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Move Beyond:  Live on Tour

Move Beyond:  Live on Tour

Derek & Julianne Hough

May 2017

DPAC

Move Beyond

Entering the VIP:

This MOVE Beyond tour did not start off on the right foot… not the fault of Derek & Julianne’s but, I felt Faculty Tour company management should have emailed all the VIP’s.  We received an itinerary asking us to arrive between 3:30-4:30.  We arrive and are told oh sorry Derek & Julianne’s flight was delayed and the VIP was moved to after the show so we had to just sit around and kill 3 hours until the doors opened/4 hours until show time.  There is absolutely NO excuse for them not to have sent an email to all the VIP’s.  I drove an hour to get there so it would have made no sense to drive all the way home and turn around and fight rush hour coming back.

MOVE BeyondShow/VIP:  The show was great, filled with creativity, awesome dance #’s.  The VIP after the show was great as always with Derek & Julianne doing a Q&A for a good half hour or so, being very candid and showing off how down to earth they are.  After the Q&A we were escorted back for our photo opportunity.  They are both very nice and laid back.  After that it was time to go, it was long night.

MOVE Beyond VIPFinal Verdict: Derek & Julianne were awesome the tour company should have been a lot more considerate to the VIP’s and emailed us instead of expecting us to sit around for 3+ hours because the VIP was moved to after the show!

 

 

 

Fun concert wear!

Bebe:  http://www.bebe.com/

Nordstrom:  http://shop.nordstrom.com/

White House Black Market:  https://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/

http://www.coach.com/shop/women-wristlets

 

 

Until Next Time,

Xoxo

Heather

 

VIP Experience Blog

Bon Jovi This House is Not For Sale Tour 2017

Bon Jovi This House is Not For Sale Tour

March 2017-Los Angeles

The Forum

bon jovi

I love Bon Jovi’s VIP Tour staff.  I was so happy to see Alli & Lou were back with us the This House is Not For Sale tour and the addition of Christine was also great!  They are so kind and really want to ensure you have a great experience.

Entering the VIP: You sign in,  receive your VIP lament for the show, all the other merchandise was mailed to you with a very nice black leather bag this time, you also received a USB bracelet that you could download the live show of your choice, a set of guitar pics, signed lithograph, tour program for the Front Row “Knockout” package.  You also were able to take the tour chair home with you.  We needed to be checked in no later than 5:30 so you didn’t miss the backstage tour.

bon joviBackstage Tour:  We were taken down in groups to do the tour.  It’s a fun experience because you get to peak in JBJ’s quick change room, you might get a chance run in with Phil X or John Shanks even!  They allow you up on stage to take photos with the white mic stand, keyboards, drums etc.  After the tour you return to the party area where they have a cash bar and some snack type foods.

bon joviThe show is always a super fun high energy show.  Bon Jovi has been one of my favorite bands since I was 15 and it’s been fun watching them evolve over the years.  I love having Phil X and John Shanks on stage now they both add a new and different energy and dynamic to the band and Jon just seems so much more relaxed during this tour and truly seemed to be having a lot of fun!  There truly is nothing like a Bon Jovi concert and this show was no different with a great mix of the new and older music and JBJ even sang Always for us during the encore which was a great surprise!

bon joviVenue Comments:  My seat was ok but, I had a friend that also had a front row seat and she was so far down she wasn’t even in front of the stage. I would say don’t sell those as seats if they are going to be staring at a black curtain vs the band.

 

Final Verdict: Definitely recommend Bon Jovi’s VIP!

Fun concert wear!

Bebe:  http://www.bebe.com/

Nordstrom:  http://shop.nordstrom.com/

White House Black Market:  https://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/

Coach:  http://www.coach.com/shop/women-wristlets

 

 

 

Until Next Time,

Xoxo

Heather

VIP Experience Blog

Runaway Tours-Ft Lauderdale Feb 2017

Jon Bon Jovi February 2017-Ft Lauderdale

Runaway Tours Trip

This was my 21st Runaway Tours trip.  They have improved so much since my first one back in 2011. Back then you had to be in a big group photo with 8-10 other people you didn’t know.  Now you get a photo with JBJ based on how many are in your room, single, double and sometimes triple depending on the options they give you.  This trip included 2 nights hotel stay (there was also a no hotel option), a welcome party, bus to/from the venue, the show, a photo with JBJ & the band for this trip grouped by room, a great signed photo that I will treasure and a small zip up bag with the Runaway Tours logo on it.

We checked into the hotel and got ready for the Q&A as that was the first event up for this trip.  We knew the Q&A would be with the band this time but, we were all surprised and excited when Phil X walked in, he took Tico’s place so we had David Bryan, Phil X and JBJ for this event.  It was a fun dynamic and a lot of great questions.

After the Q&A we all lined up for our photos.  It was another nice but, quick photo opportunity and then we were told there was about an hour before the party room would open.  Not sure in this case if that was planned or maybe the Q&A went shorter than they had originally planned or what.  A few of us left the hotel and went to find some dinner.  I was pretty tired after returning from dinner but I did swing by the party for a bit to see friends.   This trip had a really good group of people on it which I thought made it a lot of fun.

