The Adventures in Wonderland fiasco of 2013 AKA The Ultimate Greed of 30 Seconds to Mars

During the Q&A of Artifact at the Toronto Film Festival, Jared said ” We’re not anti corporation, we’re not anti company. We’re anti-greed”

Well with the new Adventures In Wonderland formerly known The one and only Golden Ticket. The following has ensued.

Since The One And Only Golden Tickets (GT), now called Adventures In Wonderland (AIW) never allowed pictures or video recording during their Meet & Greet sessions, no one but those who have previously attended knows what happens during those events, so let’s make a quick summary…

During the This is War tour , a GT meant that you would queue for hours prior to the meeting time (yes, we DO queue for hours too, despite having early entry, because there were around 100-200 GT’s sold per show and with only half the stage available for GT holders, you were not secured a front row spot) and when the hostess arrived, she would take you inside, give you a color wristband depending on your package and you would go into the venue to wait again till the GA holders were let in. When the show finished, you would be taken inside a room, sometimes with no access to a toilet, given your bag, poster, laminate and the hostess would then give tell the crowd the rules. The group was to spread out in a circle, no cameras or cellphones allowed (or they would take them), have your item that you wanted signed out and ready, oh and only once signature per band member. After a while the guys would come into the room and sometimes Jared would stand in the middle of the group and chat for a little while at this time Shannon and Tomo would hang back in the back of the room and goof around and just  have fun. Then they would start signing (usually having Shannon and Tomo going clockwise, and Jared alone going counter-clockwise). The 10 seconds it took for them to sign PLUS the few minutes they’d stop in order to collect the present you brought them were the only minutes you were given as a meet and greet. Which seems short for the amount of money, but it was usually quite fun, explaining to them why you were giving them those presents, why they were important or significant. After the round of signatures, they guys would pose for pictures. At this time we were told that we were only given one photo so if we wanted someone else in our photo that is the only photo we were going to have. Also, there was no hugging the band members. Again, we would all queue and get our picture taken, sometimes in between saying hi to the guys again, or while answering to one of the guys who asked you where you came from, etc, but ALWAYS WITH NO PRIOR WARNING from the photographer that the picture was about to be taken. And that was it! It was short, too damn short, but it was fun, and it was something we would recommend to others in a heartbeat. “WAS” is the key word here.

With 2013 we are now in the mist of a new album and a new tour. There was an issue with the fans about the increase of the prices in the GT’s, but it was a bit understandable with the financial crisis, and Jared explained that the costs were for insurance, staffing, gift bags and that the band actually made nothing off of the GT.  We were told by Jared himself that GT’s would change, they would be more “limited in order to make them intimate and personalhttps://twitter.com/JaredLeto/status/270563971768143872 .  We, the fans were satisfied with that at that time. We understood that things cost more, and if they were going to be fewer people than yes a higher price, but it wouldn’t be the 100+ people in each M&G as it was before. Less tiring for them, maybe a bit more time to just goof around. Ah but then changes started to happen…

For some unknown reason Golden Tickets (GT) became Adventure in Wonderland (AIW) and once some of the tour dates were listed, the new AIW packages were listed and included the following:

  • Ticket to the show
  • Early Entry (skip the long lines)
  • Meet and Greet with individual photo with Thirty Seconds To Mars
  • Pre-signed poster with all three band members signatures
  • Exclusive merch pack including: t-shirt, commemorative laminate, mars tote
  • Golden Ticket concierge

Pre-signed poster means that the guys will no longer sign anything in person (let’s hope it doesn’t mean the signatures will also be printed, then it would be a total rip off!). Some people seemed ok with this, they thought it would save some time during the M&G which they could spend talking to us while we were giving them our presents, etc. While others weren’t too happy with the idea.  What if instead of the poster,  you wanted another picture signed because you love that picture? Forget it. What if you wanted an album booklet signed? Forget it. What if you wanted one of your previous M&G pictures signed? Well, forget it! What if you wanted Shannon to sign in a different picture because your friend who lives in a remote island far away is a huge fan and you know she’ll never get to meet him but you wanted to make her happy? Forget that as well!…..But we accepted that and no one complained.

