Rising indie-pop star Billie Eilish will visit Chicago next month on her When We All Fall Asleep Tour, but ahead of the shows, the venue changed from the Aragon Ballroom to the United Center. Now, fans are feeling cheated after they were assigned new seats.
Fans who originally purchased general admission tickets for the the Aragon Ballroom, who already had to jump through hoops through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan Program, were switched to section 300 at the United Center without any warning. One fan, Amanda Hoffman-Luke, bought presale tickets to the show in February and was excited to be able to score four floor tickets. She planned on traveling to the show from Ohio and booked a non-refundable AirBnB; this is going to be her daughter’s first concert, and Amanda planned on camping out early in order to make sure her daughter had the “experience of a lifetime.”
Everything was all set for the June show – until yesterday. Since Eilish dropped her debut LP When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? earlier this year, she’s been garnering a lot of attention in the industry. Due to high demand, her two Chicago shows at the Aragon Ballroom were moved to The United Center on the same night, June 9. Eilish claimed in an Instagram post that the shows were moved so “we can have the full production and we can fit more of you.” She went on to note that ticketholders will receive an email about seating and tickets; there would be no change in price and they would not have to buy tickets again.
Hey Chicago, due to the large scale production, @billieeilish’s two Chicago shows at the @AragonBallroom on 6/9 have been moved to the @UnitedCenter on the same night. All originally purchased tickets have been exchanged for the new show—check your email for details! pic.twitter.com/BobcFPc7Kn
— Live Nation Chicago (@LiveNationIL) May 20, 2019
Hoffman-Luke told TicketNews that’s when “all hell broke loose.” She received an email with her new seat assignment in Section 314.
“So I went what [from] what would have been floor seats since we were camping out, to the very last row in the highest section of the stadium,” she said.
In an attempt to get help from Ticketmaster, she reached out via email and did not receive a response. In a DM to Ticketmaster Fan Support, she asked if she would be able to exchange tickets for better seats, to which Ticketmaster responded: “We can attempt to pull GA tickets for you once the onsale begins at the new venue, but we can only cancel your current order. Sorry for the trouble!” However, Hoffman-Luke does not want a refund, as she already paid for a non-refundable AirBnB and the only reason she was going to Chicago was for this show.
Ticketmaster Fan Support responded once again, noting that “we do apologize, but we’re unable to make exchanges between two different venues, so the only other option is to provide a refund.”
The United Center has not announced a time for a new on sale date for the June 9 show, and Ticketmaster says on its website that the “on sale date and time are in the works.” Hoffman-Luke believes that the venue and Ticketmaster are holding these seats for people who are willing to pay double the price, noting “it’s pure greed, nothing else.”
“We are not rich,” Hoffman-Luke said. “This was a luxury we really couldn’t afford but knew it would be such a great experience that we were willing to stretch our finances to make it happen.”
Look how excited my daughter was when I got these tickets 4 MONTHS ago! @billieeilish we won’t even be able to see or hear you from section 314, row 12. How is any of this ok? #VerifiedSCAM @TMFanSupport @Ticketmaster @UnitedCenter @finneas @MaggieBmusic pic.twitter.com/WQ67Gnj04A
— amanda (@alliscrazy) May 21, 2019
Now, fans are left with the option of keeping the new seats provided to them – which are not what they originally paid for – or receiving a refund. Hoffman-Luke isn’t alone — other fans are letting out their frustration on Twitter:
@Ticketmaster i purchased GA tickets for billie eilish’s show at aragon ballroom & now i’m sitting in the nosebleeds at the united center. i’m a little upset. am i able to upgrade my tickets?
— gracie ? (@5amIight) May 20, 2019
thanks! now i have seats all the way in the back of the arena ? that’s exactly what i wanted & paid for ??
— Say (@SAYLAURENT) May 20, 2019
Unreal. Don’t advertise an intimate show and then switch venues a few weeks out, leaving fans who had presale codes and purchased original tickets, in nosebleeds. Your team values profit more than fans and it’s disgusting.
— Sarah Jakubowski (@sarahjj) May 20, 2019
this is not fair. i bought ga tickets and now we are moved to the back of the arena. please fix this problem. we are driving 5 hours for this show
— ?☁️maia-MET JULIA (@maiabisceglia) May 20, 2019
My tickets were cancelled, they are sending refund? So no my tix were NOT moved to the new venue?!?
— Tina Furlett (@pepperdove) May 20, 2019
As of this afternoon, the Aragon Ballroom, United Center, Live Nation Chicago, and Eilish’s press team did not respond to TicketNews‘ request for comment.