This trip was different because it was occurring during the tour so instead of the acoustic show you were able to attend a full Bon Jovi Concert which is always amazing.  In the interest of full disclosure I always upgrade my seats because the seats Runaway is given just are not where I prefer to sit at a concert.  This tour in both Ft Lauderdale and LA they were in the first few rows of the section full floor section.  However this is why I prefer to do Runaway Tours when they are on tour so I can guarantee I will be thrilled with where I am sitting.

I upgraded the front row experience for this show.  Due to the fact we had a package and had to arrive earlier than the buses were leaving a bunch of us that upgraded car pooled to the venue with a local friend.  More on the experience in a future blog.  After the show the buses were easy to find and we jumped on and got back to the hotel pretty quickly.

If you are interested in trying a Runaway Experience:   http://www.runawaytours.com/

One suggestion I would love to see implemented for tour travel companies is a loyalty program.  Wouldn’t it be so cool to say after you have done 25 trips you get something like a meet and greet or x period of time with JBJ, at 50 trips you get xyz.  That would make people really want to go on a lot of trips to achieve that status/rewards.  Very similar to how cruise lines, airlines have reward programs and how Aerosmith does their concert tickets.   Similar to the Keith Urban 100 club concept which I will also cover in a future blog.

I would also love to see a return of a group tour of the city or an activity in the city we are in.  It’s very hard for those that are new and those events used to be such a great bonding time.

Fun concert wear!

Bebe:  http://www.bebe.com/

Nordstrom:  http://shop.nordstrom.com/

White House Black Market:  https://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/

Coach:  http://www.coach.com/shop/women-wristlets

Until next time,

Xoxo

Heather

VIP Experience Blog

Sandra: Guest Blog DWTS Tour VIP Experience

 

Guest Blogger:  Sandra Chen!

(Sandra is one of the best assistants I could have ever asked to have on this blog journey and I was thrilled to share this experience with her…HD)

Hi guys! So happy to be featured in this guest blog by Heather, it’s amazing and such a pleasure! I’m going to be telling you all about my amazing experience doing the DWTS We Came To Dance Tour VIP. First of all, I have to thank Heather again for this opportunity to meet my favorite dancers and watch an incredible show up so close. It was the best time of my life, and I loved every second of it. Forever grateful for that experience and to have met the wonderful person that’s Heather.

Wow, I don’t even know where to begin! I was so nervous all morning because I never done this before and meeting 4 of them all at once was just so nerve-wracking! When we had checked in, I got more excited than nervous though especially after receiving my cute tote bag and the gifts in it. Also getting that VIP lanyard just made me so happy, I still keep it in my room where I can see it every day to remind me of the best day ever. So my meet and greet was with Sharna, Val, Artem, and Laurie! I was glad that Heather went before me because she was so sweet to let them know I was coming in next and that it was my first time doing m&g! Laurie peaked to see who was next and saw me, and gave me such a big hug, she’s adorable. Heather was still in there talking to the others, but I was on the side chatting with Laurie! I got to tell her about my gift and she thanked me for that, and also remembered meeting me from the GMA cast reveal. I know m&g is super fast, so I’m glad I got to have a little conversation with Laurie before the pictures. I went down the line hugging everyone, and wow they give the biggest and best hugs. I was so speechless so I just kept saying thank you and it was nice seeing them. Then I requested to get the picture of Sharna and I hugging, and she was so sweet about it and said of course. Laurie & Val ended up hugging each other, and I wish Artem joined me & Sharna but I didn’t want to take up too much time and totally got nervous to tell him to join. They were all so humble and kind, I really appreciated it and definitely loved how my pics turned out! I also thought I had to go around to exit but Artem led me out through the curtains and held it for me, such a gentleman. That part of VIP was amazing, I couldn’t stop smiling!

Afterwards, it was time for the mingle with Hayley & Lindsay! So glad they added this to the VIPs because it gives you so much time to be able to really chat with them and take individual pictures. I was beyond happy that Hayley was in my mingle because I really wanted her there. I got to talk to her multiple times and take pics with her, and sometimes we’d just go back if nobody was talking to her. One of my favorite moments talking to Hayley was telling her about me and Erica’s name in the jive she does, and her laugh is the cutest thing. She really made this VIP experience so special. Lindsay was super sweet to meet again, and when she was leaving she even helped give my gift to Laurie. I loved how interactive they were with fans! Both the m&g and mingle was absolutely perfect, even better than I expected. Moments I’ll treasure forever!

 

We got to sit in the second row right in the middle, and I had such a perfect view. It was unbelievable how close I was, and the whole show there was so much contact made between me and the dancers. You can also hear things they say when you’re so close up, and it was just wonderful. The show was absolutely perfect, everything to the costumes, dances, voiceovers, made this show incredible and really made me connect with them more. My first VIP experience was just indescribable and made me so happy, I smile just thinking about it. Thank you once again to Heather, the whole cast, and friends who experienced this with me. If you can, definitely get VIP or just general tickets to the show because wherever you sit, it’ll be an amazing time for you. January 21st, 2017 is a day I’ll remember always! XO -Sandra

 

Questions/Answers: 

1.) What was your favorite dance and why?