Then AIW sent out an email to all of us who had purchased the VIP packages. Great news for they had added two new things to the list of features in the AIW packages. “Remarks from Thirty Seconds To Mars” and “Question and Answer period with Thirty Seconds To Mars”. Sounds great huh? Oh but they added a PS at the end. “Due to security reasons giving gifts to the band personally is no longer possible. You have to label each present accordingly and they will collect them and give them to the band later”. As any marketing worker will tell you, you have to sweeten things up if you are delivering bad news.

So, let’s review this email. They add a Q+A and Remarks (for those of you who don’t know, remarks from a band is simply when they enter the room they say hello to the group as a whole) no longer would there be any one on one meet and greet and the ability to present each member with a personal gift is now forbidden. Some people spend months making a gift for each member, their heart and soul is poured out into that gift.  So basically now you don’t get to MEET the group anymore, you are merely a member of the audience during a Q+A session. That’s what a “boutique experience” means?

In a nutshell, everything that was the “special experience” has been taken away.

Jared said on the VyRT chat: “GT IS A LUXURY ITEM. ITS NOT JUST ABOUT MEETING THE BAND ITS THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE.” and “GT IS NOT THE SAME AS COMING OUT THE BACK OF A VENUE AND SAYING HELLO. ITS AN ALL NIGHT EXPERIENCE THAT GIVES YOU UNPARALLELED ACCESS”…..The whole experience of what? unparalleled access Jared said ” We’re not anti corporation, we’re not anti company. We’re anti-greed to what exactly? We live the concert the same way GA holders who have queued for hours/days do. We get a t-shirt, a bag, a hello from the band to all of us as a group, a Q+A and a picture. That’s it? Well, we paid for a MEET AND GREET, as it is stated in the AIW website. So where is the Meet and Greet?

Despite countless emails and tweets to AIW, the company owned by Jared Leto himself who organizes these GT’s, we have received NO ANSWER as to if we would get to talk to the band face to face as we did in the past, and not only by the Q+A, or if the solutions offered regarding the gifting issue have been even considered, so we decided to let our voice be heard publically. This could have been so easily solved by replying to us.

We do not believe in nagging and complaining, but in offering solutions for the problems we are faced with, so here are some solutions that the Echelon have come up with:

1)  MAIN ISSUE: GIFTING – AIW says “due to recent developments, there are significant concerns regarding security and gift giving.  Unfortunately the band will not be able to accept gifts in person until further notice.” Never has a fan given anything that could cause harm to the any of the band or the crew during a Meet and Greet. Therefore, this new arising issue is a non issue.
AIW SOLUTION: “If you are planning to bring a gift, please make sure it’s labelled and we will have them all collected and distributed accordingly.”
OUR CONCERN: Echelon spend MONTHS creating those gifts for the band. Often, those gifts need an explanation as to what they mean, or why they are especial. By not being able to give the gifts personally and explaining their meanings, you are making people feel they have wasted/will waste their time and effort in making them.
OUR SOLUTION: Collect all the presents when we enter the venue and have the concierge or security staff check each and every present while we are watching the show. When the show is done and all presents are safe and approved by AIW staff, allow us to deliver our presents PERSONALLY to the band.

2)  ISSUE: Pre-signed poster
OUR CONCERN: Why pre-signed poster? Why can’t it be a picture I choose or an album booklet or my previous M&G picture? Is it so people don’t take they Haiti books or Notes From The Outernet books to get them signed? Since we know those are sold at a higher price at the Mars Merch Store. Also the posters are made of very poor quality and some fans travel far to these concerts. The posters do not travel well and are often even torn before leaving the venue.
We bought the Haiti, Vyrt, NFTO books AND paid for a GT, so what is the problem if I want MY book signed? That I would not pay for the signed version of the book from the store since I prefer to have it signed in person? Think about it: Unsigned NFTO book ($75) + GT ($400) = $475. Signed NFTO = $150. Boy, that’s bad bad maths!
OUR SOLUTION: This is our Meet and Greet experience that we paid our hard-earned money for. Therefore, we should be able to have whatever we want signed by the band members.

