of the stage.

May 20, 2017 Rose Bowl – Pasadena, USA – GA layout

So upon entry, keep right to avoid being stuck behind the Red Zone, and head towards the ‘inner’ part of the GA, on ‘Adam’s’ side of the stage.

June 23, 2017 Rogers Centre – Toronto, Canada – GA layout

Q: Can I bring signs or flags into the show?
A: Likely.  I have friends who have brought in blank sheets of paper, light pieces of cardboard, and markers. Once they got to the floor, they would write their messages and hope to show Bono during the concert. Sometimes the band acknowledges them, and sometimes not. I think it’s all for fun, so long as it doesn’t block the view of those behind you. When we were at the Vegas show, we made a sign for Fergie (of the Black Eyed Peas) who were the opening act. Fergie saw the sign, and sang to us for a bit. That was a lot of fun. Other times, people would write messages for U2, and Bono would incorporate at it into their songs or speeches. This doesn’t always happen, but can be special if it does during the concert.

October 23, 2009 Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas, Nevada – Me and my friend Daniel

With respect to flags, some venue security are more picky.  At the Vancouver and New York shows during the iNNOCENCE+eXPERIENCE tour, venue security refused the entry of banners and flags.  At Madison Square Garden (awful security), one fan was upset because her national flag was banned entry, with the security guard saying that, “Bono said he didn’t want flags at the show.”  Laughable and dishonest, but we are at the mercy of security.  Best to ask them well ahead of time to avoid this confrontation.  Always check the venue website or call them two weeks ahead of time to ask about what is permitted and what isn’t allowed.

17) What is it like on the Floor?

Q: What if I need to leave to go to the washroom or buy food/merchandise?  Will I lose my spot?
A: If you need to leave to use the washroom or buys something, wait about 15 minutes before leaving your spot. Make sure your friend(s) holds your spot, and choose a path out of your spot from which you can follow back in.  If you have no friends with you, introduce yourself to others near you, and make buddies with them.  You want people to remember you on your way out, so when you come back, they won’t think you’re cutting them. Coming back with some food or drink helps because it validates that you were indeed getting nourishment. Personally, I try to avoid having to leave the my spot, but if I need to, this is my process.

August 14, 2009 – Wembley Stadium – London, England – Vik, Darren, and I

Q: What is it like at the front? Is it rough?
A: Unlike Coldplay shows or concert festivals which are the only comparisons I can draw from, U2 crowds are generally easy going and respectful. I’ve been able to enjoy the front with relative ease. The only times I found it tough in 2005 were in NY, Dublin I, and Honolulu, where ‘important’ people pushed their way to the front. Even for U2 360˚the crowds in Poland and Croatia were not pushy. All other times, I thought there was general respect and a sense of harmony amongst us, and I look forward to sharing a ‘magnificent’ time with fellow U2 fans.

Q: When you are along the rails, is the stage too high?
A:  During the 360° Tour, the stage was quite high, and I found my neck hurting looking up constantly after the first few shows.  After a while, my neck got used to looking up, and I didn’t mind being at the front.  The front stage for The Joshua Tree Tour is about 9 feet high but is further back compared to the 360 front stage, which means that your neck won’t be craning up as much, and is a more comfortable viewing experience.

The ‘tree-stage’ is about 5 feet high and is much closer to the fans.  It’s from this vantage point where you can have a more intimate concert experience with U2.

18) Where is the best spot to see U2 on the floor?

Q: Where is the best spot to see U2 on the floor?
A:  The ‘tree-stage’ is where the concert begins and ends, with U2 performing their pre- and post- Joshua Tree songs here.  The front stage is where U2 play all their Joshua Tree songs.  So depending on what you want to hear and see up close, you can decide which stage to gravitate towards.

If you want to be close, with a front view of U2, this is what to expect:

As I continue to work through my #u2thejoshuatree2017 Seattle photos, I'm convinced that the tree-Stage is the optimal place to take photos this tour. Here's a picture I took from the tree-stage of Bono just before "Ultra Violet (Light My Way)" from the Seattle gig.