This is a hard one because every single dance was amazing to me and special in their own way. I have to say Hayley & Val’s contemporary piece was just stunning, made me absolutely speechless and the emotions put into this piece really touched me. Jenna & Artem’s contemporary was also so beautiful, I really enjoyed watching that and even teared up a little. A favorite group dance of mine was definitely the choreography piece because of the amazing voiceovers they did which really connects to the passion/love they show on stage when they dance.

2.) What was your favorite part of your first VIP experience?

The mingle for me was definitely a highlight of my experience, it was just so nice to have time to be able to talk to them, thank them, laugh, and take pictures! 

3.) What if anything surprised you about the VIP experience?

More unexpected than surprised, but I didn’t think the whole m&g/mingle was going to be as long as it did. I thought both would be very quick and you’d be done, but it wasn’t and that made me really happy. Also I knew we were in second row, but did not expect to be SO close to stage… it was amazing! 

XO

Sandra

 

 

VIP Experience Blog

DWTS VIP We Came To Dance Tour 2016-17

DWTS VIP We Came To Dance Tour 2016-17

#dwtstour

I’ve had the pleasure of being a VIP for the last four Dancing with the Stars tours. From the first tour I participated in the VIP to this year’s tour I must say: It’s like night and day!  They have improved them tremendously every year!  So let’s talk about the details of the VIP!

Pre-Show: For my 1st show in San Jose I had the Front Row Meet & Mingle VIP Package.  We received our pre-show email about 3-5 days ahead from VIP Nation.  For our show we had to arrive between 5-6 pm (Note this varies city to city so ALWAYS review your itinerary).  There is no reason to line up an hour early or anything.  They have a very organized process to get everyone in.  The email also contains where the VIP check in table is, the link to where to find your photos and password.

We Came to DanceVIP Shout Out!  I was thrilled to see that we have one of VIP Nation’s best hosts Anthony Jones for this tour!  He also did the Maks & Val Tour this summer.  He is not only a really nice guy, he gets it and works to post pictures as quick as he can (remember we all have to be patient), he checks the photos after he takes them and truly cares about the customers.  High-five Anthony when you see him in your city because he really is a rock star for the fan experiences!

Entering VIP:   We arrived about 15 min before check in and just waited outside the doors.  Right on time the doors were opened, they did the usual security checks at the door and then you went to the sign in table.  It took maybe 5 minutes to get checked in.  For this venue we didn’t know what seats we would be in until we picked up our envelope.  I was thrilled with the seats we had!  They are distributed in the order you purchase the tickets.  We also picked up our 1 drink ticket, the tote bag for this package included an umbrella, blanket, signed tour program (Note it’s different for each pkg).  When you check in you are given a laminate with a letter on the back and that is the order they call you for your pictures so there is not one giant line and everyone can enjoy the party until it’s their turn.  One other detail note that was different than past tours but, I am not sure if this was venue related or how it will be on the entire tour but, they took ALL gifts as you were checking in.  They said it’s because they had to check them before giving them to the dancers.  I understand both sides if it’s for dancer security by all means but, there were a lot of disappointed people so just expect that going in so you are not bummed out.

Now on to the good stuff!  After check in we were directed upstairs.  For this venue the layout was a bit odd compared to other venues I have been to but, they have to work with the space the building offers.  We didn’t wait very long at all when they started telling Group A to line up.  A few minutes later we saw Keo and Alan coming our way, it was their turn to do the Meet & Mingle!  It appears that it’s all rotating like last tour (2 in the Meet & Mingle and 4 in the photos with Val & Laurie being consistent ).   To give you an idea for our cast photo we had Val, Laurie, Sharna & Gleb.  I will update this after each show to give you all an idea:

DWTS Tour Cast Meet & Greet

The photos were wonderful as always, it was my first time meeting Laurie & Gleb and it was so fantastic to see Val & Sharna.  Anthony takes great care in taking the photos for us.  The staff is also very kind, nobody is yelling at you it’s a pleasant experience.  You do have to leave your purse, bags and anything else on you at the table and you cannot ask for autographs etc. at the cast photo portion.   This year too it was one professional photo taken by Anthony, no selfie options in the main photo.  You could however do selfies with the dancers in the Meet & Mingle.  The green screen operator for this city wasn’t the best at taking the shots and they were having issues with the Wi-Fi not being fast enough so the green screen pictures were very hit or miss on if you got them in your email.  However, Anthony with VIP Nation being the rock star host that he is, is already on it for us!  I noticed today in the photos link there is one for the Meet & Greet pictures and then one for the Photo booth.  That was smart thinking to just upload them all vs having issues city to city with Wi-Fi.  After the photos were done and the dancers all left to get ready for the show you could go to the merchandise stand and do some crowd free shopping which was also nice.

Please note on the pics:  the itinerary says up within to 2 weeks.  I know it’s super hard to be patient but, I know Anthony will post as quickly as he can.  He is one of the best in speed to get them posted.

 

 

 

 

Show time!  I am going to do a separate blog on the actual show after my next one in January.   I also do not want to spoil anything for those that haven’t seen it yet.  I will say this for now.  It is AMAZING and you should be very excited and counting down the days until you go!  It’s the best tour they have done to date.  It’s formatted a bit like the Maks & Val Tour whereas it tells a story in many segments which I loved.  It allows you to get to know the dancers better by hearing their individual stories.  It’s also very fast paced but, I loved the pace of the show this time.  You were on the edge of your seats the entire show wondering what was going to happen next.  The other difference from the past tour is there was no audience engagement like the kick off of the last tour and they don’t bring anyone on stage.

