Luke Bryan has a very good VIP program. I was lucky enough to win a meet and great for the second time for the Syracuse, NY show. He is incredibly nice and it’s always a great experience to meet him in person. Like many country artists, Luke has a fan club entry to win his meet and greats. Luke has such a kind, humble, fun personality and truly makes each fan that he interacts with feel special.
I understand why a lot of country artists do this: accessible for all fans vs. only those who can afford it. That makes the process a great thing.
Entering the VIP: You sign in, receive a red bag and a 2-3 song acoustic set and some finger snacks. The VIP area is very intimate and Luke performs really well. He really is so laid back and fun in these performances.
Suggestions for his staff & CID Entertainment: I have been saying this one for a few years now number the wrist bands given out when you enter and possibly allow groups of 50 in at a time. But when it’s time to enter the acoustic tent area, make them line up in order by bracelet number. That will seriously cut down on the insane running, pushing, coming up from the back that occurs and keeps it fair, if you get there on time you go in first. Tim McGraw’s VIP staff does that and it works very well. It didn’t take much time at all to get everyone in number order. Plus who wants to have to run like crazy to get into an event when you were among the first 20 in line? One other suggestion would be to offer a limited # of VIP Meet & Greet tickets for purchase to compliment the fan club meet and greet contest. Keith Urban did that last tour and I believe sold 5 or 6 per show, we got the party, M&G and there was a roped off up front spot in the pit we were escorted into. I know a few friends of mine would love to meet Luke but, have not been lucky enough to win yet and with Luke’s ever growing popularity it will be harder.
Venue Comments: This was my first time attending an event at the Lakeview Amphitheater. I thought the venue itself was very nice. Getting in wasn’t bad, I had a family member drop us off. Getting out was miserable. 1st they need way more lighting, the ground is very uneven in spots and you couldn’t see where you were walking. We had heard it was fast to take the Centro buses downtown after. That didn’t work out to be a fast option because they did not have a bus only lane so the bus got stuck in all the traffic. They should have a car lane and a bus lane so the buses going downtown and to the parking lots could easily move in and out and be way more efficient. The prices were also outrageous compared to other venues I have attended. $7 for a soda/water, $15 for a drink. I am not sure if attending events at this venue will be top of my list to return to.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I wore my new Cold shoulder blouse from Bebe, you can get yours here!
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.