A post shared by Joe Ahorro (@joeahorro) on

19) What if I arrive in the GA much later? I don’t really want to line up all day, but still enjoy the show!

Answering this question primarily comes down to expectations.  Whether you choose to line up or not, one is not better than the other, but rather indicative of what people choose to do and expect to get in return.

When people queue up early, they have an expectation to be up close to the band, have a rail to lean on, and enjoy the music.  They accept that there will be exhaustion, dehydration, and some frustration as part of this process, but believe that these sacrifices will trade-off with some benefits.

For those who come later or an hour or so before the show, they expect to be well rested and understand that they will be further back on the field.  On the 360° Tour, I had friends arrive late afternoon to the queue and ended up two or three rows behind the outer circle b-stage.  Having been through the pains of lining up at a previous U2 concert, this time around, they preferred to come late, feel refreshed, and accepted that they were going to be further back.  They ended up being amazed because they ended up not that far back, which exceeded their expectations.

I’ve been at the back of a stadium GA before and didn’t mind it because my expectations were tempered.  For the 1st show in São Paulo, Brazil for the 360° Tour, I arrived the morning of the concert.  My friends and I met up and came to the Estadio Morumbi at 9am and there were already about 10,000 people in line ahead of us.  We resigned ourselves to the inevitability that we’d be at the back of the GA, but we were okay with that.  In the end, the fact that Zooropa first appeared on the tour in Brazil thrilled us.  That alone made the concert special and not because of where we were relative to the stage.

April 10, 2011 Estadio Morumbi – São Paulo, Brazil – Watched the concert from the back of the GA.

Being at the back of the GA also has its advantages:

With all this said, I still like lining up early, because it gives me a chance to connect with long-distant U2 friends who travel and see the band like I do.  I also like being near the front because I enjoy concert photography. But that’s my expectation and desire.  Others who prefer to come later will hear the same amazing music and equally enjoy the company of friends as much as I do.

20) Pitfalls of the GA

Q: You are lining up for such a long time, it can’t be all fun and games?!
A: You’re right; it isn’t always the greatest of experiences for the entire time you are in the queue. Exhaustion can sink in after a long wait or multiple queues.

November 3, 2015 The O2 – London, UK – A little knackered while waiting in the queue during the 6th London ieTour show

I’ve also had to deal with really hot days, where there was no shade (i.e. June 30, 2009 Camp Nou – Barcelona). There would be days where it would rain nonstop (i.e. June 24, 2005 Croke Park – Dublin). There are ways to prepare for such climates, but your patience can wear thin quickly.  I also found myself frustrated by people cutting the line, despite the fact that I spent the whole day there.  In spite of my protestations, there was nothing I could do.  Fairness, it seemed, was not universal. Other fans had described to me of a not-so-pleasant camping out experience at the Chorzow, Poland queue, where there were really drunk fans being loud and obnoxious at night, which made it a sleepless queuing experience.

This is unsurprising, but I’ve noticed that there is a direct correlation between the state of weather and the mood of the crowd. For example, we experienced heavy downpour the morning of The Joshua Tree Tour opener in Vancouver (which we knew was coming because the forecasts were pretty consistent leading up to that day), and I encountered a few irate and annoyed fans in the queue. Once the rain let up, skies opened, and sun rays beaming down on us by lunch time, I saw a lot more happier people in the line. All I can say is be prepared for the weather conditions, don’t be surprised, and feel free to temporary leave the queue if needed.

June 18, 2011 Angel Stadium of Anaheim – Anaheim, California – Gates locking up

Another phenomenon I encountered during past tours was that being at the front of a queue does not necessarily guarantee a good spot on the floor because of mechanical or human errors. For example, the tickets wouldn’t scan properly at Dublin 3 or at Chorzow (360° Tour), which would result in gates locking up and disallowing you to pass. I know for some female fans, particularly at Wembley Stadium, there was a shortage of female security guards to search female fans, so they were held up.  Some venues will have multiple entry points, which increases anxiety and uncertainty of where you will end up on the floor. Many fans had described to me of the Paris shows, where some gates opened up early than others. This resulted in frustrating some fans that felt this to be unfair and arbitrary. Having been through this myself, one can easily feel irritated and upset.