You will get to see a few of the best dances of our Mirrorball Champions Val & Laurie and a few other truly amazing performances by the cast from this season.  However, my lips are sealed on more details for now so you can be surprised and enjoy the shows in your city.

Bravo & Thank you:  VIP Nation you always put together fantastic unique experiences and it doesn’t go unnoticed! Thank you again for putting Anthony on this tour!  Mandy Moore, Supervising Choreographer Amy Tinkham, Creative Director and Guy Phillips, Executive Producer truly put together an amazing show that I think every fan should be sure they have a ticket for! The creative genius is obvious at every moment in the show.  The vision and layout for this tour is truly worth 10 Stars!  The crew and all the other behind the scenes individuals also deserve a shout out!  The Dancers (Val, Laurie, Sharna, Gleb, Artem, Lindsay, Keo,  Emma, Jenna, Hayley & Alan all truly leave it on the floor each night.  It’s emotional, it’s passionate, it’s raw, it’s FUN, it’s full of energy and I am so excited I will get to see this tour multiple times and have a new take away each night!

 

If you don’t have a ticket…Buy one today and if you are able to do VIP it’s worth the investment for this experience they have many different levels and price points too!  Here’s the link for tickets/VIP package! http://www.dwtstour.com/#tour

Want to see more photos?  For many more pictures from the tour, past tours please follow me on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook @lightscmemories!  If you have any questions that I can help with please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Until next time,

XOXO

Heather

Note:  I have been asked what I was wearing in the pics I posted.  Check out www.bebe.com for fun tops like the one I was wearing!

 

VIP Experience Blog

Luke Bryan Epic Performance/Coastal Credit Union Music Park Live Nation Epic Fail

Luke came to Raleigh for back to back shows this weekend, I went last year and had so much fun I just had to do both shows again this year!  Luke never disappoints.

I did VIP for the Friday night show and then purchased a regular ticket for the Saturday night show.  Saturday was an epic fail on the part of Coast Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek which is a Live Nation Venue.

Friday Night: 

VIP package Amphitheatre shows:

  • One (1) premium reserved ticket in the first 20 rows or one (1) general admission pit ticket*
  • Invitation to “Luke’s Lounge” before the show with cash bar**
  • Two song acoustic pre-show performance by Luke Bryan***
  • One (1) exclusive Luke Bryan merchandise gift
  • One (1) commemorative laminate
  • On-site concert concierge

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Due to an accident on the highway I ended up arriving a bit late but, I did find out that CID Entertainment still is using the way they did last year’s so it’s a free or all to get in to the tent and get a good spot.  I truly wish they would change to a system others use and hand out #’d bracelets and then make everyone line up outside the tent by number.  That is the only fair way to do it otherwise you have sprinters getting by you, line skippers etc. and it’s absolutely not fair.  You should enter in the order you check in and a simple cheap hand numbered bracelet would make it fair and organized.  Tim McGraw, Steven Tyler etc. all use that and it works!  Since I arrived late I didn’t get a good spot in the tent at all.  Luke however never disappoints with his special acoustic sets.  He always shows such fun personality and provides great performances.  I also need to shout out to Jonathan from CID Entertainment.  He was very nice and personable and walked around to be sure everyone was having a good time.

 

After the set I headed to my seats to see the mess that was made by not following the seating that was sold to us at the point of purchase. I ended up with what was supposed to be a 3rd row seat in Section 2 (Center Section) when the tickets were purchased Section 2 Row G was actually front row with the Grey stage in front of it and then the pit on either side.  And Row J was 3rd row.  Since the venue was not set up the way they sold the tickets it was more like row 7 or 8 which was disappointing. I also had the person behind me steal my cup (VIP giveaway) out from under the seat.

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Luke truly brought the FUN tonight and we had a good ole Hurricane party!  Luke is by far one of the absolute best live performers out there and truly deserves that Entertainer of the Year the title.  He is even more engaging and fun than others that have held the title before him.  He played all of his hits and made everyone forget about the rain and wind happening around us.  He’s captivating and just full of energy from start to finish.  Dustin Lynch and Little Big Town were also absolutely amazing opening performers as well.

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Saturday Night:

I ran into Jonathan from CID Entertainment when I was waiting for my Dustin Lynch meet & greet and he said he would run me down a new cup to replace my stolen one from the night before.  I think he got busy though unfortunately so I still don’t have the cup.  Hoping CID Entertainment will mail me one.  I also let him know about the seating issue.

Dustin Lynch is a complete sweetheart.  It was so nice to meet him and I will say the photos were posted quickly.  Only disappointment was mine was the only one that fuzzy/blurry which is why there should always be 2 photos taken at a Meet & Greet.