3)  ISSUE: The official photographs
OUR CONCERN: If you look through the archives, 30% of the M&G pictures are awful. People (both fans AND the band) with eyes closed, looking somewhere else, talking to each other… For a “special picture to remember a special moment”, this should be something that should be taken seriously and professionally.
OUR SOLUTION: Either have the photographer to check each picture before the fan leaves, or shoot 2 or 3 times to make sure the photo will turn out right. This is something done by many bands, as seen in this KISS Meet & Greet fan video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdLL-5hY0BI

4)  ISSUE: No pictures or video recording
OUR SOLUTION: ALL bands allow this at their M&G which is a nice bonus for those who cannot attend or are considering if it is worth it. What is the big deal? That people will actually see what happens at a M&G? Well, some cheeky fans actually recorded some videos, and here you can see Shannon’s suggesting to the girls to take pictures during the M&G https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDUPbhgB-W4&NR=1

5)  ISSUE: GT’s restricted to Tomo’s side
AIW SOLUTION: This was a GT problem before the name change to AIW, When apparently GA holders complained they couldn’t get a front row spot despite queueing for hours, AIW decided to divide half the venue’s barricades for GT holders and half for GA, which meant not all GT holders would get front row.  30 Seconds to Mars is the only band who punishes those who actually spend hundreds of dollars on VIP tickets by sectioning them off in either 1/2 to 1/3 of the barrier. Some shows the VIP people were in the far corner looking at speakers. The VIP’ers were always on Tomo’s side,this in turn upset both the VIP and the GA fans as some wanted Shannon’s side and others wanted Tomo’s.
OUR SOLUTION: This one is easy, sell less GT’s. But let’s be honest, this is a business, and even though it was promised by Jared that GT’s would be “VERY  limited” this time (https://twitter.com/JaredLeto/status/270563971768143872) time will tell but AIW has already added more packages to some of the already sold out shows. Also, Jared said they would look into the whole Tomo vs Shannon’s side (https://twitter.com/JaredLeto/status/270557421141893120)

While 30 Seconds to Mars was on hiatus the GT started doing VIP’s for other bands, The Jonas Brothers, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie to name a few. The prices for the packages were half the cost of the of 30 Seconds to Mars. Additionally, the packages included, sound check, 3-5 pictures, hugs and lots of joking and laughs.

During the Q&A of Artifact at the Toronto Film Festival, Jared said ” We’re not anti corporation, we’re not anti company. We’re anti-greed”

If this is indeed the case, then how come the AIW packages are 250$ for a non Meet and Greet but just an early entry and a gift bag? Lets say the ticket costs 50$, does this gift bag contain 200$ worth of product? There is no added insurance, crew or any of the extra costs that Jared said were the reason for the higher rates.

The next package is 350$ and that is the basic package, on floor general admission

The next package is 700$ and the difference is that you sit on the side of the stage. You get to look at the back of Tomo for the entire show.

And last but not least is the 900$ package which is sitting on the side of the stage and guaranteed on stage for Kings and Queens. So you see the back of the band the entire time, then come out on stage and get shoved to the back of the stage by the people who paid 25$ and were picked by the management because they have nice boobs or are guys and are now in front.

So where is the great experience, what are we taking home with this?

I will close again with the quote from Jared during the Q&A at Toronto Film Festival Jared said ” We’re not anti corporation, we’re not anti company. We’re anti-greed”

With these prices and the lack of special experience for the Adventures In Wonderland all that is seen here is greed.