21) Conclusion: GA Adds to the U2 Concert Experience

Well, I hope you found this post informative, if not entertaining. Despite these negatives, I still maintain the GA queue to be a beneficial and fun experience. A valuable lesson I learned was that ‘anything can happen’ in the GA experience and that we should not raise our expectations of always getting the spot we imagine ourselves having. Because we get to the queue early enough, we will all get onto the floor, and will have a great spot where ever we may end up. Most U2 fans would love to see the shows we see, let alone the close proximity we have to the band. Most of us who have had the privilege to be in the pit will agree that the atmosphere is electric and any bad experiences from earlier in the day are washed away by the torrential music of U2.

August 6, 2009 Slaski Stadium – Chorzow, Poland – Bryan, Arnie, and Bono’s Setlist

December 13, 2010 ANZ Stadium – Sydney, Australia – Cathal (who was promoting his book Me and U2) and I

While the U2 queue can be tiring and at times trying (i.e. North end Dublin kids making fun of U2 and throwing fruit and eggs at us outside of Croke Park), I think we can look back and remember all the great times. I can earnestly look back at all my experiences in the queue – good and bad – and remember how much fun it was to meet everyone, listen in on the sound checks, feel the rush of getting into the venue early, enjoying the concert with the same fans I shared the queue with during the entire day, and getting various setlists at the end of the night. I vividly recall meeting new friends, sharing our love for U2′s music, talking about our backgrounds, and explaining where our travels have taken us. In the end, the U2 queue is more than trying to make it to the front; it really is a place where different people of varying backgrounds can find a common ground, with the hope of having long lasting memories.

The GA in Vancouver during the iNNOCENCE+eXPERIENCE tour was memorable for me, as it was two days before my wedding (the next day, I skipped the second Vancouver show to make it for my wedding rehearsal).  Fans in the queue were incredibly kind to sign a banner with messages of support and well-wishes for our marriage. It was the kindest act I’ve ever experienced in the queue. I admittedly teared up – physically and emotionally exhausted – but humbled at the thought and consideration of everyone. This alone made the GA worthwhile (thanks to Jonathan for filming this).

If you have any other tips or experience worth mentioning, or questions that need addressing, feel free to leave a message in comments below.  I’ll try to promptly respond to your questions.  We’re all here to help each other.  I look forward to seeing you all in the queue.  For me, there’s no other way but GA!

July 7, 2005 Olympic Stadium – Berlin, Germany

375 comments

  1. Cheryl - reply

    Hi Joe! Thanks for all your tips and for sharing​ your amazing experiences with us. We have GA tickets for tbe Cleveland concert on July 1st. Any advice or information about this venue would be appreciated.

  2. Catt - reply

    Hi Joe, do you know about lining up for the red zone? I’ve seen U2 in 87, and 92. There was no red zone or secondary stage, and in 92 only a catwalk. No ga at that show either. I was 10th row at the catwalk. I’d appreciate any advise getting on the rail of the red zone near tree :).

    • Catt - reply

      I forgot to say I’m seeing them in San Diego.

    • Joe Ahorro - reply

      Hi Catt,
      There’s been enough questions about Red Zone that I really should add it to the Guide. So this tour, the Red Zone line has its own separate entrance and usually starts forming the morning of the show. Once inside the Red Zone, I’d highly advice going to the side of the tree stage in the Red Zone. If you’re situated under the tree or along the catwalk, you won’t get a good view of them. A side perspective is good and Bono and Edge often turn their way over there.
      Joe

  3. Amy Pekala - reply

    Joe, This is exactly what “I’m looking for!” Thank you so much. I’m doing GA in St Louis this fall which will be at an indoor stadium, and your tips are “magnificent.” I got Bono’s set list at the Jul 2011 show (holy cow, that was an incredibly hot and humid day spent at Busch Stadium), and I was floored when the crew gave me the list 3/4 through the show. Again, thank you! I’ll be following your site throughout the tour.