Dustin for blog

Now after seeing the seating issue on Friday night, I started calling Live Nation, and the venue early Saturday in hopes that they would correct the layout and in turn give us what we were sold.  I got absolutely no where other than being passed around, everyone pointing the fingers at each other and nobody wanting to do anything.  You cannot sell a front row ticket which clearly showed on a map a grey stage in front and the pit on the right and left and then turn around and change it, not notify the customers and then do absolutely nothing about it.  The best one was when they tried telling me it was that way last year too and I was like no it wasn’t I was at both shows and was in the left pit both times.  I would have bought pit if I knew they were not going to arrange it as sold and it would have saved me money.  It’s unacceptable on so many levels.  Every single person in the front row with me was furious because we ALL purchased the tickets seeing the same map.  However Live Nation had conveniently changed it Friday night after the show.  They tried blaming Luke Bryan and team which I thought was crazy.  Most artists and especially country artists do not seek to truly screw fans or sell tickets under false pretenses.  I called Live Nation and they said the venue said the seating chart did not change there was always a pit, I said yes there was a pit on the left and right of the stage but, not in front of Section 2, they said there is nothing we can do call the venue.  I called the venue, they admitted the seating had changed but, said I would have to speak to the Box Office Manager.  I left my number and never received a return call.  It’s unprofessional, shady sales, it’s a major disappointment to the fans, its false advertising and to all of us that got screwed over its theft in a way.  It’s like we went to a car dealership and bought a BMW and then we arrived and they sent us home with a bicycle. The tickets were purchased in April with the stage in grey in front of Section 2, Row G and as recent as the last time we checked it on Thursday it was still a grey stage in front of us.  They should have done something.  A:  Fixed it between Friday and Saturday’s shows.  B:  Communicated to those that got screwed over.  C:  Offered something in the form of compensation for what happened.  We all paid a premium for those front row seats and had people that had pd ½ of that now standing in front of us. I have lost all faith in Live Nation and Coastal Credit Union Music Park.  I was beyond disappointed as were all of the rest of us in the same situation that night.  Even two reps from CID Entertainment told us that the layout did not match the map at the point of sale.

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Luke’s performance was fantastic but, it was just disappointing not to have been front row.  We were dodging tall men all night just to see.

However, I think everyone should go see Luke Bryan, Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch in concert.  They are all absolutely fabulous performers and just bring the FUN to the stage in every way and give 200% of themselves out there.

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Hopefully Luke will be back next year and hopefully the venue will do something to make up for what they did this year.  I know many of us are going to be sure we keep this information out there so that Luke’s team is aware of what the venue did in this case to his fans.

I did also share with Jonathan at CID Entertainment my suggestion for Luke’s Fan Club.  I think it’s awesome they do the Meet and Greet Giveaways at each show but, I wish they would improve their entry process so you would receive an email saying your entry was received, good luck or something.  Dustin’s fan club does that and at least you know your entry was confirmed.

Concert Wear:

I wore my new Cold shoulder blouse from Bebe, you can get yours here!

http://www.bebe.com/Tops/Blouses-Shirts/Keyhole-Cold-Shoulder-Top/pc/184/c/0/sc/215/114454.pro?selectedColor=pcl

I also used my Coach Wristlet and cross body that I was given as gifts from friends for my birthday.  They were perfect!  The wristlet held my car key, ID, money and credit card and the cross body fit the wristlet, camera and lip gloss with room left over but, it was nice not to have to carry around a bulky purse with me.

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http://www.coach.com/shop/women-wristlets

http://www.coach.com/north/south-swingpack-in-embossed-textured-leather/52348.html?dwvar_color=SV%2FTU

 

Until next time,

Xoxo

Heather

VIP Experience Blog

Steven Tyler Out on a Limb VIP Experience Atlanta 2016

Steven Tyler Out on a Limb VIP Experience Atlanta 2016

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Where to begin on Mr. Steven Tyler!  He is simply one of the kindest, more engaging down to earth rock stars I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  This was my 6th time meeting Steven over the years and he never ever disappoints.

I got the 2nd tier VIP Package which included:

MEET & GREET PACKAGE Includes: 
– One (1) premium ticket
– Priority check-in and entrance
– Meet & Greet with Steven Tyler
– Photo opportunity with Steven Tyler
– Access to the pre-show reception which includes specially selected appetizer along with complimentary wine, beer, and soft drinks
– Merchandise item designed and created exclusively for package purchasers
– Collectible laminate to remember your evening
– Onsite check-in staff

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We had a 2nd row dead center seat for the show which is why I went with the 2nd tier package vs the front row to save about $200 knowing these were very small venues 2nd row was great!

This is a solo tour Steven and the band Loving Mary did to promote his country album.  This was the 3rd time I have seen Steven perform with Loving Mary and they are also absolutely fantastic and you could tell Steven truly was having a really fun time each night performing with them.

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We received our check in info a few days prior which is always great so you can plan what time you need to arrive etc.  We had to arrive at 4:00 this time.  I thought the venue staff could have been a bit nicer at the Cobb Energy Center.  I had a man trying to tell me I had to check my point and shoot camera which I later had corrected and was allowed to take it in and then we waited in an organized fashion by numbered bracelets in a nice climate controlled area.  The staff came out and very kindly went over the rules with us and told us how we would receive our photos.  So far this is the only negative, we still don’t have our photos and it’s been 4 days yet it is a holiday weekend so hopefully by tomorrow.  Update:  Photos came out 5 days after this show.

