Arena Tour Thoughts

Today was day one of the February 2014 arena shows being on sale – well, the pre-sale – and it’s been an exciting and hectic day. The simple fact that I’m sat at home watching people buying tickets for venues this size to see me and the Sleeping Souls is pretty perfectly crazy. There’s been a lot of commentary and questions on Twitter and Facebook, and I thought it’d make sense to gather some thoughts and answers of my own for everyone here.

First up – thanks for buying the tickets, if you did, that’s great. Hopefully the ticket price is to everyone’s liking, I got it as low as I could. I know there’s also some booking fees here and there which can be a bit tiresome / excessive, alas that’s not something I have control over. The merch bundles are cool (I think) and pretty good value, and of course, you don’t have to buy them if you don’t want to.

Incidentally, none of the shows are sold out (!?) – it’s just the pre-sale that has gone, more tickets will be on sale on Friday morning at 9am. These will include tickets with disabled access, for those asking. The support bill for the tour is worked out, but I can’t announce it just yet. But trust me, it’s killer.

People have been asking about VIP tickets and “meet and greet” stuff. I don’t sell VIP tickets, it seems entirely bogus to me. I also find the notion of “meet and greets” a little staged, awkward, false. Then again, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to hang out with every single person at the shows. I have a plan to reconcile all of this to everyone’s satisfaction, watch this space.

More generally, the subject of arena shows, and a little bit of statistical geekery for you. I know some people aren’t stoked about the size of venues on this run and are worried about them losing a sense of inclusion, intimacy or whatever. I do understand that. I guess I have two responses. The first is, as Wembley showed (and most of these shows are smaller than that), it is possible to create a great atmosphere at big shows. Never fear, my band, crew and I are working on making the shows great.

More pertinently, here’s the thing: with the pre-sales today, if we’d been playing smaller venues (Manchester Academy, Brixton, wherever), almost all of them would have been totally sold out by lunchtime today. That means that the majority of people, most likely including you, dear reader, wouldn’t be able to come to the shows. It’d mean that any new people coming on board in the next 5 months wouldn’t be able to come. It’d mean that anyone who is waiting for pay day to buy tickets, or finding out if friends can go, or making travel arrangements, or people who simply weren’t up at that time of day, wouldn’t be able to come. It’d make what I do exclusive, and that’s just not what I want. So for now, while fortune smiles on me, we’ll have shows like this, and they’ll be a ton of fun, don’t worry. In the future, who knows. Maybe I won’t be hip (haha) in a few years time and I’ll see all you die-hards back at the Railway Inn.

Finally, in terms of the range of the tour. It’s a short run, I know. Time is not on my side, with commitments for touring elsewhere in the world and the fact that, with my health right now, I need to actually take it a little easier than on past mammoth runs. For the record, it’s not quite fair to say I “never” play Birmingham / Newcastle / Leeds / Bristol or wherever. Of the 188 shows I’ve done in the last year (not including making an album), 66 have been in the UK, including shows in every single region of these islands of ours. If this tour doesn’t come to your town, don’t worry, it’s not like I’m not coming back sometime pretty soon.

Anyways, I don’t want to come across as annoyed, I just wanted to put my side of the argument for you all. Something I’ve always done, and aim to continue, is to be open to everyone and ideas about how best to do what I do to keep everyone happy. This is a conversation, not a monologue. It’s going to be one hell of a tour – see you there.

23 thoughts on “Arena Tour Thoughts

  1. I feel bad for you Frank. You shouldn’t feel like you need to justify yourself to your fans.

    Your true fans know that you work bloody hard to keep us all happy, and we wouldn’t dream of complaining that you’re not coming to *our* city or town on this particular tour.

    As for people moaning about the size of the venue, then they must be a little deluded about the nature of supply and demand!  Your popularity has soared in the past few years (deservedly!) and it’s inevitable that you end up playing at larger venues.  

    Anyone who thinks that you won’t be able to still make it an awesome show should reconsider their attitude, and if they’re really unhappy then they should just not bother buying a ticket. The rest of us will still love you and your music.

  2. It’ll always be hard to find the right balance between pleasing the fans and making it fair. Please don’t ever beat yourself up about it (No, dude, seriously, please don’t. I want your back to get better and not worse!) But at the end of the day, if a person wants to see you, they will come to support you (as most of them probably have for a long time) I’m just greatful (and other people should be too *cough COUGH*) that you’re one of the fewer musician’s that actually remember that Wales does still exist. I have tried to see you live before but I have been underage to be able to go 🙁 sad times. But atleast now, my time has come so thankyou for this amazing opportunity for me and others to come and see you live. #IStillBelieve

  3. Completely agree. I was one of the recent people to come on board. I’ve always loved Recovery but hadn’t heard any others until Reading and I was blown away with your energy even with a bad back! I guess I’m just a little gutted I wasn’t on board during the Manchester Academy days but hey ho you snooze, you lose! I’m just happy/ lucky to have some standing tickets for Manchester and believe after what I saw at Reading you will have no problem at all pulling it off big style!

  4. I’m glad that I’ll be able to see you (for my first time) at small venues here in Germany, but I’m thrilled for you (and the majority) of your UK fans  that you’ll be doing a big arena tour next year. It just shows that there a so many people who like what you are doing. It’s a good thing! I don’t get why some people seem to not get it. The ticket price is a very fair price, I paid a lot more for concerts at similar scale venues here in Germany. Good luck for the 2014 UK tour and for the one starting next week of course. All the best to you (and your back *g*) xoxo

  5. The fees are just excessive. Don’t worry about people complaining about the size of the venue or how close it is to them.