23 thoughts on “The Adventures in Wonderland fiasco of 2013 AKA The Ultimate Greed of 30 Seconds to Mars

  1. Well, thanks for helping me make my mind up.. I won’t be seeing them in concert anytime soon. I did the M&G in Paris in 2011 and yes it took hours.. On top of that I almost got squeezed to death in the process. Jared kept demanding everyone to move forward. It’s was really terrifying, luckily Security pulled me out in time. I was able to see the rest of the show on stage behind Shannon. So, it worked out great in the end. Their was lots & lots of waiting. However, it was overall really fun.
    The 2nd time was in Belgium and I paid 250$ for just to have early entry. Over priced, however, it was the BEST show ever. I had Great Fun with the people I ended up meeting, so much so that I did not want to move when the time came to take our places. Got on stage in the front for K&Q on both shows. Loved it! However, at these prices that you’ve stated in your blog for their next tour. As the late Whitney would say.. “UH HELL TO THE NO”!!! Money is going to be scarce more than ever this year under this old paradigm blood-sucking system. You would think Jared would realize this as fact.. or unless he does realize it and he’s trying to get as much as he can before the system collapses. This should be interesting to see how his next tour will play out. Thanks for the info. Great Read..
    Peace&Blessings
    Ladyt

  2. I can barely afford to go to a concert anyway but the prices for the AIW packages are insane. It sounds like they only want to cater to those who have money and keep the “undeseriables” from getting too close to them. I don’t see how it’s worth it for those prices. You sure aren’t getting your money’s worth. If Jared owns AIW then why is the Mars packages double the money and less substance? Did I understand that right? Jared owns it?

    • Yes Jared owns AIW/GT and I have no idea why he is making it so expensive with so little given back. I once knew a man (Jared) who was humble and actually thankful for the fans that he had. This is not the same person or the same band. Its a shame, if you were not around during the self titled era when they were honest people and cared.
      What is most ironic is that during the Q&A after the screening of Artifact at the Toronto Film Festival Jared actually said they werent anti corporation, anti company but they were anti greed. Seems to me they are all about the greed.

      Thanks for reading and replying.

      • THIS IS A LIE. THIS WAS WRITTEN BY A WOMAN WHO HAD A VENDETA AGAINST HER AND WAS OUT TO HURT HER IN THE ONLY WAY SHE KNEW HOW. IN PRINT AS SHE IS A JOURNALIST

  3. Great post, thank you!
    I have never experienced the GT/AIW “VIP Experience” as they state but the more I think about it and read about, the more I believe that it’s totally not worth it.
    I also knew a very humbling and thankful 30STM back in the day but now they just want the greed and the LUST (that is a very negative word in my view point).
    I got to experience a free signing once and it took 5 seconds but it was 5 years ago. Since then, I barely hear about them doing that stuff. They are not humble anymore.
    30 minutes seems very short for hundreds of dollars!
    Jared keeps saying that he charges these prices because he has employees and he barely gets anything from the GT money. I think it’s bs.
    I think that 30STM will not go further if they keep going like this. At some point people will be enough of all the money-sucking schemes, they are just too naive to realize it.

  4. These tickets have always looked ridiculous. Jared says they are anti greed but it certainly doesn’t seem that way. Almost ten years ago I remember seeing them play Manchester Academy 2 (England), and afterwards the band did a free signing session. Okay, so since then they’ve moved on from playing gigs for a couple of thousand to sold out arenas, but that free signing was immense. Yes I didn’t get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked, but it didn’t matter. It felt spontaneous. With two songs to go Jared said, “hang around after and we’ll sign some shit for you.”

    We can all understand the band need to make money, we need them to make money so they continue to bless us with great music. However, to charge up to $900 per package and claim the band don’t profit from this, is just plain bollocks.

    I’m in my late 20′s, working in a good job, earning decent money and I can’t afford to pay those prices. The people who do deserve only the very best, and it’s clear that that hasn’t been delivered so far.

    • They recently started doing the Meet and Greets before the show and are now doing CD signings after the show. BUT you have to buy the CD there to get a wristband. They even signed at the Hollywood Bowl it was impressive. Not free as in the old days but still a start. No waiting around the buses anymore now either, they fly away on a private jet.

  5. This band lost me as a fan years ago because this sort of thing was starting to show then already, but reading this makes my blood boil all over again. Hypocrites.