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When we entered the room we did photos with Steven first.  It was in a nice private box area which is LOVE when artists do that.  He was giving each person at least 1 minute of his time as I timed a few which truly sets Steven apart from others.  You were greeted very nicely by his VIP staff and they asked your name as you entered and Steven would then say hello Heather how are you today, he always gives you a huge 14237686_10154052748678978_9111808101970890523_nhug and kiss and we would chat for a bit and he truly makes you feel like you are the most special person in that min.   In my opinion he then gets back the mutual respect of each person and you rarely if ever seen him groped in photo and if he’s hugging you or kissing you it’s because that is what he wanted to do.  It’s nice to have relaxed experiences and be able to say what you want to say.  The photographer then would count down 4, 3, 2, and 1 so you were ready for the photo which again gets an A+ in my book.

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After the photo then we had a few drinks, some snacks and then had to go back out and through security again.  This was also not a great thing in my opinion, we had all already been checked but, perhaps there was no other entrance into the venue.

The show was absolutely fantastic.  Steven takes that stage with such ownership, charisma and man does he blow the roof off the venues.  He played a perfect mix of Aerosmith and singles from his Country record.  He is one of the rock legends that every fan of rock music should be sure to see just once.  However once you see him once you will be forever hooked.

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My opinion is I did much prefer the meet and greets with Steven’s solo shows.  It’s not that I don’t think Joe Perry is a great guitar player and member of Aerosmith I just think Joe doesn’t care for the meet and greets and it really takes away from these truly special interactions that Steven provides.

Also wanted to give a shout out to the On-Site VIP staff Tanya, she is very good at her job, treats everyone with professionalism and kindness!

Concert Wear:

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I did wear my favorite off the shoulder Bebe top and black dress pants:

To order yours go to:   (STYLE # 266813):  http://www.bebe.com/

Or they have a new one for Fall that comes in a Purple and black:  http://www.bebe.com/Tops/Blouses-Shirts/Keyhole-Cold-Shoulder-Top/pc/184/c/0/sc/215/114454.pro?selectedColor=pcl

I also used my Coach Wristlet and cross body that I was given as gifts from friends for my birthday.  They were perfect!  The wristlet held my car key, ID, money and credit card and the cross body fit the wristlet, camera and lip gloss with room left over but, it was nice not to have to carry around a bulky purse with me.

http://www.coach.com/shop/women-wristlets

http://www.coach.com/north/south-swingpack-in-embossed-textured-leather/52348.html?dwvar_color=SV%2FTU

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Until next time,

Xoxo

Heather

VIP Experience Blog

Keith Urban: Raleigh, NC

Keith Urban:  Once in a Lifetime Package

#keithurban

0B_ZJ6m4I was so excited when I saw that Keith Urban was going to offer VIP packages with his ripCord Tour.  The Once in a Lifetime package option allowed you to get an individual photo with Keith!  Prior to this you had to win a fan club contest giveaway to meet Keith and I was never fortunate enough to win.  I have met Keith at CMA fest though the last two years and he has always impressed me.  He has no ego, a genuine kindness, he’s a sweet man and truly one of the best at fan interaction.IMG_4961 (2)

It looks like they sold 6 of these packages per show which was great because it was a nice small group.  You had to arrive at check in between 5:15-6 pm, you received your bag of special items to go with the package.  I included a photo of what you received from merchandise discounts at the show or online, a blanket, license plate holder, temporary tattoo, special light up VIP lanyard, hat etc.  After check in you were taken back to an air conditioned tent and I don’t think there was more than 75-100 people in there including those packages like mine, radio station winners, CISCO staff (they sponsored the party) and then the fan club photo winners.  They had food, water and soda for us.  Keith’s staff handled everything very organized.  They brought everyone back for photos in small groups based on the type of pass you had.  The photo interaction was private which I loved although a bit fast however still not a photo assembly line.  You could enter the room and Keith gives you a huge hug, asks your name etc.  I hope the photos will be posted quickly.  . Hu5LHP6q

After the photos Keith came in and sang one song by request and answered a little over a handful of questions.  What I loved about that is it was intimate and everyone was told and everyone respected the no cell phones, cameras or recording and it was great.  It was a nice intimate and engaged interaction.  After that we were taken down to the pit.   cu0VTKzn

 

 

The show was absolutely fantastic.  Maren Morris, Brett Eldredge opened and they both were absolutely wonderful!  Keith and his band hit the stage with such energy!  The show was absolutely awesome, I love how Keith will spotlight members of his band during the show and allow them to sing individually as well.  Keith is such an engaging performer, he sang many of his hits, songs off the new album and if we had been inside he would have blown the roof off the venue!  Every time I have seen him perform he brings 200%, if you have never seen him perform…GO buy your tickets now!

gSHwZY6zI love how Keith uses social media.  After every show he will tweet photos and does a short video on IG or Twitter thanking the fans from that city, sharing his thoughts from the evening etc.  It’s just a special thing he makes a point of doing and that 1-2 minutes is appreciated by fans.