    Can’t you use a smaller independent record shop like Banquet Records, £8.75 in booking fees for a £22.50 ticket is an insult.

    I’ve been lucky enough to see you many times, keep up the good work, remember to rest and don’t let big companies dictate what is fair.

    Much love x

  6. Well said Frank. Shouldn’t have to apologise for being good. We don’t have exclusive right to be your only fans. I can’t wait til Feb. good luck. And rest up

  7. Aww Frank you are so lovely 😀 I love the fact that you always try to be as personal as possible, even with trillions of fans. I really hope your back recovers and that you can continue to do what you love until you’re old, stinky and grey (i’m sure the majority of fans will always be there supporting you). If you weren’t dead famous i’d well be your friend haha! Can’t wait to see you in Manchester. Keep on Rocking (but keep it gentle, kay creeky bones?) x

  8. I’m just glad to be able to see you in Edinburgh! The lemon tree gig was ace but sure this will be good too 🙂

  9. I really don’t see the issue. Less than £25 for a ticket including a booking fee of less than £3!! Cheapest gig I’ve been to for a lot of years….and I’ve no doubt it’s going to be anything short of amazing (no pressure Frank!)

    Your blog is very honest and sincere. It will be impossible to please everybody regarding locations. …I’m travelling four hours to see you and it doesn’t bother me at all! This will be my first time seeing you but I’ve no doubt it won’t be the last!!!

    See you in February!

  10. Firstly if you never play Birmingham, who the fuck was I watching on the 24th April?!
    Secondly as you said, you would have sold out an intimate venue tour by lunchtime, which is great for all of us that had access to the pre-sale link but there are so many more people that ought to be included in this UK party!
    And the ticket prices were outstanding!
    And dude you don’t have to ‘work on making a great show’ ! – Just turn up and we will tear the roof off any venue – no matter the size 😀 

  11. The first time I saw you was in 2008 at the Exeter Phoenix Centre (400 max capacity, I think).  Now I get to see you at Plymouth Pavilions in Feb, which is 4000 capacity.  That’s 10 x the size in just over 5 years!  Is it weird that I feel oddly fucking proud of you for that?

    Small venues are great, but you’re going to rock the bigger venues just as hard as you’ve rocked every one of the thousand odd shows you’ve played.  Older fans and newer fans alike will dance, jump, sing, shout and throw their fists in the air and just have a fucking great time, because that’s what music does to people.

    Everyone should just be happy and grateful that you’re still able to make music, tour harder and be more real than almost anyone else in the industry.  

  12. Fair play, brum would have been nice, but I may just take the wife to nottingham instead 🙂

  13. Fair play to you for taking the time to keep people in the loop with your thoughts, but you really don’t have to justify the bigger venue or the ticket prices. I think the price is in keeping with other gigs of that size. Maybe on the lower end of the scale.

    If people have an issue with you playing arena’s then that’s on them. They have a choice whether to go or not.

    When you played Wembley I chose not to go because it was an arena. I told my mates I’d do that when I had to see you in that environment, and until then I’d stick to the smaller gigs. subsequently Newport, Bristol & Bath all followed in smaller venues. Now I’m more than happy to go to Cardiff since that’s whats on offer, tickets bought today & looking forward to it.

    Good luck to you.

  14. There is absolutely no need to justify the fact that more people have cottoned on to you and your blooming marvellous music. I am coming to Edinburgh with a group of friends, 1 of whom saw you at Leeds for the first time and was as wowed as anyone who sees you is. Stay wonderful Frank and never worry.

  15. Honestly, I rather have you play the big arenas, than most of the crap out there that is also playing them!

    You really deserved all of this! And the more people listen to your music and come to your shows the better!!

  16. Dude!!! I saw you support Green Day at Wembley Stadium, if you can rock that (to which surely there was no question anyway! As you totally did, as always!) You can double rock a piddly arena!! \m/

    By the time I’d got to the presale tickets today, they had gone. So I’m on it on Fri! Not had this panic of getting tickets at 9am for an artist in a long time!

    Prices are awesome, your music is awesome and that blog post just shows how awesome you are too. Keep it up!!

    You have inadvertently helped me through some tough times this year, this tour is a perfect way to to round it off! Thank you!

    Let’s rock it Nottingham! I am planning on losing my voice and dancing till my bones ache!!! \m/

  17. I hate arenas as they’re souless and the sound is usually terrible. I would much prefer a smaller gig, they’re more fun and memorable.

    That said tickets for Manchester purchased (not too bad a price and I have faith that it’ll be a stellar line-up) and I’m actually quite looking forward to it, I still believe.

  18. Keep it up Frank, you will be here in the states and i already have a ticket for you guys here in Philadelphia in November at the Electric Factory, you guys are the best live act ive seen in a very long time, and while it would be kinda cool to see you in a arena setting, i simpy cannot wait to see you in the venue you will be at here in nov, Keep up The Great Work….See you in November….Cheers

  19. Just keep doing what you’re doing!!

    Whether it’s in a stadium or a pub it’s still gonna rock!!

  20. lucky for me, you’re not at stadium level in the states yet, though i expect that to change fairly quickly. and i do admit to being a bit of a snob about wanting to see the bands i love in smaller settings. however, i will see you in any venue that i possibly can, regardless of size or price, because i know that you (and the souls) are there playing for me, the fan, and will make it the best night as you possibly can.


  21. So mad at myself for missing the pre-sale! Are there going to be any more standing tickets for the London O2 show, or were they pre-sale only? There didn’t seem to be any on Friday at 9am either. See you in February!

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