Don't Touch My (V.I.P.) Package

Poison should really include their old outfits in the VIP packages.

Since nobody makes money on CD sales anymore, bands have to come up with new and creative ways to keep raking in that revenue. The latest trend? Premium ticket packages.

So if you love Motley Crue so much that simply sitting in the front row doesn't cut it and you just can't live without a set of official Crue guitar picks ... well, it's a great time to be alive. Here are "highlights" of premium packages offered for some summer tours.

Top Ticket Price: $51
Package Price: $506
Best Extra: Poison bandana
Most Pointless Extra: A copy of the new Poision DVD
Others: "Velvet Rope" side stage seating during Poison's set; pre-show backstage tour; autographed photo of the band; T-shirt; laminate; set of guitar picks; $50 online voucher
Value Verdict: The bandana means that your "Rock of Love" reenactments will be that much more authoritative. But probably just as disgusting. There are a couple of cheaper packages, all of which include the bandana. But you have to fork over the big bucks for that "Velvet Rope" seating.

Return to Forever
Top Ticket Price: $125
Package Price: $419
Best Extra: Exclusive pre-show party
Most Pointless Extra: Pre-show access to merchandise booth
Others: Meet-and-greet with band members; guided tour of the stage area; access to the sound check; T-shirt; laminate; lanyard; $40 gift card to Return to Forever online store.
Value Verdict: That better be one kicking pre-show party, but one wonders just how much a bunch of middle-aged, jazz fusion guys like Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke are living it up. Maybe it's a diamond-encrusted lanyard?

Motley Crue
Top Ticket Price: $101
Package Price: $251
Best Extra: That set of guitar picks, duh
Most Pointless Extra: That set of guitar picks, duh
Others: Exclusive T-shirt; $25 online voucher
Value Verdict: They can't even throw in a copy of "The Dirt"? Or some of the "co-stars" of "The Dirt"?

Dream Theater
Top Ticket Price: $44
Package Price: $300
Best Extra: Personal photograph with the band
Most Pointless Extra: Early entry into the venue (15 minutes before regular door time)
Others: Q&A and autograph session; official laminate (I think the Laminators Union has a hand in all of these packages, honestly); bandana; guitar picks; $25 online voucher
Value Verdict: Dream Theater VIP Package - $300. Bragging to all of your co-workers at Guitar Center that you got to hang with John Petrucci (with accompanying photographic evidence) - priceless.

Tom Petty
Top Ticket Price: $131
Package Price: $291
Best Extra: "Runnin' Down a Dream" - the Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers coffee table book
Most Pointless Extra: $25 off any product from Tom Petty online store (only $5 until you can get that Petty Zippo!)
Others: Download of the Mudcrutch album; "exclusive, high quality" Tom Petty T-shirt
Value Verdict: Not too good. You don't even get to meet Benmont Tench.

Judas Priest
Top Ticket Price: $131
Package Price: $405
Best Extra: Private pre-show party including food, music and trivia
Most Pointless Extra: Judas Priest T-shirt
Others: Meet and greet with the band; personal photo; laminate/lanyard
Value Verdict: The T-shirt is a waste. Now, a leather vest emblazoned with the Priest logo would really be something.

By David Malitz |  May 20, 2008; 10:39 AM ET Ridiculousness , Ticket Madness
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Tori Amos did that on her tour last year as well. She had like silver and gold VIP packages. You got to get in early and watch the sound check and meet with her and get something signed and sit up front. I forget what the difference was in the Silver and gold.

I know it created some animosity in the fan community because it made it difficult to get up close tickets unless you were VIP and willing to shell out the big bucks.

I kind of like the idea but at the same time I don't think I'd actually ever pay that much and thus it annoys me that my chance of a super front seat is greatly reduced.

Posted by: Robbo | May 20, 2008 1:32 PM

I wonder if these musicians ever meet anyone these days who couldn't afford $300 for a VIP pass. I'm sure most of them were grounded in reality growing up, but probably not these days.

Posted by: SSMD | May 20, 2008 5:41 PM

I'm more annoyed that Ticketba...uhh, Master has started to take seats off of public sale and dump them straight into their own auction service. At least with the VIP thing you get something good for the extra money and most of it goes to the band rather than the people who seem to get a kick out of ripping us off.

Posted by: EricS | May 20, 2008 5:49 PM

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