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The venue:  Coastal Credit Music Park in Raleigh was good, the security and staff are all very nice.  Last summer I would have given them 5 stars for the ease in getting out after the show.  Last night I would give them a fail on that.  It took over 45 minutes to get out after the show vs the 15 minutes max it took last year for all the events I attended.

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Concert Wear!

I love wearing my J Crew tee’s to shows!  They are lightweight and come in fun colors!  https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/Tshirtsandtanktops/shortsleevetshirts/PRDOVR~A6166/A6166.jsp

IMG_4829 (2)I also used my Coach Wristlet and cross body that I was given as gifts from friends for my birthday.  They were perfect!  The wristlet held my car key, ID, money and credit card and the cross body fit the wristlet, camera and lip gloss with room left over but, it was nice not to have to carry around a bulky purse with me.

http://www.coach.com/shop/women-wristlets

http://www.coach.com/north/south-swingpack-in-embossed-textured-leather/52348.html?dwvar_color=SV%2FTU

 

Until next time,

 

Xoxo

Heather

VIP Experience Blog

Maks & Val Tour 2016: The VIP Experience

#maksandvaltour

#vipnation

As I suspected when I first heard about this tour the Maks & Val Tour VIP Experience is truly special.  Many other artists could learn a thing or two from them and how to make a fan’s experience one they will never forget.

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This article is on the Ultimate Package which included:

  • One premium reserved ticket in the front row – sit front and center!
  • Twenty minute backstage Meet & Greet with Maks and Val in their dressing room
  • Backstage toast with Maks and Val in their dressing room, including your own Our Way champagne flute to take homeFullSizeRender-3 (2)
  • Intimate Photo Op with Maks and Val in their dressing room taken with a professional camera

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  • Custom 5×7 Our Way  leather picture frame with your printed and signed Meet & Greet photo delivered to your seat
  • Access to pre-show VIP Party, including:
  • Green screen photo booth to capture additional photos of yourself at the VIP Party13697139_10153916311633978_1548412270020562681_n
  • One (1) drink ticket for the pre-show lounge (beer, wine, soft drinks)
  • Ultimate VIP Meet & Greet laminate
  • Autographed Tour Program with personalized dedication signed in front of you
  • Exclusive Maks and Val gift item
  • Pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity
  • On-site VIP host & ticket pick-up

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If you want to see the breakdown of the various packages which were at various price points please see the pre-tour blog I did:

http://lightscmemories.com/vip/maks-val-chmerkovskiys-way-summer-tour-2016-maksandval-ourwaytour/

 

Right away it started off good, I received my instructional email about 5 days ahead of the show and we have to arrive 3 hours ahead for both of the shows I attended.  It was very detailed and included all the important details.  I appreciated that because it showed they were respecting your time, some VIP events you have to get there 4-5 hours ahead and you stand and wait.  Maks, Val & VIP Nation did this right!

Upon arrival the process was very organized, you sign in,  get the appropriate package and laminate and you were directed to the VIP party area.  Once everyone was checked in I was thrilled to see everything started happening and there was not a lot of standind around and waiting.  They also gave very clear directions and specifically said to pleasae not bring your cell phones into the area and ask for selfies that a professional photo would be taken.  The guys came in 15 minutes later and headed to the designated photo box after waving hello.  This automatically got a thumbs up from me.  I loIMG_4286ved that they had a nice private area so you didn’t have 200+ people all staring at you while you had your photo/meet & greet.  While you were waiting you could get your photo taken on the green screen which was nice to have for the memory.

 

Once it was your turn you entered the photo box, had your special moment with them and then Anthony would take your photo.  I know I am always saying it but, they are truly the absolute kindest, sweetest, talented and most humble men.  They put in the effort to make each fans experience special and they do not rush it.  It’s not a photo assembly line type of event it’s a genuine interaction.  This is something all the VIP packages were able to do which is great!  After the guys completed the photos they stepped out, thanked everyone for coming and said they truly hoped everyone enjoyed the show.

 

After tIMG_4288he photos were done you could take advantage of the crowd free merchandise shopping or just hang out at the party.  If you had the ultimate package you were escorted by the VIP host & security down to Maks & Val’s dressing room.  This was such a small intimate group which makes it truly special.  You enter the room, sit down, receive your champagne flute and just sit and visit with Maks & Val for 20 minutes.  I seriously cannot say enough of the experience and the fact they would provide individuals with this type of access.  They genuinely waIMG_4287nt to get to know their fans and it shows in all that they do.  While you are in the room they autograph the tour program for you and the special frame that you get with this package.  After the time is up the VIP host takes another photo of you and the guys and that gets printed and delivered to you in the frame at the intermission of the show.

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On that subject I have to give a huge shout out to the VIP Host:  Anthony Jones.  He is very nice and he gets all the photos posted very quickly which is what I define as WOW customer service. He is great about answering questions, making sure announcements are made and treats everyone with kindness and respect.

As far as the show itself I literally cannot say enough good about this tour, how it was put together,  the amazing staff/tour family and you are left wishing it wasn’t over.  To read my thoughts on the show you can go to this link:  http://lightscmemories.com/entertainment-blog/maks-val-way-live-tour-2016/

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Final thoughts are…this is how a tour and VIP program should run.  Your time is respected, you are treated with kindness & respect and you receive a genuine interaction and in the ultimate package a chance to really sit down and get to know Maks & Val.  You absolutely receive value for your hard earned dollars that you spend for the experience.

