The real power of social networking: This is country music

I know I promised a lori McKenna album review, but next time, I promise.
I have some thank you’s.

Most of you know that last night I went to the O2 in London last night to see Brad Paisley supported by Darius Rucker. I was so so excited about it, I love live music and there isn’t much of it in England.

There was only one thing that bothered me however, and that was that the concert was seated. But this didn’t matter too much because I got my tickets early and was in row m, so only 13 rows back, and I was in the centre. When I reached the venue I was told I needed to join a different queue to have my ticket exchanged, but was not informed that I would be moved (to reiterate I had my ticket months ago). I was handed a goodie bag (ominous) as compensation. It contained a signed photo, a key ring and a beer cooler. then I was handed my ticket, row z. 13 rows back from where I had paid and expected to be. I was given the explanation that at the last minute Brad Paisley had asked for a different stage layout, and those front and centre had to be moved. I wanted to see brad Paisley, not just hear him, that’s all part of it, I might as well just have bought a live album. If I had wanted merch, I would have bought it, I’ve grown out of the age of collecting 8 by 10s, and most other merch (minus t shirts and willie Nelson dolls) is novelty and a waste of money, I would have much preferred my seat back.

When I got to the arena I was really upset, I was at the back of the section and couldn’t see the stage. At one point I was so upset and angry that I just wanted to leave- in my mind my money had been wasted anyway.

I then realised that mr Paisley probably didn’t know that about 40 of his fans had been moved (not everyone was effected badly, I met someone who was moved 1row forward). And in these past few weeks, what have we learnt? That social media is a very powerful tool.

I started tweeting, blogging and facebooking about how upset I was. And getting all my friends to do the same, so that anyone who searched for brad Paisley would know what had happened. often bands will check twitter/Facebook before a gig to gauge the atmosphere; lots of people at the O2 were tweeting. So eventually (after about 8 tweets) I caught mr paisley’s attention, or rather his tour managers attention.

I got a message apologising and offering a meet and greet after the show as compensation. I was asked for my seat number, and about half an hour later, his tour manager came and gave me an envelope containing a pass and apologising for being moved back. This, ladies and gentlemen, is country music. That is caring for the fans and taking care of them. Making sure that at the end of the night they are still fans, and bigger fans than they were before(also helped by ronnie wood showing up). and that is the power of social networking. That connection, that feeling of being important to your favourite artists. And brad Paisley did that to me. So thank you. And thank you to all of you who tweeted on my behalf.

In the end it was a brilliant concert. Darius Rucker was brilliant, he could release a greatest hits album already. Brad was good, he always is, and nice touch with ronnie wood turning up. Even if I couldn’t see the artists that money was spent on seeing, it made me remember why I love country music.
Thank you.

This is country music is still lyric of the week.

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