ETS, the official tour and travel operator for the Vertigo Tour, is asking for fan input on the 2006 tour. ETS recognizes that U2 fans travel great distances to see the band, but ETS is wondering how far we will follow.
If you are planning or want to attend any of the shows on the 2006 tour (there will definitely be more dates announced!), please take a minute to read a letter from Don McVie, the president of ETS, about the 2006 tour and answer his questions.
I take the liberty of writing to you directly because we need your feedback and guidance as we consider the ETS travel package strategy for the next and possibly final leg of the amazing U2 Vertigo World Tour.
Most of you are already aware of the March dates in Australia and New Zealand. Depending on where you live, that is a long way to travel, but given the commitment level of U2 fans we know that many of you would like to be with them in places like Mexico, South America and Oceania. Our questions revolve around whether you might want to follow the Tour, what your preferences would be, and whether you support the idea that ETS should be there for you and for other fans outside of North America.
At ETS we believe that U2 fans are the greatest audience in the World. We believe that dedicated fans deserve fairly priced, reliable ticket and travel options from a trustworthy source everywhere U2 performs. This applies to both long haul travelers and to fans from the region where shows are performed. We do our best to ensure that the U2 Nite Outs are authentic and worthwhile convergence events – places where fans from around the world can meet up to collect their tickets and connect with other fans.
In North America, the ETS U2 crew handles every show. We put our own seasoned team in the field to ensure things go smoothly. We try to provide a system fans can trust, that is responsive to their needs and which is respectful towards them. For the European leg last summer we experimented by using a Europe-based tour operator to provide most travel arrangements and on-site coordination. Everyone managed to see the shows but we did get feedback suggesting that service standards were not consistent with our approach at home. That experience suggests that ETS should stay on the road, but this next leg will involve a big investment for ETS and the Tour. If this is to be a success, we are going to need guidance and support from the worldwide U2 fan community.
We urgently need your feedback so we can determine the best strategy for moving forward with Australia and the other countries where U2 will perform before the Vertigo Tour concludes. To that end, we have some questions around which we urgently need your input:
1. Would you seriously consider traveling to Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Brazil or Mexico to attend U2 concerts over the winter and next spring?
2. If you traveled to Australia, would you be planning to attend shows in just one city or would you attend multiple shows in various cities?
3. If ETS offers travel packages, would you be interested in flights? In hotel packages? In transportation between cities? Would you likely handle some arrangements such as the Nite Out and ticket through ETS and other elements on your own?
4. If you travel to these faraway places, would you prefer to have reserved seats in the stands or GA tickets on the stadium pitch?
5. If you have other friends around the world that would travel to see U2, would you recommend they go there with ETS? Do you have friends along the way who would join you at the ETS pre-concert event?
The Tour has asked us to provide clarity around the commitment level from the fan community to justify ETS holds for these new shows. We would like to believe that international fans value our role and wish it to continue. We ask for your feedback. We ask for your support. We need your comments right away so that appropriate ticket holds can be secured.
Thank you for making us a part of your U2 journey.