    • Joe Ahorro - reply

      Hi Amy,
      I’m glad this was informative for you. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  4. Nikki - reply

    Hi Joe,

    I am also going to the show in Foxboro on Sunday. I’ve been looking for info on where the fan led line is gathering, but haven’t been able to find anything. I noticed that you mentioned that the line has already started. Are you aware of where it is? I would appreciate your help. I plan to arrive around 8am the day of the show & would like to get my number as soon as I get there. This is my first show of this tour and I am beyond excited! I’ll also be seeing them in NJ on 6/28 & Dublin!

  5. Hannah Bernard - reply

    Hi Jon!

    Thanks SO much for all of this vert useful info!! I am going to see U2 in just outside Boston on Sunday. I talked to the security at the stadium and they informed me that they aren’t letting anyone line up until 2:30pm the day of the concert. Doors open at 4:30pm, show starts at 6:30pm. Do you have any idea from your past experiences if people generally get to the venue long before they are allowed to line up? I’ve never heard of such a late line up time, but maybe you have some wisdom as to how to still get there early enough to be close-ish to the tree/stage?
    Thanks for any ideas, advice, etc.! :)

    • Joe Ahorro - reply

      Hi Hannah,
      Sorry for the delay in responding. Busy days! There has been an ‘unofficial line’ that started yesterday, as explained in the Guide. If you can, drop by the stadium to see what’s happening, and the rules being applied for the queue.

      To give you some context, my best buddy arrived in Toronto and to the queue the morning of the show around 10am. He was number 530 and upon arrival into the stadium, ended up 3rd row centre, in front of the main stage, and is over-the-moon. Hopefully this gives you an idea that even if you arrive in the morning and in the hundreds, you will definitely get an awesome spot.

      Hope this helps!

      Joe

      • Hannah Bernard - reply

        No worries, and thanks so much for the head’s up, Joe! Unfortunately we can’t get to the stadium until around noon but hopefully we can still get fairly close to the tree – Can’t wait! Your advice has been SO helpful! :)

    • Luiz - reply

      The whole thing was a scam. We showed up the night before and put our name on a list. We were told to show out the next day and get our wrist band. We did that. We were told “show up at 3:45 and we will order the line based on wristbands”. In the end none of it mattered. It’s first come first served. The entire process meant zero at Gillette.

      • Joe Ahorro - reply

        I’m really sorry to hear that Luiz. This happened to me in Zagreb 2009 for the U2 360 Tour. It’s beyond frustrating when security send mixed or inconsistent messages/instructions.

        • Luiz - reply

          Thanks Joe. I realize it works at some places. It was a total screw up here. Nobody seemed to know what was up. Gillette security told us to “wash the numbers off our hands” one minute only to say “we will honor that” the next.” Ugh. I think we will be first 4/5 rows as it is which is cool but we put in a top 1/2 effort. Still excited for the show. Thanks for this site. It did help.

          • Joe Ahorro

            Hey Luiz,
            Geez – talk about literally giving conflicting instructions!

            I totally understand what you’re going through. When I saw U2 in Zagreb (2009), security moved the barriers forward by 10 meters without warning at noon, and there was a made scramble to get a good spot from where we were lined up. They then told everyone to stand. It was searing hot with no shade. Any semblance of order was gone and I ended up leaving the GA line because it was so tense and security non-responsive to the concerns of fans.

            Where about are you in the line? To give you some scale, my best bud was #530 in Toronto, and ended up 3rd row centre, main stage.
            Joe

          • Luiz

            So in the end it ended up being incredible but it had nothing to do with the people running the unofficial GA line. The whole thing went like this.

            Day before show: We showed up at 5:30pm the night before the show. We find the unofficial line and put our name in the GA book and got numbers written on our hands in the high 100’s. They told us to show up no later than 6am the day of the show to confirm our spot and get wrist bands. We were pumped. We then walked over to the gate where GA would be lining up the next day to catch a view of the stage and spoke with a security guard. The security guard was super nice and said “Good, you guys have your numbers! You will want to start lining up early tomorrow.” Our plan was to arrive at 5:45am the day of the show.