  6. We have to do something! We are not fools! We love the band but do they still love us? What do they give back! We just want to talk to them in person and give a present! But we can’t :( They want our money mut not our presents and some time to spend with us! Feel so sad! Things were sooo much better back in 2011

  7. Hi,

    I just bought a M&G before founding this website.

    It’s funny because all the things you mentionned were/are the things I was expected (because I’m very rationnal and not a “crazy” fan/echelon, I was thinking “wow paying that much for that, it’s quite insane”, deep inside, it’s like I was flairing this falsity before finding your website) and they are the reasons I waited before buying a M&G.
    I was cut in two between the “let’s go be crazy and meet them” and the “no, it’s too much for just that, am I that crazy to spend this money there when I can spend it on useful thing?”

    Those are the things I was afraid and still am about this M&G.
    Because there’s no record, no photos, you don’t know what’s happening.
    I’ve seen a youtube video of a part of a M&G in Russia this year and it’s, well, pleasant and unpleasant at the same time. It feels like they are in a rush answering questions but at the same time they answer anything you ask…People are staying not sitting, there’s noise..But when you see pictures of the M&G in the grand Palais at Paris, it’s something else… So I don’t know what to think about it.

    I tried to speak with people who went on a M&G with the band and they don’t say much except “it was worth it”. I managed to get the answers I needed before buying my M&G but for the most part, it’s like it must stay secret.
    But I’ve spoken with true echelon. I mean those who really follow the band wherever they go. Those you clearly go in debts just to go to several shows.
    I consider myself as a simple fan: I know the lyrics. I know a bit about the band and their history. If I can go to a show, I go. But I’m not a fan you want to buy all the store, or every items or get tattoed (well I want a triad tatto but that’s because it has a lots of common point with my life..anyway). Let’s say I’m a reasonnable fan :)

    But ok, even that, after few days of wondering, I decided to buy one M&G anyway.
    Why if I know that it’s too much paid for this false M&G?

    Because, since about 5 years I’ve tried to go to a 30STM concert.
    Never had the time, the chance, the money for many reasons (too young, no car, only in festivals…)

    2013 is finally a year where I have money (and even that, I still don’t go to shows that I find too expensive), time, a car to go wherever I want to and lots of opportunities. So I’m jumping on that, and quite a lot (already planned 10 different shows ’til January 2014, it’s already more than all the shows I went in the past 5 years).
    And because I don’t know when the band is coming back to Europe, I consider 2013 to be the one and only year where I can see all the bands I’m able to and especially 30STM.
    So this year, I’ve decided to go to shows of bands I want to see from many years (e.g 30STM and Paramore) and also other bands that I like to listen to. I have the chance to be in a location where shows are not too far. Which is helping my decision. (But if I find the show to be too much expensive, I don’t go) (I have to say that 30STM shows are not too expensive and all the others I planned to go either, it’s between 30 and 60€).

    I went to the Colmar show, because it’s like 40km away. And I had a great time.
    I mean, I’ve seen a lots of youtube videos of the band live, and some friends are quite mean about them saying “no Jared doesn’t sing that much, it’s just magical powder in the eyes, Muse is so much better blablabla”.
    So I went to the show a bit bitter. But actually I had a great surprise. It was all I wanted to get. The show was awesome, Jared sang a lot (compared to some live show where it’s almost only the fans), he made jokes, the LLFD tour offers a lot of surprises with the drums guys, the voltige, the confettis, the big balloons.. So It was realy a great time. A real communion between the band and the fan and I’m trying to be objective here :)
    (One thing though is that the show, I mean the set list and the surprises around, are the same from one show to another. The only part that changes is the acoustics songs. I know that because I’ve followed the LLFD tour with youtube and what was played was what I saw on youtube :) )

    My next show planned is in Zürich, then I had the urge to do a M&G because again “when am I gonna get the chance again?” and because “why not? I have time/money/a car”.
    I wanted to do the M&G in Frankfurt, but yesterday it was already sold out when I tried to buy one. So I changed ticket, I’m now going on a M&G in Zürich and again with a simple ticket to Frankfurt.
    (I know people, like the “real echelon” as I like to call them, who are following the band through Europe. Literally following them through Europe. And they’re not rich. they just puts their economy in this. And that is insane!)