For my looks please check out:  http://shop.nordstrom.com/

I always bring my Coach Cross body or wristlets:  http://coach.com

Until next time,

Xoxo

Heather

VIP Experience Blog

Steven Tyler Janie’s Got a Fund NYC 5/2/16

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I have been fortunate to witness some Master Classes by a few legends over the years.  One day I will do a retro blog on the Jon Bon Jovi master class in Sydney.  Tonight, I witnessed a master class by a true legend, Steven Tyler.  I still have goosebumps from the performance that Steven did for Janie’s Fund.

Tonight was breathtakingly amazing!   Steven Tyler you are such a special man and what you are doing with Janie’s Fund is a true blessing and will leave a positive impact on the world!  You are beyond warm to everyone you meet, you make everyone feel incredibly special and I am honored to call myself your fan.  You create value in your experiences and it does not go unrecognized that you take the time to make eye contact, to say hello, to ask our names and you make a positive impact on those you meet.

Steven Tyler launched Janie’s Fund in November 2015.  The Mission per the website: http://www.janiesfund.org/

The Mission

Janie’s Fund is dedicated to providing resources to help put the pieces back together again for abused girls. Each year in our country, more than 68,000 children are raped or sexually abused. The number of girls experiencing this devastating trauma before the age of 18 is a staggering 1 in 5. This MUST change.

Janie’s Fund was created with two important goals in mind:

  1. Bring much-needed awareness to the issue of abuse and neglect of children in our country. We’d like to create an army of voices for this important issue that often gets overlooked and is hard for people to talk about. It’s far too often considered a taboo subject.
  2. Generate much-needed financial support to ensure that girls receive the most effective support available to help them overcome the trauma and pain of abuse.

The event was organized, they provided you with fantastic value for your dollar.  The aSteven auctionppetizers they offered were very good, the auction items were a wide range of items from donations from friends of Steven’s up to rare items from Steven himself including a stay at his home in Hawaii, concert attire he has worn over the years, paintings/photos autographed, the skittles microphone stand from the commercial and more.  Our gift bags were really nice too!  Everyone from the staff at Janie’s Fund, Twisted J Apparel, Youth Villages etc you did a fantastic job!

The photo and meet and greet was faster than past m&g’s I have done with Steven but, he was still very sweet, engaging and very kind.  I will say as a note for next time,  at an event like this it would have been great to have a min or two to say a few words when you were donating to such a special cause.  So many have been impacted by abuse or would have to loved to share why this cause is also near and dear to their heart.   They took several photos some with the mic stand, some without.  I am really hoping they post all of them so we can download the ones we love.  With any luck we will get a link in the next day or so as I know so many are looking forward to seeing them.

I do wish Steven had been able to mingle at the cocktail party.  It’s truly unfortunate that people cannot give artists space because you are not only ruining it for yourself but, others.

The performance part of the evening was pure magic.  It was one of those special nights that you were extremely honored to be there.  Steven’s voice was amazing, he clearly was having a lot of fun with Loving Mary and you can tell he is giving his whole heart to this mission.

I will apologize where a few videos have movement or a lot of cussing in the background, we had a very intoxicated man two down frIMG_1922om me that was a bit of a disruption.  I will post pictures over the next few weeks on my Instagram/Twitter:  @lightscmemories and on FB: https://www.facebook.com/lightscmemories/ and would so appreciate a follow/like on the pages.

#steventyler

#JaniesGotAFund

 

Videos: 

Janie’s Got a Gun:

I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing:

Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart:

Steven Explaining Why he started Janie’s Fund:

Come Together:

Jaded:

Love in an Elevator:

Love is Your Name:

Steven Speaking to the crowd Part I:

Steven Speaking at the Janie’s Fund Event Part II:

Sweet Emotion:

Snippet Home Tonight & Full Dream On:

 

Steven just announced today that he will be doing a series of solo shows with Loving Mary this summer!  More info here:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2016/05/03/steven-tyler-out-on-a-limb-tour/83703830/

JULY

2 — Las Vegas, Venetian Theatre

5 — Los Angeles, Dolby Theatre

8 — Seattle, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

10 — Vancouver, Orpheum Theatre

14 — San Francisco, The Masonic

20 — Phoenix, Comerica Theatre

23 — Denver, Ellie Caulkins Opera House

26 — Austin, Bass Concert Hall

29 — Houston, Brown Theater at Wortham Center

AUGUST

1 — Dallas, Music Hall at Fair Park

13 — Chicago, Chicago Theatre

17 — Nashville, Andrew Jackson Hall at TPAC

23 — Washington, D.C., Warner Theatre

29 — Clearwater, Fla., Ruth Eckerd Hall

SEPTEMBER

1 — Atlanta, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center

4 — Boston, Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre

7 — Philadelphia, Academy of Music

10 — Providence, R.I., Providence Performing Arts Center

13 — Toronto, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

I would tell my friends to all go to one of Steven’s shows.  If they have the meet and greet options it is worth the money.  If you have never seen Steven in concert he is one you don’t want to miss!

Until next time!

xoxo

Heather