            Day of the show: Show up at 5:45am. There is arguing going on between security and the GA person with the record book. Security is telling everyone to stay away from the venue until 2:30pm and to wash the numbers off our hands as they are useless. Security makes everybody leave the scene. We are told by the people organizing the line to “check FB for updates”. We decide to hang our for an hour at Dunkin Donuts and head back around 7am. At this point the unofficial line has moved further away from the entrance point and they are telling those with numbers on their hands to “come back at 11am to get wrist bands.” Security is still telling people to leave at this point. 11am – we get our wrist bands and are pumped. We jumped up a few spots in the line and are now in the low 180’s. We are told to come back at 3:45pm. I spoke with a security guard at this point who says he has no idea what is going on but that the stadium security has nothing to do with any line. He was nice but admitted he had no clue and had heard various things about what is happening. 3:45pm – we show up to a mad house in from the the GA entrance. About 1,000 people spread out in a large area (there are about 8 turnstiles set up for GA). Perhaps 80% of the people do not have any wrist band and just showed up. There is an attempt to figure out wristband numbers but the whole thing ends up a wash. It literally turned into a “first come first served” scenario with zero ability to organize.

            The good part: Gates open at 5pm. We are about 50 people deep for our turnstile to get through the gate. The stage is a full football field away. We sprint (some were walking / some were running) and make it just left of the the very top of the tree behind one person. We had an incredible show, insane view and it all worked out in the end. 8 hours on our feet but worth it to get up close and personal for the show. As was written previously – top of the tree seemed best. They almost never turn to play behind them anywhere along the top will work great.

            In the end: Unfortunately the attempts to organize it all ended up not working out. I feel bad for the people that put in days of effort to make it happen. They spent hours signing people up and handing our wristbands all for nought.

  6. Scott - reply

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the guide! I’m super pumped to be attending my first U2 show tomorrow in Toronto at the Rogers Centre! I had a question about the credit card entry. My family has bought 5 tickets: 3 of them are GA and 2 are in the setas. All of the tickets are on one credit card, so I’m wondering if the 3 GA tickets (including me) will be allowed in separately before the seats tickets since “the whole party must enter together”. The entrances for the GA and seats are different, so I assume that we can, but I wanted to make sure based on your experience.

    As well, my brother and I are lining up in the GA around noon, but my sister might be coming in at 4-5pm in the afternoon because of work. Do you think the GA queue would let her join us in line so that we can enter together.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!

    Scott Michaels

    • Joe Ahorro - reply

      Hey Scott,
      I’ve read about how other venues have allowed fans to separate the GA and seat tickets by calling the venue box office. Either physical tickets were printed and/or transferred to different cards. So give them a call.

      You’ll have to talk to the people around you to see if it’s okay that your sister join you around 4-5. There might be some resistance to this, because if a lot of people saved spots for people, it might be seen as unfair for those who took time off and waited. Another complication is that doors will open around 5 and it might be hard for your sister to find you if you’re past the point of security check. I’m not sure if it’s possible she can meet you guys earlier, but that would probably be best.

      Either way, all of you will have a great time! It’s such an amazing show!

      Joe

      • Scott Michaels - reply

        Thanks Joe, appreciate the reply!

        The venue told us to try transferring the tickets but we aren’t able to because it’s credit card entry. We decided to just print out the physical tickets for the seats, so i think it’ll work out.

        Scott

  7. Bob Wiley - reply

    Hi Joe,

    I am going to DC tomorrow. They said they are giving out numbered wristbands at 8am the morning of the show. at Noon, they are allowing people into a pavilion area to line up in order of your number. At 4:30 or 5:00 they will let the GA line enter. Thus, I am planning on getting there at 8am with my part of 3 others, getting our numbered wristbands, and coming back later. Does this sound like any other venues youve heard about this tour? What do you think of my plan? thanks.

    PS what time does U2 come out?

    • Joe Ahorro - reply

      Hey Bob,
      This seems to be happening a lot in the US.

      If you can get numbers with the rest of your party today with the ‘unofficial fan-led GA line’, I’d highly recommend it. It’s not too difficult – just go to the stadium, find the cluster of fans with the GA book, and get numbers on your hand. They’ll ask you to return tomorrow morning before wristbands are issued and follow the schedule you just described.