    Anyway: When the M&G will be done, I would love to share my experience with you. Because I too find the prices to be expensive.

    Just to finish: even though some of the 30STM fans may understand and see that it’s quite a big price for almost nothing (especially when you compare to the other M&G on the AIW site), I can tell that sometime the urge to see them 1 feet away is bigger and you just go unreasonnable about it and buy a M&G :)

    If it was worth it, then I’d be happy for many years.
    If it’s not, well, I would know but would still be happy because I’d see them live.
    Simple as that!

    What I don’t understand though is people doing M&G at each show (yeah I know some), or the “side stage package”. I want someone to explain me, how can you enjoy the show from the sides? You don’t see any member of the band, the surprises, the faces, the back screen…

    Sorry for the long post and thank you for your website!

    Nessa

    • Hello, I am not sure if you remember as people were checking in and there was one person who got ripped out of the line. The person had a supposedly restraining order against her. She at the time had no idea why she was getting kicked out of he meet and greet. The Tour manager would no tell her (and he knew). Him and Tomo have gone and told EVERY VENUE that this person has a restraining order against her. Jared Knew nothing about it. In AZ the manager or the Rialto called the police because he was going to have her arrested. The police ran her ID and it was “clean” so the policeman said he wanted the tour manager up there with the restraining order. The tour manager came and said “Well there really isnt one there is just a band member who doesnt want her there”. That was just and FYI as to some of the antics that go along with this band. Needless to say Jared knew nothing about it and it is being taken care of. As far as the AIW well some have terrific experiences and some terrible. My suggestion. When you go to the page, put in 100 and it will tell you how many are available. If there are that many available you know it might be a big Meet and Greet. But if there is like 30 its probably going to be a small one. But you have to do it on the first day. Hope that helps. :]

  8. I hate Adventure in Wonderland, period. Attended the Jonas Brothers M&G with my daughter . Waited for hours for a 10 minutes sound check, then waited some more , for one rushed picture. Girls were treated very poorly by the staff. Paid 250$ for a 10 minute sound check, a picture and an unsigned poster that was giving to us by a staff member on the way out.

  9. I believe they were forced to change their name. I had a HORRIBLE experience with them summer 2012. Wrote the Better Business Bureau. There was another ticket company with the same name as The Golden Ticket. Unfortunately the other company who had the name all along was take the fall for Wonderlands numerous BBB complaints.The original Golden Ticket was fed up. It was hurting his business. He said he was going to fight them to change their name. This is the most tacky company I have ever dealt with for VIP experiences. They were so unorganized and unprofessional. The BBB complaints backed up my opinion. And the fact they were forced to change their name also shows..

  10. Aaagh – i’ve just found this after buying the Early entry package. We were just about to buy a meet and greet and a sound check ticket for the show the week after. Think you’ve just saved us a big disappointment – thank you

  11. I just bought my m&g for the band’s show in Mexico City for January 2014, after reading all of this I’m actually quite upset. At first the m&g was $250 dollars but I didnt have a credit card and when I actually got a credit card, the price had changed to $350 dollars, I didnt think twice because I really want to meet the band and bought it! And after reading how rushed everything is and the fact that I wont even be able to have my cd autographed it really makes me regret having bought such an expensive package. If I could get a refund I probably would :(

  12. Just seen this site and wish I had seen it sooner.Bought a meet and greet package for my sister as a birthday present in June .Had an important query so emailed AIW last week ,waited 48 hrs for reply no reply.Emailed them again and again no reply.Tweeted them,no reply and I finally facebooked them .Message read at 9.54 pm this evening and again no reply.The message has now gone to “unread” obviously pretending they haven’t seen it.Customer service is appalling.
    They are now offering a free upgrade to people who are booking late (like now) and the people who bought months ago are asking can they get a free upgrade .The answer to this is to email them and guess what, u have to wait 48 hours for no reply and by that time the concert will be over .Not happy .I don’t even want an upgrade ,just would like someone to have the decency to reply .

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