      The gates open around 5:00 or 5:30. The opening act out at 7:00 or 7:30, and U2 out at 9:00.

      Joe

  8. Brian Connors - reply

    Joe,

    I’ve been to many U2 shows over the years, but this time I’m taking my kids (ages 13, 11, 9) to their first U2 show. Toronto. Any GA advice since they’re shorter than most fans? We probably won’t get there until 2:30-3:00pm day of show.

    Regards,

    Brian

    • Joe Ahorro - reply

      Hi Brian,
      Good question. I’m not sure what to advise. I do know that if you’re in the 250-300 range in terms of GA line number, you’ll make 3 rows back from the front of the top tree-stage, which is a great view. The stage is lower and your kids should see them at a relatively close range. The screen is so big that they won’t miss a beat from seeing it.
      Joe

    • Richard - reply

      Hey Brian,

      I’m in the same boat – Bringing my two young boys to the concert ( 9 and 8) – they are VERY excited to be at a REAL concert ( guess Wild Kratz don’t count). We were given awesome advice about hanging back by the sound mixing area…We’ll see when we get down to the Rogers Center – not going to line up too early as I’m fearful that they might ” get way too tired before the end of the set.
      For us – it’s all about the experience -the show / music and fans!
      If you’re hanging around the back of GA – you’ll see us!
      Good luck and enjoy the concert with the family.
      Richard

  9. Dan - reply

    Just drove by the stadium in Louisville where tonight’s show will happen. I’m so excited! I saw a few people in the Gate 1 area – appeared to be getting wrist bands. I’ll be back later this afternoon with wife and kids. Our first U2 show! We’ll see you all in GA! Thanks for the great info, Joe!

  10. Erin Simpson - reply

    Joe,

    First U2 concert, first GA. I got in contact with the stadium facilities operator a week or so ago for the Louisville show. The Queueing line starts at 8am, parking for ga opens the same time. No overnight queueing is allowed. Given this information, what would Joe do? What time would Joe arrive? Is there a Facebook community that can help guide my U2 GA experience?

    Also, it’s suppose to be a hot one 94 and sunny. What do you bring to cool you down and avoid heat exhaustion?

    Lots of finally questions… shows tmw and I am anxious!!

    All the Best,

    Erin Simpson

    • Joe Ahorro - reply

      Hi Erin,
      FIRST U2 CONCERT?!!! That’s a special occasion :)

      As I’ve mentioned in the Guide, just because a venue says no queuing, doesn’t mean a queue won’t be organized off-site. I want you to have an amazing experience for your first U2 and GA! So this is what I recommend:

      – Go to the stadium right away (since the show is tomorrow). Walk/drive around the stadium to see if fans have started the GA line. There is sometimes a sign or a few people lingering on lawn chairs with a book and sharpie marker.
      – Once you find the GA line manager, get a number. If you are on your own, no problem. If you are going with friends and are on the same credit card, you need to be check in together and line up together. It will be a check in system, when fans will be asked to return to the stadium to check in. This is the way to maintain a line but get around the ‘no camping’ rule.
      – The morning of the show, that’s when fans will be allowed on stadium property and ‘officially’ line up. That’s where the 8am time comes into effect.
      – To be comfortable, I’d recommend bringing a lawn chair and an umbrella/hat to stay cool. Bring lots of water or gatorade to stay hydrated. If you need to use the washroom, you’re able to peel away from the line quickly to do so. Just inform your GA neighbours.
      – Since this is your first show, I’d highly recommend going to the top of the tree at the b-stage. The stage is lower and you’ll have an amazing view of U2. If people are walking, then walk too. If people start running to the spot, follow them. If you walk and others run, try to speed up and keep pace. It’s important to stay safe, buy not be left behind.
      – Once you get into the stadium and to a rail position, sit down, and get to know those around you. Once the second and third rows form behind you, let a few people know around you that you need to use the washroom, and ask them to hold your spot. This presumes you need to use the washroom after drinking lots of fluids throughout the day.

      Hope this helps!
      Joe

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